When you think of self-care, what comes to mind? Maybe a pampering spa day, or a weekend alone in a fancy hotel? These can be good forms of self-care… but true self-care doesn’t have to cost a thing. Self-care just means finding ways to preserve or improve your own health and wellness, and that practice can vary from person to person. Healthy365 is rounding up some of our favorite free self-care activities that you can use to reduce stress and improve wellness. 

Take a walk or workout in nature

No matter the time of year, a walk or run in nature can be a great way to destress and take some time for yourself. Here in Hancock County, we are lucky to have a number of beautiful parks and nature preserves, so find your favorite one and take a little walk. Exercise boosts your endorphins, and listening to some fun music or an encouraging podcast can improve your well-being too. If you are doing a self-care workout in very cold weather, be sure to check out our winter workout tips

Do some journaling

The benefits of journaling are extensive, including the improvement of your mood, strengthening your immune cells, decreasing your risk of illness, and lowering your blood pressure when you make journaling a daily habit. Working on specific self-care journaling prompts can help improve your wellness as well. You could work on a list of the things you like best about yourself, or create a bucket list for the next year, next decade or your whole lifetime. Along with journaling, getting creative with coloring, drawing or painting can be a great self-care activity too. 

Take a social media break

Social media can be a great tool for learning and connecting with others, but it can also negatively impact our mental health. Comparing our daily lives to other people’s highlight reels on social media can create unrealistic expectations and make you feel unhappy. When you take a social media break for self-care, in addition to improved mood, you may also notice increased productivity and better relationships with family thanks to more quality time. Your social media break could last a few hours, a few days or a few weeks… or could even be a regular daily/weekly habit. 

Declutter and organize your home

This activity is not just free, it could actually make you a little money! Did you know that excess clutter can actually impact your mental health? A messy home can make it more difficult to fully relax or may create feelings of guilt, especially when guests visit. Organizing your home and donating or selling things you no longer use can make your home feeling much more relaxing. For many people, organizing and decluttering can be a form of self-care, but even if it stresses you out, a decluttered home can create new opportunities for self-care afterward. 

Go to bed early (or sleep in)

Are you getting enough sleep each night? Good sleep is crucial for your overall health and well-being. Make it a point to practice self-care by going to bed early (or sleeping in when you can) to get in 7-8 hours of good quality sleep. Getting enough sleep offers benefits like reducing stress, maintaining a healthy weight, a better immune system, lowering risk for diabetes or heart disease, thinking clearly and avoiding injuries from practices like drowsy driving. 

Are you looking for additional ways to improve your overall wellness? Healthy365 is here to connect you with local resources (many times at low or no cost to you) to help you on your wellness journey. Contact our Support Navigators today at 317-468-4231 to learn more about our mission to improve the health of Hancock County residents.