Feeling stressed, upset, or overwhelmed?
You’re not alone.
In fact, experts estimate that a whopping 70% of Gen Zers exhibit symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Is it any wonder that our Instagram feeds are full of self-care ideas to help us relax, unwind, and recharge?!
It’s why many people have adopted a “self-care Sunday” routine — and you can too!
Keep reading to discover the importance of self-care, as well as 30 happy self-care Sunday ideas you can start using this weekend.
Interested in Self care Sunday ideas? You might also like these…
- 10 Tips to Grow Through What You Go Through
- 100 Quotes on Believing in Yourself
- 10 Tips on How to Encourage Someone
- 150 Encouraging Words for Friends
- 100 Great Quotes About Missing Friends
- 100 Quotes About Smiling Through Pain
- 100 Unforgettable Quotes about Happy Vibes
- 100 Affirmations for Overcoming Anxiety
- 100 Self-Confidence Affirmations
Self-Care 101: Why Does It Matter?
Activist and feminist Audre Lorde once famously said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation.”
Today, the idea of self-care crosses all racial, social, political, and economic boundaries. In a study of 10,000 people across seven different countries, 70% of participants experienced symptoms of burnout in the past year.
Even scarier, 40% of workers believe that burnout is an “inevitable” part of the road to success!
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with working hard and striving to reach your goals. But you can’t help anybody — least of all yourself — if you’re exhausted, stressed, anxious, and burned out all the time.
In fact, you’re sure to be happiest and most successful when you find the right balance between work and the rest of your life.
This is where self-care comes in. It’s all about taking care of your physical, mental, and emotional health to become the best version of yourself.
Self-care involves more than meeting your basic needs for rest and personal hygiene. This may look different for different people, but it should include taking time to connect with:
- The natural world
- Your values
- Your community
- Your culture
- Your loved ones
When you regularly take time to do these things (such as self-care Sundays), you’ll be able to give the best of yourself to your family, your career, and your personal goals.
Does this sound like the balance you’re looking for? Let’s dive into some self-care Sunday ideas to help you take the best possible care of yourself.
30 of the Best Self-Care Sunday Ideas
From morning and evening rituals to adopting healthier habits, here are 30 amazing Sunday self-care ideas to consider.
1. Go for a Walk
So simple, so enjoyable, yet how many of us actually make time to do this on a regular basis? Set aside an hour (or however much time you have available) and take a stroll through a nearby park or along your favourite hiking trail.
2. Create a Special Sunday Ritual
Make Sunday the one day of the week you turn off your alarm clock and let your body wake up naturally. You could also adopt a special breakfast meal (pancakes, anyone?), a special cup of coffee or tea, or another meaningful ritual to look forward to each week.
3. Lounge in Bed
Don’t be in a rush to get up and get going. Sleep in, meditate, write in your journal, read a book, watch a film, pet your dog, or do anything else that makes you feel happy and content. If you end up spending all day in your pyjamas, even better!
4. Diffuse Essential Oils
Bring the spa experience to your home by filling it with the wonderful fragrance of essential oils. Choose a single oil or a blend that makes you feel relaxed, happy, and at peace. Popular options include lavender, sweet orange, cinnamon, lemongrass, sage, or peppermint.
5. Dance Around Your Living Room
Seriously. Put on your favourite song — the one that really gets you pumped up and feeling energised — and dance unabashedly around your house. Bonus points if you sing at the top of your lungs!
6. Unplug (Literally) From the World
Adults in the UK and the US spend an average of 6-7 hours every day online, while South Africans average nearly 11 hours of screen time every day! Too much screen time is detrimental to your eyesight, posture, and mental health, so make self-care Sundays your day to “unplug” and give those devices a rest.
7. Declutter Your Home
Did you know that people who live in cluttered environments are more prone to depression, anxiety, and weight gain? Spend part of your Sundays decluttering different parts of your home (even going one shelf or drawer at a time) and you’re sure to notice a positive boost in your psyche.
8. Write in a Gratitude Journal
Set aside a few minutes each Sunday to reflect on the previous week and write down a few things you were grateful for. It doesn’t have to be monumental or life-changing — it could be something as simple as a beautiful sunrise or a hug from your dear old granny.
9. Get a Massage
It’s not just pampering. Research shows that massage therapy reduces stress hormones while increasing your body’s dopamine and serotonin levels (those are the “feel good” hormones). Treat yourself to a weekly or monthly massage at your favourite spa for the perfect Sunday recharge.
10. Move Your Body
You don’t have to sweat through a long workout at the gym every Sunday (unless, of course, that’s something you really enjoy). At the very least, include some physical movement into your self-care Sunday routine, whether it’s a hike, a bike ride, some yoga stretches, or following along with a workout video on YouTube.
11. Connect With Faraway Friends
Do you have close friends or family members who live across the country or in another part of the world? Make Sunday your day to reconnect with a Zoom chat, game night, or another type of virtual meetup.
12. Work on a Creative Project
Set aside part of your self-care Sundays for a special creative project that you enjoy. The sky’s the limit here — it could be painting, drawing, knitting, sculpting, colouring, writing a novel, or anything else you’ve been working on (or meaning to start).
