*Ok, so a lot of these ideas involve using items that you would have had to buy at some point, but if they’re items you already have, you don’t have to spend any more money, ok? Also, I know this isn’t entirely about books, but self-care is important for everyone, as book lovers well know!
- Pop in a favorite DVD
When was the last time you watched your favorite movie? If it’s been a long time, pop in that disc or click on that streaming icon and rediscover why this is your fave!
- Have a mini dance party
Queue up a playlist on Spotify or YouTube and dance around your living room. Instant mood booster!
- Change your bedsheets—and make your bed!
Never underestimate the power of clean bed linens to make you feel relaxed and cozy.
- Have a cup of tea/coffee/cocoa
A comforting beverage to warm your heart. Or make it iced if it’s hot out!
- Go for a walk
Stretch those legs, get some fresh air, and explore your neighborhood.
- Do some yoga
There are some great tutorials on YouTube. Yoga has been proven to help people relax and de-stress!
- Take a bath or shower
Use that fancy body wash or bath bomb your mom gave you for your birthday. Follow up with lotion and comfy pajamas!
- Read an old favorite book
Do you remember what your favorite book was when you were 15? What about at ten? Five? If you can get your hands on a copy, reread it and feel like a kid again!
- Rearrange your furniture or decor
It’s amazing how seeing a familiar space in a new way can help you break out of a rut and find new possibilities wherever you look.
- Break out the art supplies
Draw, paint, sculpt, whatever. Maybe you’re not an artist, but that’s ok! Remember a couple years ago when adult coloring books were super popular? Chances are during that time, you either bought one for yourself or received one as a gift, and chances are you’ve only colored like one and a half pages in it. So pull it out, sharpen your colored pencils, and color!
- Write something
Write in your journal, on your blog, or on an old-fashioned typewriter. Write a poem, an essay, a short story, a letter, or a piece of a novel. Write about what you had for lunch today, or write about flying gas creatures on Jupiter. Just write!
- Organize a closet or room
Apparently, tidying up is supposed to be magical or something.
- Visit the library
Libraries aren’t just for books! You can get a library card for free at most public libraries, which will give you access to all kinds of media. You can go “shopping” for new books, movies, music, and more, all for free! Libraries are also quiet—great places to sit and read, write, draw, or just think.
- Listen to some soothing or inspiring music
Lay down, close your eyes, and let the music take you away.
- Look at photos from a vacation or special event that has good memories for you and reminisce
- Cook something
If you have the ingredients, try out one of those recipes from your Pinterest board. (You don’t have to actually cook, you could just make a pb&j.)
Or if you play an instrument, practice your favorite song. Even if you’re not a musician and feel you have no musical talent, just start singing. Seriously. You might feel ridiculous, but I guarantee within 30 seconds you’ll find yourself smiling!
- Call a friend or family member
Has it been awhile since you called your mom? Call her! Did you forget to thank your great uncle Ned for that $20 he sent you at Christmas? Call him! Did you just talk to your best friend yesterday but you’ve since had an experience that you need to talk to them about? Call them! (Of course, we all have family members that it would not be a pick-me-up to talk to. Don’t call them.)
- Watch or listen to a comedian
Tons of comics have albums on Spotify and Pandora, and you can always find clips and even full-length specials on YouTube. Laughing is good for you, not only emotionally, but physically as well!
- Look at/read aspirational photos/stories
Do you know what you want to do with your life? Do you have sort of an idea of what you want to do, but no specifics? Do you have no idea whatsoever? Do you have any goals, be they large or small? One thing that can really help inspire and motivate you is to research people whose lives and accomplishments you admire, and learn how they achieved their successes.
- Give yourself a manicure, pedicure or facial
Even if you don’t have fancy salon products, spending some time on primping can be very relaxing. You can find plenty of ideas online for making facial scrubs and masks from common household products. Even better if you have a steady hand with the nail polish.
- Sit outside and observe your surroundings
People-watching is extra fun with some coffee or frozen yogurt.
- Meditate or pray
Even if you’re not religious, meditation and mindfulness can help you focus your mind and heart for some much-needed perspective.
- Talk to a kid
Don’t be creepy about it, but if the opportunity arises, talk to a kid. Seriously. Ask them about their interests, their hopes and dreams, their ideas about life, and see how quickly your outlook improves.
- Give someone a hug (even if it’s yourself!)
Hugging boosts oxytocin and serotonin levels, which can boost your mood and fight feelings of loneliness, sadness, and anger. Even if there’s no one around to hug except yourself, wrap yourself in your arms and hold, then take a few deep breaths. You’re going to be fine!