Supersonic Self-Care

Tips for Taking Care of Yourself While Taking Care of Others

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health.

Why is it important?

Self-care encourages you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself so that you can transmit the good feelings to others. You cannot give to others what you don't have yourself. While some may misconstrue self-care as selfish, it's far from that. When you pay adequate attention to your well-being, you're not considering your needs alone. You're reinvigorating yourself so that you can be the best version of yourself for the people around you. Everyone around you also benefits from the renewed energy and joy you exhibit.

Build your Self-Care Action Plan

Self-Care activities can be anything you find to be relaxing and rejuvenating. Your needs are different from any other volunteers. Experiment and find what works for you!

What kind of Self-Care do you need today?

Don't know where to start? Try this quiz for personalized suggestions!

Mental Self-Care Ideas and Activities
  • Learn not to feel selfish when you say “no.”

  • Take “should” out of your vocabulary. Stop feeling you “should” be doing things.

  • Take a nap without an alarm clock.

  • Learn more about your local history.

  • Challenge your negative thinking.

  • Take another route to work, or do a routine differently. Develop new neural pathways and keep your brain healthy by mixing up your routine in small ways.

  • Learn how to make a budget and keep track of your money. These money-saving apps can help.

  • Sew, quilt, or crochet something. Engage your hands.

  • Try something new in your living space. Rearrange all of your furniture in a way that makes you more comfortable. When your home “looks” new, you receive constant new stimulus until your mind is completely settled with the new look.

  • Write a limerick or a haiku.

  • Develop an energizing morning ritual​ including this healthy drink.

  • Read fiction for an hour.

  • Find a new hobby, or revisit an old one.

  • Intentionally schedule “me time” on your calendar or planner.

  • Reward yourself for completing small tasks.

  • Learn a new board game you’ve never played, such as chessCarcassonneSettlers of Caatan, or even Game of Thrones.

  • Get some inspiration by reading stories of people who overcame adversity.

  • Buy a coloring book and crayons. Adult coloring is actually good therapy.

  • Goof or play around for five minutes several times throughout your day.

  • Catch up on your favorite blog.

  • Establish and stick to a routine. Your personal routine can be grounding in times when life seems chaotic.

  • Use online tutorials to learn something new (i.e., Photoshop or Excel).

  • Discover your stress indicators, such as mood swings, shortening temper, or feeling drained, overwhelmed, or angry. Use these “warning signs” to let you know you need “me time” and some self-care.

  • Listen to a podcast about a topic that interests you, but you have yet to explore.

  • Declutter your wardrobe. Every month, pick three clothes that you don’t love (or love least) and give them away.

  • Do something spontaneous.

  • If you are going through something, be it an illness or major life change, educate yourself by learning about what you’re facing, what to expect, and where you can get support.

  • Clean up just one small corner of a room in your house. Tidying up can help calm our minds.

  • Learn the basics of a new language.

  • Learn something new. This could be a topic you’ve been interested in but have never taken the time to learn or it could reviewing news/articles related to your career.  (This free daily newsletter can help if you'd like to stay on top of the business world.)

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed, create a plan by listing out your three most important tasks and tackling them first. (See what qualifies as important according to the Eisenhower Matrix.)

  • Unplug from email and social media for an hour.

  • Read a magazine.

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed with too much social interaction, go home. Don't be afraid to cancel plans or say “no.”

  • Unplug from email and social media for an hour.

  • Read a magazine.

  • If you’re feeling overwhelmed with too much social interaction, go home. Don't be afraid to cancel plans or say “no.”

  • If you play an instrument, try learning a song from a genre or artist you don’t usually listen to.

  • Take a mental health day.

  • Do some hardcore nesting and make your home or bedroom as cozy, beautiful, and comforting as possible.

  • Put the dishes away.

  • Fix a small annoyance that’s been bothering you at home.

  • Visit the library or a bookstore. Browse or read at your pleasure. (Check out Blinkist for 10-minute book synopses.)

  • Check your to-do list for something that's been there for ages, and get it done.

  • Declutter a room or a small space and use an app like Decluttr to sell your unwanted electronics.

  • Write a review of a business (restaurant, shop, or even Amazon sales page) you like. Spread some good will and positivity.

  • Develop a relaxing evening ritual.

