Self-Care Month II: 30 Gifts To Give Yourself To Try And Stay Sane

Last May, I launched Self-Care Month, four weekly posts to help writers and creators feel better about themselves! And right now, I think we seriously need it.

One of my life philosophies – and one I try my very best to stick to – is that every day you should give yourself a gift. It doesn’t have to be big or extravagant, it doesn’t even have to cost money! But doing something small for yourself every day can go a long way.

Here are 30 ideas to get you through this month’s insanity:

  1. Treat yourself to half an hour with a mug of hot something (chocolate, tea, coffee, take your pick).
  2. Watch a nostalgic movie you haven’t seen in a while. I’m a huge advocate for early/mid 00s Disney Channel Movies.
  3. Eat a pastry! If it’s home-baked, you get the advantage of it being warm and fresh, if it’s store-bought well, hey. You got someone else to make it for you.
  4. Bake! See above.
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  5. Listen to your favorite album of music all the way through from start to finish. Put on headphones or crank it over the speakers, close your eyes, and just listen.
  6. Listen to a guided meditation. Try not to fall asleep.
  7. Watch some trashy TV and with zero shame.
  8. Toast! It may seem silly, but science has proven that toasting your bread creates a chemical reaction that makes you happier. So toast your sandwich and enjoy the warm n’ crispy feelings.
  9. Chocolate, especially dark chocolate, has been proven to improve moods too.
  10. Hot cheese, too.
    (My man Babish made a recipe with all three!)
  11. Find a video game with low chances of dying and something pretty to look at. My favorites are Journey (where players anonymously help each other through puzzles – the soundtrack is sublime!), Everything (which is weird and existential but very chill), and any open-world game you like to explore.
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  12. Try the Kind Words game/app on Steam! Send anonymous letters to other people around the world giving advice and encouragement when people need it the most.
    Note: this is not sponsored content, I just really like this game… thing
  13. Check out the Mom For a Minute subreddit, write a letter to a team of internet moms whenever you need a helping hand.
  14. Create a Pinterest board or ‘like’ a bunch of things on your online store (my Poshmark likes are just… a lot). You get the thrill of shopping without spending anything.
  15. Turn off your phone for just a little bit. Everything can wait.
    After work hours, of course.
  16. Treat yourself to a new (e)Book or read something on your shelf you’ve been meaning to.
  17. Try a tutorial from YouTube (or somewhere else online). There are some excellent art tutorials, baking tutorials, bookbinding tutorials… everything you could want really!
    NOTE: Please PLEASE be careful of your sourcing, many “tutorial” and “lifehack” videos are completely fabricated for views and may be harmful if tried at home. Although the videos of these fails are also excellent entertainment as well.
  18. Give yourself time to reflect and reminisce. Flip through old photos or read some of your old writing.
  19. Eat something you’re not supposed to. Just once! You know, as long as it won’t kill you or something.
  20. Watch a bad movie, something you can seriously laugh to.
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  21. Clean up your space a little. It may seem like a chore more than a gift, but having a neater area is honestly one of the better things you can give to yourself.
  22. Order food out. Have someone else make your dinner. Just stay safe!
  23. Treat yourself to a mini spa night with whatever you have. Pull out those old lotions and such (as long as they haven’t expired of course!) and pamper yourself.
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  24. Play a mindless, classic video game to let your brain unwind. Tetris is never the wrong choice.
  25. Take an extra-long shower or bath. Use some of those special-occasion soaps and shampoos, too!
  26. Light your favorite scented candle or incense for wile you work. Even something as little as a nice scent can really improve your mood.
  27. Reach out to an old friend you haven’t heard from in a while.
  28. Consequently, allow yourself to ignore the people you don’t want to talk to for a while. That’s okay too.
  29. Try a yoga video and stretch your quarantined booty – many studios are streaming now!
  30. Most of all let yourself be unabashedly, unashemedly, unconsciously, and totally happy. And apologize to no one!

Stay tuned for more self-care ideas this month, including the return of Schedenfruedoptimism!

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