As an immunocompromised person who works from home in a rural area, spending a lot of time at home is my normal life. Right now, more people are learning what it’s like to spend a great deal of time at home. It can be a challenge, for sure, but that means it’s all the more important to practice self-care. Self-care doesn’t require spa trips or mountain hikes. You can easily practice self-care at home! It just requires a little creativity and dedication to your mental well-being.
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How to Practice Self-Care at Home
As more people spend more time at home, it’s so important to know how to practice self-care at home! I know this can be a challenge if you’re stuck at home with multiple people–especially if your home is small–but it’s still important to carve out a few minutes for yourself every day. Or at least find an entire hour to indulge in self-care once a week. These self-care at home ideas will help you take care of your physical health and your mental health.
Plan Devoted “Quiet Time” for the Entire Family
Maybe you can’t fully escape your spouse or your kids for very long. You can still ask for relative peace and quiet for 20 minutes. Remember “silent reading” in class as a kid? Sometimes the teacher would even put on some gentle music. As a big reader, I always loved that–and I’m sure my wonderful teachers enjoyed the blissful relative quiet.
Create your own devoted Quiet Time for your entire family. Older kids can read silently. Younger kids can color or look at picture books. If any of your kids nap, their nap time could work as Quiet Time for everyone else. If your kids have their own rooms, they could also play with their toys quietly in their rooms. It’s up to you whether or not this will also be a screen-free time. If you do allow screens during Quiet Time, require everyone to use headphones!
But what about you? Quiet Time is a chance to read, a chance to rest your eyes, a chance to enjoy a cup of hot tea, a chance to meditate. Ask Alexa to play spa music, and enjoy the relative quiet.
Work on a Jigsaw Puzzle
On vacation last year, I helped my nephew put together a fairly simple puzzle. Afterwards, I felt unexpectedly relaxed and satisfied. It turns out that working on puzzles can help you feel both productive and calm! This is also an activity the whole family can do together.
Enjoy a Warm Bubble Bath
When I had shingles last year, I took an hour-long warm bath daily to help with my combined pain and itching. By keeping the water warm instead of hot, I could enjoy a longer bath comfortably. The warmth soothed my pain while the baking soda and the oatmeal bath treatment soothed my itchy skin.
Dan and I love to take hot baths in the winter. We have a large garden tub big enough for two. Dan has even set up a projector system so we can watch our latest show from Netflix or Amazon Prime projected against the wall! We add different bath treatments depending on how we feel. Bath bombs, bath salts, and bubble bath are all options! We’ve even made our own bath bombs before.
Take a Nap Without an Alarm Clock
Even a nap with an alarm clock is a great way to practice self-care. But it is SO luxurious just to let yourself sleep. I used to feel guilty about needing more rest than able-bodied people, but as mentioned above, a wicked case of shingles really changed my perspective. It’s okay to spend time resting. Your days off work don’t need to be filled with productivity! Why not snooze a little after lunch? Why not fall asleep watching a movie? Take a nap, and let it be.
Make Your Bed in the Morning
Of course, if you share your bed, then the person who sleeps in should make the bed in the morning. Making your bed only takes a minute or two, but it’s a great way to start your day with a productive moment of self-care. It’s a way to affirm to yourself each morning that the small things matter in life. Plus, making your bed each day can even help you feel happier!
Wake Up Early
To be clear, this self-care idea is not for me. I currently need a great deal of sleep, so I don’t set an alarm in the morning unless I need to wake up by a certain time.
However, if you normally wake up well-rested in the morning, try waking up 15-30 minutes earlier than usual. Give yourself time to get ready for your day at a luxurious pace. Or use that extra time to sit with a cup of coffee and a book. This is your time. Use it as you like.
Go to Bed Early
This is one of my favorite self-care ideas! Over the last year, I’ve been working towards a more consistent bedtime. Getting a good night’s sleep starts by going to bed at a reasonable hour. If it’s hard for you to fall asleep early, try just being in bed early. Don’t use your phone mindlessly, but you can use the time to talk with a loved one (if you’re sleeping alone or if your partner doesn’t mind). Watch a little TV. Read a book. Write in your journal. Wind down your evening early and then turn out the lights when you start feeling sleepy!
Keep Your Phone Out-of-Reach from Your Bed
Who else is guilty of getting on their phone first thing in the morning? This is a bad habit I’ve been working to break. For me, the easiest way to do this is to keep my phones downstairs when I’m ready to go to bed. That way I don’t mindlessly use my phone before falling asleep, AND I don’t use it first thing in the morning. If you need to be available for phone calls, or if you use your phone as your alarm, just place it far enough away that you need to get out of bed to grab it. This will help you use your phone with intention.
Redecorate Part of Your Home
You don’t need to hire an interior designer to spruce up your home. Get new covers for your throw pillows. Swap out the blanket on your bed. Rearrange the furniture in your living room. Hang up new art or inspirational quotes in your home office. Make little changes here and there that bring a smile to your face. Your home is your sanctuary. Treat it that way!
Clean Out Your Closet
Are you overwhelmed by all the clothes in your closet? Do you have a million things and yet nothing to wear? Clean out your closet! You can do this in a few different ways.
For example, last year I had a different goal each month of a small thing to declutter. Socks and underwear one month. T-shirts another month. Keeping it simple is one way to avoid feeling overwhelmed. It’s also an option if you don’t have a lot of extra time each month.
Switching out seasonal clothes is also a great opportunity to clean out your closet. What did you not wear this season? Do you really need to hold onto it?
If you have a free afternoon, you can also go through ALL of your clothes.
Additional Self-Care Resources
I am blogging about self-care all week long! Check back in daily for new posts filled with self-care ideas for different people and lifestyles. Until then, I recommend you read my other self-care blog posts to find self-care inspiration.
- Self-Care When You’re Depressed AF
- Confessions of a Depressed Flower Child
- What My Marriage Taught Me About Boundaries
- The Value of Self-Care: Lessons from a Chronic Illness
- Self-Care is Radical AF (Guest Post by Yvonne)
- Rethinking Self-Care with Healthy Choices
Self-care at home might not be as much fun as a spa day or a wine tasting, but it’s still a way to relax and recharge. I hope these self-care ideas inspire you!
If you’re looking to keep track of your self-care efforts, I’ve put together an easy self-care tracking chart. Check off each self-care action you take daily, and reward yourself after a week of consistent self-care!
What’s your favorite way to practice self-care at home?