13. Create a Bedtime Ritual
Think about everything that helps you to relax and then combine those elements into one awesome Sunday bedtime ritual. This might include aromatherapy candles, a hot bath, soothing music, a cup of tea or a glass of wine, or simply snuggling on the couch with your favourite person or pet (or both).
14. Bake Your Favourite Dessert
Why wait for a special occasion to indulge in the things that make you the happiest? Whip up your favourite cake, pie, cookies, or another sweet treat as part of your Sunday self-care routine — just because.
15. Spend Time in Nature
Sunshine and fresh air energise us in ways that we can’t duplicate indoors. Even just sitting in a park surrounded by greenery can be a huge boost to your well-being. Be sure to include some outdoor time in your Sunday recharge, whether it’s visiting a nearby park, lake, beach, or forest.
16. Give to Others
Did you know that helping others is a proven way to boost your own happiness? Find a cause that’s close to your heart and make regular time for it. This could mean volunteering at an animal rescue, visiting a nursing home, donating to a homeless shelter, or sending a surprise gift to someone you love.
17. Boost Your Mood With Hygge
Hygge involves making every room in your home as comfortable and inviting as possible. Adopt this Danish art for yourself by adding soft textures and gentle lighting throughout your home — think fuzzy throw blankets, plush pillows, salt lamps, string lights, scented candles, and faux fur rugs.
18. Have an At-Home Spa Day
If you can’t make it to the spa, this is the next best thing. Stock up on your favourite body products and pamper yourself with options like a face mask, sugar scrub, or a hot oil treatment for your hair. Even something as simple as a fresh coat of polish on your toenails can make you feel like a million bucks!
19. Slow Down & Meditate
Set aside five or ten minutes each day and practice quiet, mindful meditation. Follow along with a guided meditation app or simply sit somewhere quiet and enjoy being alone with your thoughts.
20. Write a Love Letter
When was the last time you composed a handwritten letter for someone you love? Reconnect with a distant friend or relative and share what’s been happening in your life. You could also write and post a love letter to yourself for a midweek pick-me-up.
21. Read (An Actual Book)
Set aside those electronic devices, switch off the television, and pick up a book. You know, the kind with paper pages and a cover. Reading isn’t just enjoyable — it reduces stress, strengthens your brain, and can even lengthen your lifespan!
22. Be a Tourist in Your Hometown
When was the last time you visited a nearby museum, historical site, or tourist attraction? Pretend you’re a tourist for the day and explore some of the cool things to do right in your own backyard.
23. Try Something New
Make Sunday your day to break out of your normal routines. Listen to a new music group, visit a new restaurant in town, try out a new recipe, go see a temporary art exhibit, or watch a documentary featuring something you know nothing about.
24. Play With Your Pet
Did you know that spending time with animals lowers your blood pressure, reduces cortisol, and lessens feelings of loneliness and depression? Carve out some time during your self-care Sunday to play with your cat or take your dog to the park. (If you don’t have a pet of your own, offer to spend time with your friend’s pets instead!)
25. Connect IRL
Another part of your digital detox routine could include getting together with friends in real life. Meet for brunch, hang out at the beach, play your favourite sport, or share a bottle of wine — it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as you’re doing it face to face.
26. Stop Procrastinating
Do you have a long list of things you’ve been putting off? Spend part of the day Sunday ticking those items off your to-do list, perhaps one item per weekend. This will give you a sense of accomplishment that builds and builds with each passing week.
27. Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Nostalgia can be a powerful antidote to burnout, anxiety, and depression. Spend a lazy Sunday looking back through your old photo albums or rewatching some of your favourite childhood movies. You could also embark on an artistic project and make a collage or a scrapbook with that pile of old photographs.
28. Go Green
If you have a garden, get your hands dirty and spend some time working with the soil. Or, if space is limited, add some greenery to your home with some succulents or potted herbs for your kitchen window. You could also treat yourself to a fresh bouquet of flowers (just because).
29. Attend a Local Event
There’s always something happening at the weekend, even in the smallest of towns. Check your local newspaper or online listings for upcoming fairs, festivals, concerts, shows, or other special events. Pencil a few into your calendar and make plans with your friends to attend (or treat yourself to a solo night out).
30. Don’t Overplan Your Day
All these self-care Sunday ideas sound great, but beware of trying to cram too many items into your to-do list! Remember, the ultimate goal is to relax and recharge your batteries, so don’t be afraid to leave some “white space” in your schedule too. This ensures you’ll get the rest you need while also leaving room for fun and spontaneity.
Sunday Recharge: Ready, Set, Rest
So, what will your self-care Sunday look like? Bookmark this list so you’ll always have fresh ideas to choose from.
And remember, taking care of yourself isn’t limited to self-care Sundays. Make it your goal to prioritise self-care every day of the week — your body and mind will thank you for it!
Your self-care routine is a good start, but if you still struggle with negative thoughts and feelings?
Read this post next about how to lift yourself up on those days when you feel like you hate your life.