As someone who has had lots of anxiety and stress, I have found that one of the BEST ways to keep anxiety at bay is to do a heck of a lot of self-care. There are so many ways to do the whole self-care thing, but there are some ideas that are just better suited for daily stress and anxiety!
These self-care ideas will leave you feeling more mentally free and physically energized, which definitely goes a long way when dealing with stress and anxiety!
And honestly, some of these are nothing new, but they are THE most important things you can do for yourself!
This post may contain some affiliate links (which means I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you), but only to products that I believe in and that will improve your life!
Just want to let ya know: The information and tips on this website are from my personal experience with stress and anxiety and are not a substitute for any type of medical, psychological or health advice. You can view my full disclaimer policy here.
There is always help out there, and you can find a mental health professional locally, through your doctor, or through an online directory like this one. This is a link to a great article that discusses affordable therapy options and this is an affiliate link to a great online therapy option. If you are in a crisis, I have a list of help hotlines here. You are not alone!!
So here are my top 20 self-care Ideas to reduce stress
Habit-Based Self-Care Ideas
It can be REALLY hard to do anything when you feel anxious and stressed, and doing any of the following things might be VERY difficult. But it can be a bit easier than you think and over time, these things can become second nature to you.
Incorporating self-care habits into your life will make your day-to-day life feel a lot more enjoyable and these healthy habits will help you feel good physically and mentally, which can help you reduce stress and improve your mental resilience so that you can deal with stress better!
1. Declutter for 5 mins
Having less clutter in your physical space will lead to less clutter in your mental space. I know decluttering is the last thing you want to do when you feel anxious, but it helps so much! Just take baby steps, and do a couple minutes of decluttering in the spaces you use the most!
2. Do a quick, daily clean of your kitchen
Healthy eating is a big must for self-care, but you won’t want to cook if your kitchen is a mess!
Try cleaning the kitchen as you cook, or you can even trick yourself into doing it by just setting a 5-min timer and see how much you can get done! (You’ll usually want to do more later anyway).
3. Do your Laundry
Laundry tends to be something that literally piles up on you. It can act as this big weight on your mental health.
A great thing to get in the habit of doing is having one or two days a week where you just quickly throw in a load of laundry. Set a timer and just do it!
If you have to go to a laundromat, invite a friend with you and it will be much more enjoyable!
4. Cut back on spending (on frivolous things)
Financial troubles can be a huge cause of stress, so cutting some of that burden can make a world of difference.
Making small changes can make a huge difference, like thrift shopping, making coffee at home and having more nights in with your friends (or virtual hang outs).
If you’ve been eyeing some new furniture, jewelry, or whatever it may be – you could try to go DIY!
Maybe it’s even time to talk to a financial planner or your bank to see how you can lessen your financial stress!
5. Try using a planner
Keeping track of these new healthy habits and planning out your self-care activities is an absolute must!
If you sign up for my self-care guide, you’ll get access to all my free worksheets and free courses that surround self-care! I have checklists, habit trackers, calendars, and mini-courses that are designed to help you implement self-care strategies into your life.
6. Daily gratitude
You can either do some journaling or just take the time at the beginning and end of each day to think about what you’re grateful for!
(Set a reminder for yourself to do this!)
7. Listening to music
Another easy thing to do that we forget so often! It just makes every part of your day better and can give you some motivation to do the tasks that you don’t feel like doing.
Maybe invest in a spotify account! Mine has worked wonders for me because now I always have access to good music!
Health self-care Ideas to reduce stress
8. Prioritizing healthy eating
Eating balanced meals with proper proportions of protein, fat, and carbs can wonders for your mood and focus. Food is fuel after all, so make sure it’s premium! There’s also evidence of supplements that can also help regulate your mood and focus. This is something that you should discuss with your physician.
9. Going on a daily walk
Exercise has so many amazing health and mental health benefits.
You can do the shortest walk imaginable. Just tell yourself to go out for 5 mins (and then you’ll probably want to go for longer).
Getting into the fresh air and releasing some endorphins will boost your mood significantly!
10. Learning how to cook! (Or at least adding more veggies and protein to your meals)
Eating healthy is so important for maintaining your mental health. A really easy way to start feeling better is to add more veggies and protein to each meal. Just this small thing can have a lot benefits!
If cooking really isn’t your thing, consider a health meal delivery service, like fresh meals! You can get healthy meals delivered straight to your door, and you won’t have to deal with ingredients going bad!
11. 8 cups of water (get a big-ass water bottle!)
It’s so simple and has so many benefits. Just do it! Set reminders if you must.
“Inner-work” self-care ideas for anxiety
12. Challenging and changing negative self-talk
Negative self-talk can turn a small stress into a big stress. Remind yourself to challenge that negative voice in your head! For every negative thing you catch yourself thinking, replace it with something more positive (or at least neutral).
13. Give yourself some real, good, self-love!
Practicing self-love and self-compassion will help every aspect of your wellbeing, especially when you’re feeling down about how anxious you feel (the anxiety-shame spiral is real folks!) Try these self-love journal prompts that will help you along your self-love journey.
Journaling is good for everything emotional! It’s the perfect self-care go-to because you can journal for stress-relief, gratitude, self-love, and so much more!
15. Doing a deep (and uncomfortable ) self-assessment
Sometimes it’s very important to take a deep look at your own behaviours that might be affecting your situation.
Are you self-sabotaging in your life and relationships? Are there areas in your life where you should be taking more responsibility?
What do you need to work on that will improve your life?
16. THEN FORGIVE YOURSELF.
People make mistakes. EVERYONE makes mistakes.
When you are feeling stressed, it can be hard to do all the things that you know are good for yourself. And this can lead to an unfortunate shame spiral.
Mistakes or self-sabotaging behaviour are a part of human nature. The important thing is that you learn and grow from these experiences.
In my mind, there really is no such thing as mistakes, just learning experiences.
17. Consider therapy!
Therapy is something that is great for anyone and everyone! You don’t need to have a diagnosis to get therapy. And right now, online therapy is more accessible than ever! You can get all the help you need for half the price of traditional therapy.
Learning to meditate and getting into the habit of meditation can be really hard because we’re always so used to having our minds constantly stimulated. However, just spending 5 mins in the morning or night (or both!) to do a quick meditation can work wonders! There are tons of great free meditations on youtube that you can find!
Mindfulness is similar to meditation, it can take some time to get used to. However, mindfulness is probably the MOST useful tool when it comes to beating stress.
Whenever I feel stressed about life in general and I find myself slipping into bad habits (like avoiding the world and not taking care of myself), I just think about what will make me happiest in the present moment. Is it worrying? (NO!) Is it doing something enjoyable like making a nice meal or hanging out with my friends? (YES!)
That’s how I try to make all of my life decisions now, and I have to say that it’s working out pretty well!
20. Do a huge negativity purge!
I urge you to go through every aspect of your life and think about the things that are bringing you stress and negativity. If it doesn’t have space in your life, let it go!
Here are some quick tips to get started: go through your entire house and get rid of anything you don’t need, do the same with your workspace, your email, and your social media!
Get rid of anything that doesn’t serve you!
So there you have it, the most important self-care ideas for stress reduction!
If you want any extra help, you should sign up for my self-care guide and worksheets! (Coming soon!)
- full self-care book!
- goal planner
- meal planner
- habit tracker
- much more!