Self-care is essential for life. If your self-care routine is feeling a bit stale, it might be time to mix it up with fresh and unusual self-care practices.
We’ve all tried the typical self-care practices, like taking a bubble bath or getting a massage. While those activities can be rejuvenating, they might not work for everyone in the long-term.
When you take time to care for yourself, you see the benefits in all aspects of your life – whether work, school or leisure. Self-care practices give you the time and space to recharge and energize you to take on the challenges of daily life.
If none of the traditional self-care practices have been working for you (or if they are but you’re looking for fresh ideas), try out these unusual self-care methods to help you appreciate yourself.
Try These 7 Unusual Self-Care Practices:
1. Ruthlessly Declutter
In some cases, the only way to clear your mind is to declutter everything in your life. You should regularly clean out your home to see if there’s anything you can get rid of or repurpose somehow. Plus, you won’t have to clean as much when you have less stuff to look after, and it’ll be easier to find your prized items.
Marie Kondo gained popularity as the queen of tidying up. She coined the idea of decluttering by category rather than a room, so you target individual aspects of the clutter in your household without feeling overwhelmed.
Ideally, you would choose only to keep the things that bring you joy and rid yourself of the things you don’t care as much about. Once you’ve decluttered your whole house, you can begin cleaning it.
After you’re done decluttering, take this unusual self-care practice to the next level and tackle your whole house. Isolate one room and work to clean it before moving on to the next one, so you don’t overwhelm yourself. The act of cleaning is physical, so it can get you up and moving.
If you haven’t had any exercise recently, you might count cleaning your home as your movement for the day. Make it as intensive or as light as you like. Once you’re in a clean environment, you may feel a little less overwhelmed.
2. Give Yourself Permission
Sometimes, you have to permit yourself to do something for yourself. Though it might seem childish at first, you can create coupon books that allow you to do nice things for yourself.
Include items like calling a friend or allowing yourself time to do something you love. Activities known to relieve stress should be your priority when deciding what to write down. Other ideas can be yoga, meditation, going for a walk or eating your favorite snack.
Give yourself permission to take part in self-care.
When people feel down on themselves, they may not feel like they deserve to be pampered.
You’re never too busy to take care of yourself, especially on a fundamental level. When you feel like you can’t include something on your schedule, you’ll always have these coupons or permission slips to remind you that you have time for something that’s kind to your body.
3. Collect Something
Sometimes we need physical reminders of our joy or accomplishments. Having a meaningful collection of something that brings you joy can be a great way to boost your mood. You can try adding to your collection on certain occasions, like when you feel yourself slipping into self-doubt or as a reward for something you’ve accomplished.
This could look like adding a marble to a jar for each day you maintain sobriety. You could collect stones from outside and write something you’re grateful for on them any time you have a rough day. If you have a special connection to a symbol, like butterflies or flowers, you might collect a few small trinkets with those images.
This unusual self-care practice taps into what makes you happy and gives you an idea of how to soothe your soul.
When you take care of yourself, you should prioritize all three forms of self-care: the physical that pertains to your bodily needs, the emotional that helps you regulate your feelings, and the spiritual to help you get in tune with your soul.
Collecting items will help you take care of the spiritual side.
Breathe a sigh of relief whenever you see your collection. It’s a subtle reminder of everything that you’ve accomplished. Whenever you feel like you can’t do something, you can always look at your collection and see how it proves you wrong.
4. Practice Dog Poses
Downward Facing Dog is a foundational yoga pose that allows you to stretch your whole body and achieve mental wellness.
The other “dog pose” is Upward Facing Dog, which opens your chest and strengthens the muscles in the upper half of your torso. It helps correct any damage you’ve done to your posture by sitting throughout the day.
While yoga is a common form of self-care for many people, others might not be familiar with many of the poses. You might also struggle to find time in a busy schedule to practice a full routine. But if you want to reap the many benefits of yoga, try incorporating a few minutes of these “dog poses” into your daily routine, which can put your mind and body at ease in just a few minutes.
5. Take a Cold Shower
Cold showers can benefit both your body and your mind. Not everyone loves a cold shower, but you may be willing to take a one now and then once you know the benefits. Cold showers are great for the morning, as they wake you up and get you energized for the day.
This unusual self-care practice has been linked to weight loss and stronger immune systems. You might feel a rush of serotonin and dopamine, since your brain releases these feel-good, stress-combatting chemicals as soon as it feels the shock of the cold water.
While it might not initially sound like self-care, taking a cold shower could be one of the best – and most simple – things you do for your body and mind.
6. Start a Productive Hobby
Instead of collecting something, you can start a hobby that gives you a finished product right away. These hobbies usually entail creating something out of just a few ingredients. From cooking to DIY projects, painting or any other form of creating that speaks to you, there are limitless options to choose from.
You may choose to opt for something that lasts, like fashion instead of baking, so you can always look at your results when you need an extra boost of motivation and self-confidence.
One great option for this unusual self-care practice is learning to sew your own clothing. You can create everything from daily wear to formal wear. If you’re particularly geeky, you can use your newfound sewing skills to make cosplay costumes for your local upcoming comic-con.
Or try traditional or digital art if you don’t feel like working with your hands as much. After a few hours of working on a piece, you’ll have a finished or near-finished product you can display in your surroundings proudly.
7. Optimize Your Sleep Hygiene
One of the best things – and one of our favorite unusual self-care practices – you can do for yourself is to prepare your bedroom for a better night of sleep. Following the right sleep hygiene guidelines can absolutely transform your life. Try a different alarm clock, like one that wakes you up using gradual light to mimic your circadian rhythm.
You could also use blackout curtains to keep stray lights from entering through the window. Also, try to keep your bedroom cold and furnished with plenty of pillows and blankets to keep you comfortable while you sleep.
It’s not just about making your bedroom comfortable for you to sleep in. You need to make conscious choices throughout the day that might lead to getting better sleep at night.
One way to foster good sleep is to avoid consuming caffeine too close to bedtime, and try to have one hour of no electronics before going to bed.
Invest in Yourself! Try Something New With These Unusual Self-Care Practices
Self-care tips can be found in endless supply, but it might take some time to find exactly what works for you. If getting a facial or treating yourself to a glass of wine have not been effective, it might be time to open your mind to more uncommon methods and treat yourself to one of these unusual self-care practices.
One type of self-care isn’t going to work for you the same way over the years consistently, so it’s okay to experiment with unusual ways to cheer yourself up and make you feel healthier, both mentally and physically.
Try some of these unique ways to drag yourself out of a rut next time you’re feeling down. Remember: no matter how you do it, take care of yourself. Self-care is not optional!
Want more self-care tips? Embody These 30 Self-Care Non-Negotiables for a Calmer You