  • Pick and read a book that’s easy and fun, then give it away, perhaps to a younger person in your life.

  • Make your bed. (See what Navy Seal Admiral McRaven has to say about the importance of making a bed to both your day and your life here.)

  • On days when you lack self-confidence, try on expensive suits and dresses at a local boutique and see how good you look.

  • Work on a jigsaw puzzle.

  • Attend a 12-step or group meeting where support is offered.

  • Listen to a chapter or two from an audiobook.

  • Make a Spotify playlist based on your current mood.

  • Start a journal to record your thoughts and experiences. (Here are 59 journaling ideas.)

  • Forgive others who have hurt you in the past. You could even write them a forgiveness letter.

 
  • Allow yourself to feel and express all of your feelings (in a safe and appropriate environment). For example, if you are angry, go into a private closet and scream, rather than taking it out on your friends or family.

  • Ask three good friends to give your positive feedback. What do they love about you?

  • Dedicate a week to saying only positive things on your favorite social media channel.

  • Learn 4-8-7 breathing.

  • Do one thing today just because it makes you happy.

  • Finish this sentence every day after you wake up: “I love myself because I ___________.”

  • Have a good, long, cathartic cry.

  • Try some mindful exercises to help bring you into the present moment (And here is a course that can teach you a simple 7-minute mindfulness practice.)

  • If you need a good, body-shaking cry, watch sad movies or listen to sad songs.

  • Keep a running list of great things people say about you. Read it when you feel down.

  • Try some adult coloring as a form of anxiety and/or stress release. This can also serve to help you focus, be more mindful, and perhaps spark some creativity.

  • Look at yourself in the mirror and imagine that you’re your best friend. What would you tell you right now?

  • Define only three daily goals. This makes goals achievable, while also allowing for normal “emergencies” at work that might take up your time.

  • Recite some self-love affirmations.

  • Need help coming up with new ideas? Create an inspirational collage and hang it in your workspace.

  • Read some feel-good poetry.

  • Remind yourself of the good stuff in life by writing a list of things you’re grateful to have. Then post it somewhere you can see it often to help refocus your emotions when you feel down.

  • Revisit happier times by reading old emails, letters, or postcards from friends and family.

  • Give. Do it unconditionally, and with no strings attached. See how good it feels to help others without expecting reciprocation.

  • Set photos of your loved ones as the wallpaper of your phone or laptop so you can look at them when you need inspiration.

  • Take a moment to name your emotions without judging them.

  • Stop being your harshest critic. Allow yourself to make mistakes. No one is perfect. Realize this means you too!

  • Tell your pet all of your darkest secrets. Your pet's nonchalance will remind you that you’re going to be okay.

  • Unfollow or mute toxic “friends” in your social media feeds.

  • Tap into your creative side. Use painting or another creative art to release your fear, anxiety, anger, and frustration on paper.

  • Use 15 minutes to write out your thoughts about anything bothering you. Then burn or throw away the paper.

  • Remove any equipment or appliances that make you feel bad about yourself, such as the bathroom scale.

  • Clean up your work area. (Many people find a clean and neat work area to be cathartic.)

  • Write encouraging affirmations or inspirational quotes on Post-its and place them where you will see them every day.

Emotional Self-Care Ideas and Activities
 
  • Commit to attending a free martial arts class.

  • Get up out of your chair and dance to your favorite upbeat song.

  • Do some stretching exercises.

  • Do some Pilates.

  • Do some quick, deep breathing exercises.

  • Do the two-minute walking exercise.

  • Do yoga. (We like this course.)

  • Drink more water.

  • Exhaust yourself physically. Do whatever helps you feel fatigued.

  • Get a massage.

  • Go out and spend 10 minutes under the sun.

  • Go for a bike ride to nowhere in particular.

  • Go hiking, camping, or backpacking and spend some time in nature.

  • Go kayaking or canoeing with a friend.

  • Go swim for fun.

  • Go to bed early. 

  • Go up and down the stairs three times.

  • Join a walking group in the neighborhood.

  • Know and use your self-soothing activities, like stroking your arm or leg, petting a dog, or sipping hot tea.

  • Know your body intimately. Use a mirror and get to know your naked self. Remember: no judgment.

  • Play some basketball (even if you don't know how).

  • Scream, pound pillows, tear up paper, or shake your body to move the energy out.

