R U OK Day is a nation-wide day of action meant to draw attention to mental health. Australians are encouraged to follow the 4 R U OK Steps that make it easier to engage friends, family and loved ones in conversations about their mental well-being.
While these kinds of conversations can help those you care about, it’s also important to take care of yourself. Practicing self-care allows you to take a break from thinking about work, social commitments, family dramas, and all the other day-to-day stresses of life, focusing purely on what you need to maintain your own health and well-being.
Here are 27 awesome ways to practise self-care.
Watch the clouds
Head outside on a sunny day, find a cosy spot on the grass, then lie on your back and simply watch the clouds go by.
Buy fresh flowers for your home
Even the cheap discount blooms at the supermarket will add a pop of cheery colour to your home.
Turn off everything digital
Spend a few hours or even a whole day without laptops, mobile phones, televisions or iPads for a break from the constant updates and beeping of the world.
Get enough sleep
Stop making sleep the thing you do between everything else. Make sure your room is a calming place to be in and schedule in enough sleep every night.
Whether it’s 10 minutes when you wake up in the morning or 10 at night before bed, adding some meditation to your day can help give you an overall sense of calm.
Cook your favourite meal
Put on some tunes and spend some time in the kitchen creating your go-to fave meal.
Try something a little different with an acupuncture session. This ancient therapy is said to improve the flow of Qi around the body.
Walk, run, take a gym class, follow a Zumba video on YouTube – a bit of exercise in your day will have you feeling stronger and more energetic.
Watch a favourite movie
It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen it 20 times already; watching a favourite movie can feel like coming home.
Jump in the car and hit the road. Aim for gorgeous countryside or coastal roads where you can get out of the hustle and bustle of the city and just enjoy the act of driving.
Reading is a way to escape into another world, so take some time to dive into your favourite fiction.
Get a massage
A trained masseuse will leave you feeling so relaxed and stretched out that you’ll hardly remember what day it is.
Clean the house
It may be a chore that you tend to ignore whenever possible, but cleaning up will leave you feeling as productive as your room is tidy.
Try something new
Have you always wanted to try a hot yoga class? Go to an archery range? Learn to cook Thai meals? Remind yourself of all the cool new things there are to discover and sign up for something you’ve never done before.
Plan a trip
Sit down and plan out a weekend away or day-long road trip to somewhere you’ve wanted to go for ages. It’ll give you something to look forward to!
Have a clear out
Go through your closet, your bathroom cabinet, that ‘draw’ in the kitchen that has a decade’s worth of stuff in it, and clear out as much as possible.
Take a bath
Use those nice soaps that have been sitting around, light a few candles, and take a relaxing long soak in the tub.
Whether or not you exercise regularly, stretching feels great, helps to keep you flexible, and will keep your energy levels up during the day.
Had your eye on a new perfume for a while? Need to replace your workout top? Indulge in a little retail therapy and treat yourself to something nice.
Write it out
Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a hugely cathartic activity. It’s particularly good if you’ve been stressed out or just need to get something off your chest.
Catch up with an old friend
We’ve all got those friends we keep meaning to catch up with, so book in a date and make it happen at last.
Adult colouring books are all the rage right now, and if you haven’t already jumped on the bandwagon, it’s time to find out why they’re so loved by all.
Do someone else a favour
One of the best ways to make yourself feel great? Do something nice for someone else. Help them move, bake them a cake, give them a ride, or babysit their kids – anything goes!
Do a puzzle
Visit your local library to pick up a puzzle or borrow one from a friend. There’s nothing quite like slowly piecing together a big puzzle over endless cups of tea.
Do you often find yourself running from one social engagement to another? Say no once in a while and give yourself a little time off.
Head to the supermarket and stock up on healthy ingredients, then set about making some tasty nutritious recipes that will leave you feeling great.
Discover new music
Head online, switch to a new radio station, ask friends, or dig into past hits for inspiration. Spend a little time hunting down new music and find your next favourite song!