21 Self Care Activities for When You’re Busy and Stressed

Job pressure, money, and health are some of the top causes of stress for the average American. In this day and age, you may often lead yourself to believe that if you aren’t doing anything, you’re doing badly.

This isn’t true. If you don’t take the time you need to rejuvenate now and again, you truly won’t be able to do the work you need to. So here’s a list of self-care activities you can do whenever you find yourself feeling overwhelmed with stress, anxiety, and anything in between!

1. Take a Break from Social Media

While social media in itself is not a bad thing, we can all agree that the overall effect might occasionally be a bit overwhelming. This, in addition to an already stressed out mind, makes for a poor combination. 

2. A Quick Walk to Ease Your Mind 

A fantastic way to take your mind off things, or simply give yourself space to breathe is just stepping outside for a walk. A little bit of movement or exercise can go a long way!

3. Read a Book or Listen to One

Sometimes when you’re particularly frustrated, you’re just on the lookout for a quick escape. And what better escape than a book, right? A fantastical new world, with new people and a new story waiting for you to get lost in! 

Now I know finding a good read can be hard, so click here for a quick list of books that are worth a shot. Alternatively, if you’re not a big reader, audiobooks are all the rage right now!

4. Listen to a Soothing Playlist

What kind of music calms you? Is it 80s pop, heavy metal or some laid-back jazz? Whatever it is, you can create a playlist of calming tracks that will help you ease up every time you need to!

5. Five Minutes of Mindfulness

Yes, even five minutes can make an enormous difference. Sometimes all you need is to take a long pause, regain your composure and carry on!

6. A Long Shower

Or a super relaxing bath, if you’ve got a bathtub. Take your time, maybe indulge in a bit of shower singing and unwind.

7. A Long Drive with a Friend

Got a friend who’s also super stressed out? Meet up and drive your troubles away together! Talk it over and go someplace you’ve never been before. Very often, a different perspective shows us that things aren’t as bad as we think they are.

8. Write Your Troubles Away

Writing can be so therapeutic in so many ways. Allow yourself the space to vent out all your frustrations against life, the universe, and absolutely everything! Is your boss being a jerk? Is jerk an understatement? Write him a letter you’re never going to send. 

This can be so incredibly cathartic and might help you feel just a tiny bit better. If you’re the more glass half full kind, you could also make a list of things you feel very grateful for.

9. Add Some Color to Your Life

Coloring used to be so fun as a kid, but unless you’re an artist of some sort, it’s not something we do very often now. Now, you don’t have to steal your three-year-old niece’s book and start coloring in, but it might be wise to invest in a coloring book for adults.

Some of these books are designed specifically to help adults cope with stress. How great is that?

10. Watch a Wholesome, Low-Stress T.V Show

This could be anything from re-runs of Full House to Arrested Development. Heck, if you think Hannibal is low-stress, go for it!

11. Order in Your Favorite Dessert

They call it comfort food for a reason!

12. A Little Bit of Exercise 

A quick run, a workout at the gym or a power walk through the park; exercise can help you get those feel-good hormones going!

13. A Hot Beverage 

How very Sheldon of me, but yes he does have a point. Some warm tea can really soothe your nerves after a stressful day.

14. Be Kind

To someone else and consequently to yourself. Doing something nice for someone is one of the easiest and most productive ways to make yourself feel better. Not only are you making someone else’s day better, but in whatever sense, your own too!

15. Run out of Excuses

When I say this, I mean stop finding excuses to put off that fun thing you’re dying to do. A friend you’ve been wanting to meet or that new cafe you’re longing to try, make the plan and follow through.

This, of course, is only limited to those things that you know deep down will help you feel better. Don’t force yourself to do something you don’t want to.

16. Hang out with a Pet 

Do you have an animal friend who thinks the world of you, or at least thinks you’re somewhat tolerable (I hear you, feline enthusiasts)? Well, there’s a lot of research that shows us that spending time with those adorable scamps is great for our mental health.

17. Talk to a Stranger 

Sometimes having a chat with a random stranger can feel incredibly satisfying. Of course, make sure it’s in a public place and don’t talk to anyone you feel uncomfortable with.

18. Plan a Holiday 

Maybe your vacation is right around the corner, or maybe its three months away. Whatever it is, planning a trip can be really fun and help you take your mind off things.

19. Let Yourself Skip the Chores 

Unless you’re the kind of person who draws comfort out of doing chores, let yourself skip doing the dishes for a day.

20. Cloud Watching or a Day out in the Sunshine

Sunny skies or otherwise, outdoor sites seldom disappoint.

21. Splurge a Little Bit

No, don’t go on an insane shopping spree. How about spending just a little extra and getting a better wine that you normally would?

Inspired? Create Your Own Personalized List of Self-Care Activities!

While you may draw comfort from some of the things on this list, be sure to create your own personalized list of self-care activities! This is something you can do when you feel relatively less stressed out. Make a list of things that bring you joy, whether it’s cooking a quick meal, stroking your pet or taking a walk!

Did you like this list? If you did, be sure to check out the rest of our blog for more!

The List Love

The List Love is the home of high quality top 10 lists on everything from movies and TV to history and science. We offer interesting, entertaining posts to broaden your mind and smile. Follow us today on Facebook and Twitter for more amazing listicles!

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