  • Sleep in. Life can be hectic. Sometimes you need to just dump your schedule and go ahead and rest.

  • Slow dance for 30 minutes.

  • Roll it out. The benefits of foam rollers on the body are big. They stretch your muscles and give myofascial release to your body, which allows contracted muscles to relax, improving blood and nutrient flow to the area. This speeds healing and muscle regrowth, and just makes you feel awesome.

  • Take a long shower, dry your hair, and put on clothes that make you feel good.

  • Take a quick nap. Limit it to 10 to 20 minutes.

  • Try acupuncture.

  • Walk the dog.

  • Walk on the beach.

Physical Self-Care Ideas and Activities
 
  • Go on a two-day holiday for the weekend.

  • Allow yourself to fantasize and daydream.

  • Attend a local high school sporting event.

  • Bake something just for fun.

  • Book a night in a fancy hotel. Take a bubble bath. Get room service. Relax.

  • Build something with Legos.

  • Buy a fun treat when grocery shopping.

  • Buy some flowers that delight you.

  • Cook a fancy meal.  ​​

  • Create a piece of art. It could be a poem, song, or painting.

  • Eat your favorite comfort foods.

  • Get a massage.

  • Give yourself a long bubble bath.

  • Give yourself a manicure.

  • Give yourself a pedicure.

  • Throw away old, stretched-out underwear and socks. Replace them with sexy new versions.

  • Go out to see a movie at your favorite theater, all by yourself.

  • Call an old friend on Facebook, and discuss old times.

  • Go to a comedy club.

  • Go to an antique shop or a museum.

  • Go to the farmer’s market.

  • Splurge on expensive skin care products.

  • Go wine tasting.

  • Walk someplace with a nice view of the sunset.

  • Have a beer at a cozy bar.

  • Have fun with nail art.

  • Order in dinner.

  • Plan out an extravagant vacation for fun. (You don’t need to follow through. Planning is where the fun is.)

  • Put on a homemade face mask.

  • Read comic strips that you enjoy.

  • Hire someone to clean your house.

  • Read some inspirational quotes.

  • Revisit your favorite books from childhood.

  • Sing at the top of your lungs.

  • Sit in a coffee shop or on a park bench and people watch.

  • Sleep in a couple of extra hours over the weekend.

  • Try sober karaoke.

  • Start a blog and write absolutely anything.

  • Style your hair differently.

  • Swing on a swing set.

  • Light candles around the house.

  • Use aromatherapy.

  • Enjoy a home spa. Take a long, hot bath, light a candle, and pamper yourself.

  • Take a leisurely walk at the park or around your neighborhood.

  • Treat yourself. Spend a little money and buy a small luxury.

  • Visit a hot spring.

  • Watch a chick flick.

  • Watch a couple episodes of your favorite sitcom.

  • Watch funny Youtube videos.

  • Allow yourself a “Netflix day”

  • Get a foot massage.

  • Get a head massage.

  • Get a back massage.

  • Get a facial.

  • Exfoliate your skin with a good body scrub.

  • Watch old Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood videos online.

  • Watch or listen to your favorite comedy podcasts.

  • Watch your favorite classic films.

  • Wear a dress that makes you feel great.

  • Wrap yourself up in a cozy blanket and sip a cup of hot tea while reading a book.

Pampering Self-Care Ideas and Activities
 
  • Color some adult coloring books.

  • Create a playlist of songs that soothe and calm you.

  • Do some gardening. Dig your hands into the dirt and enjoy the feeling.

  • Find a shop with tea, coffee, or spices and enjoy the free smells for a while.

  • Go to an art museum.

  • Lie down on the ground for a few minutes.

  • Light a candle in a dark room and sit in silence.

  • Listen to meditative sounds, such as monks chanting or nature sounds.

  • Listen to songs that remind you of happier times.

  • Look at the stars.

  • Make yourself a fancy coffee drink.

  • Put up some Christmas lights in your bedroom.

  • Take pictures of anything that catches your eye outside your home or in a public space.

  • Buy an essential oil diffuser and try aromatherapy using essential oils.

  • Turn down the lights, sit down, stare into space, and do absolutely nothing.

  • Watch some autonomous sensory meridian response videos to help you calm down and fall asleep.

  • Watch the clouds.

  • Watch the sun rise or set.

Sensory Self-Care Ideas and Activities
 
  • Accompany a friend or family member while they run errands or attend events.

  • Ask for help. Let people know you need some help.

  • Ask friends and family to remind you that things will be OK, and that what you’re feeling is temporary.

  • Call a friend or family member you care about, just to say hi.

  • Call a trusted friend or family member and talk things out.

  • Choose who you spend your time with today. Spend time with people who are enthusiastic and positive.

  • Converse positively with someone in customer service.

  • Cuddle someone or something. Don't be afraid to ask for it!

  • Dress your pet in a silly costume and show them around to make others smile.

  • Go out in public and be around other people. Engaging is optional.

  • Tell someone near you what you appreciate or like about them.

  • Have a picnic with family or friends.

  • Host a family movie night over the weekend.

  • Intentionally reconnect with someone you’ve lost touch with or have unresolved conflict with.

  • Join a support group for people who are going through what you’re going through.

  • Join and attend a support group meeting. Share and listen.

  • Leave a funny voicemail for someone you care about.

  • Make cookies or brownies and give them away to a neighbor, family member, friend, or even strangers.

  • Post some dorky #ThrowbackThursday pictures of you from childhood and ask friends to do the same.

  • Schedule a regular date night with your significant other.

  • Seek out models of inspiration and read their stories.

  • Send a surprise care package to someone you love.

  • Send a letter or a postcard to someone far away.

  • Share a kind smile with strangers on your way to and from work.

  • Sit down and start a genuine conversation with a trusted friend or family member about things that are going well, things you’re having a hard time with, or things you are grateful for.

  • Take a family member out to lunch.

  • Take a road trip with your siblings.

  • Take your dog or a friend's dog for a walk.

  • Talk to a stranger at the bus stop.

Social Self-Care Ideas and Activities
 
  • Attend a church or spiritual community service.

  • Make time for meditation in your day.

  • Do a 10-minute body scan technique to check in with each part of your body.

  • Do several one-minute body awareness meditations throughout the day.

  • Do several one-minute breathing meditations throughout the day.

  • Do several one-minute thought awareness meditations throughout the day to check in with your feelings and emotions.

  • Do something nice for someone in secret.

  • Donate money to a charity of your choosing. 

  • Help someone in some way. Open a door, carry a bag, or feed someone's parking meter.

  • Intentionally find five unexpected beautiful things on your way to work.

  • Pay mindful attention to the things you do during your morning and evening routine.

  • Practice relaxation techniques.

  • Pray.

  • Read some spiritual literature.

  • Share with someone less fortunate, be it some extra lunch or clothes you no longer want.

  • Memorize passages from the Bible (or any spiritual or religious text).

  • Sit somewhere green and be still and quiet for a few minutes.

  • Soften your expectations of you and others.

  • Take a break from social media by deleting or deactivating it.

  • “Turn the other cheek” and be the better person when you disagree with someone.

  • Vent by freewriting in a journal or a Google doc.

  • Empathize. Try to understand why others think, feel, and react differently. Put yourself in their shoes and see how you would feel about their actions.

  • Visit or volunteer at your local animal rescue.

  • Try random acts of kindness.

  • What are you good at? Find an opportunity to use that strength today.
     

Spiritual Self-Care Ideas and Activities
 
 

ABOUT US >

MyRide TN Southeast provides volunteer assisted transportation to essential appointments for adults ages 60 and older that are able to walk independently or with a walker or cane. Volunteer drivers are well-screened, background checked, and trained to provide door-through-door customized assistance. Rides are affordable and adaptable to the needs of the rider. Riders must complete a short screening process and application to begin scheduling rides.

 

Volunteering is simple and flexible enough to meet a busy schedule. Drivers are required to take at least one trip a month (which is a maximum of three hours). Volunteers must be 21+, have a clean, well-maintained vehicle, complete a background check, and attend a training session. Other types of volunteer opportunities may be available as well.

 

For more information or to apply to Ride or Volunteer, please call (423) 424-4201 or email MyRide@sedev.org

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CONTACT >

T: 423-424-4201

C: 424-779-2563

E: MyRide@sedev.org

The funding for this project was provided through a grant awarded by the Davidson County Chancery Court, Part III from the Senior Trust/Elder Trust settlement (Case No. 11-1548-III) and through a contract administered by the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.