Everyday life can often get stressful. Our busy lives make it difficult to find quality time to spend with friends and family. This terrific list of self-care practices is perfect for kids, teens, and adults alike. Learn all about emotional self-care, how it impacts physical health, and ways to improve your quality of life! Whether it’s making time for regular exercise or talking about the dangers of toxic relationships, this comprehensive list provides activities that you and your kids can enjoy every day of the year!

1. Take A Bath

Relax in a bubble bath! Spending time in the tub is a soothing way to wash away the stress of a hectic life. Add some essential oils or use scented bubbles for a touch of aromatherapy relaxation.

Learn more: Brighter Future Indiana

2. Listen To Music

Get groovy and rock out to your favorite band! Listening to music is a helpful strategy for coping with complex emotions and taking a mental break from the day. Listen to soothing pianos to relax or dance along to a bouncy, bright pop song for some physical exercise.  

Learn more: Brighter Future Indiana

3. Explore Nature

Spending time in nature is an excellent way to boost your kids’ moods and get them moving! Studies have shown that getting some fresh air is an easy and efficient way to lower stress and release endorphins.

Learn More: Many Little Joys

4. Journaling

Journaling is an easy way to do a self-care checkup. Taking time to reflect on the events of everyday life and how your kids reacted is important for their mental health. Ask them if they feel comfortable sharing their journals to help craft a personalized self-care plan.

Learn more: Teacher Blog

5. Watch Your Favorite Show

It’s ok to take a break and let your kids binge-watch their favorite TV shows! Not doing anything helps us recharge and de-stress. It’s also a great way to spend time with family and create special memories to record in gratitude journals.

Learn More: This Heart of Bliss

6. Cuddle A Stuffed Animal

If your kids have a favorite stuffed animal, encourage them to give it a squeeze if they’re feeling overwhelmed. They can also talk to their stuffed animal to work on positive communication skills they’ll need in their social lives.

Learn more: Pop Sugar

7. Exercise

Physical self-care is essential for maintaining mental health! Adding some exercise to our daily lives gets the endorphins flowing and helps improve our moods. Head outside for an extra boost of Vitamin D and some fresh air.

Learn more: And Next Comes L

8. Blow Bubbles

Blowing bubbles is a great way to get kids focused on their breathing. Deep breathing has been shown to lower blood pressure and improve mental health. It’s a simple and fun way to take a break and enjoy some time outside.

Learn more: And Next Comes L

9. Cook or Bake Together

Human connections are at the center of self-care plans. Take time to connect with your kids by making bread together! It gives you time to talk about stress and other problems that could be affecting your mental health.

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10. Digital Detox

Spending too much time on social media can have a huge negative impact on mental health. Constantly comparing ourselves to others is detrimental to emotional self-care. Prompt your kiddos to take time to disconnect and enjoy living in the moment.

Learn More: Christina Carlyle

11. Guided Meditation

Don’t forget to add spiritual self-care to the well-being agenda. Meditation is a fantastic way to tackle psychological stress, level out emotions, and encourage peace of mind. Guided meditations are perfect for beginners who are looking to try something new!

Learn More: Mindfulmazing

12. Pick Up A Book

Escape into the adventures of your little ones’ favorite characters! Storytime is sure to be a beloved addition to your kids’ self-care strategies. Older kids might enjoy spending time by themselves with their favorite books. During dinner, ask them for an update on their characters’ adventures.  

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13. Get A Massage

Make self-care a priority and schedule a massage! It’s an amazing way to relieve tension from the body and relax. Studies have shown there are a lot of health benefits to regular massages. Research what type of massage is best for your kids’ self-care plan.

Learn More: Healthline

14. Buy A Bouquet  

Everyone loves getting gifts! Treat your kids to a beautiful bouquet of flowers and give their mood a boost. The bright colors and soothing scents will engage their senses and keep them positive and healthy. 

Learn More: Your Sassy Self

15. Develop A Healthy Routine

Practice makes perfect! Self-care routines are an easy way to improve mental and physical health. Guide your kids through developing a self-care routine that they can practice in their daily lives. Create a list of strategies to cope with difficult times and unforeseen events.

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16. Caring For Our Bodies

Physical health is super important to self-care. Whether your kids take a bike ride, dance to their favorite songs, or play a sport, they’ll love getting some exercise. Talk to them about personal hygiene and healthy eating habits too!

Learn more: Community Access Network

17. Take A Class

Improve your kids’ quality of life and increase positive emotions by helping them learn something new! Learning new things is a fantastic way to improve self-esteem and engage littles in social activities to help them form connections with others. 

Learn More: It’s Always Autumn

18. Do A Crossword/Sudoku

Puzzles, crosswords, or sudokus are simple ways to take a break from a hectic day. Mental health professionals agree that breaks are an important part of self-care. Plus, games are also super fun and a great way to learn new things!

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19. Get Some Sleep

Sleep is incredibly important to our mental, emotional, and physical health. Kids need lots of sleep to help them grow! Try establishing a nighttime routine to help your kids wind down from their busy days.

Learn More: What Moms Love

20. Look At Old Photos/Videos

Remember the good times by looking at old photos or watching family videos. Feelings of nostalgia can improve emotional and mental well-being. 

Learn More: Mums Do Travel

21. Make A Calm Down Box

A calm-down box is a simple addition to your kids’ self-care practices. Place soft feathers and pompoms, fidget gadgets, and puffy stickers in a box. Give the box to your kids and explain how they can use the items to relax.

Learn more: Child Savers

22. Leave It At The Door 

Let it go! Learning how to leave negative emotions and experiences at the door is important for our mental health. Work with your kids to create a routine to let go of these experiences. Write a song, make a dance, or say a funny phrase!

Learn more: Child Savers

23. Make The Bed

Sounds easy enough, but a lot of kids hate making their beds! Discuss how making the bed sets a positive tone for the day and how it leads to good decisions all day long! Add it to the top of their self-care activity list.

Learn More: Maintaining Motherhood

24. Face Masks

Face masks are a cool way to take a break from the day while caring for our bodies. There are tons of homemade mask recipes that you and your little one can try out. 

Learn More: Mom Junction

25. What Pushes My Buttons

Help your kids find their emotional triggers. For each button, have them list a feeling or experience that upsets them and an action they can do to counter the negative feelings. Learning to navigate triggers and emotions is an essential part of maintaining mental health.

Learn more: The Connect Group

26. Grounding Activity

This simple worksheet encourages kids to make deliberate choices that will improve their mental, emotional, and physical health. Draw a house with each part representing a part of a self-care routine. Then list activities to do each day!

Learn more: The Connect Group

27. Practice Magic Breathing

Begin your kid’s meditation journeys with magic breathing! Show your little ones how to breath-in deep, then make a whoosh sound while exhaling. Ask them to mimic your technique by breathing along with you. It is an easy practice to get toddlers ready for nap time.

Learn more: Happiest Baby

28. Go For A Family Walk

Spending time with family is an uncomplicated way to boost the entire family’s moods! Not only will you get some exercise, but you can also spend time sharing stories about your days and working together to find solutions to any problems you have.

Learn more: Happiest Baby

29. Allow For Downtime

Take a break! Between school, activities, sports, and music lessons, kids can have a hard time slowing down. Encourage them to take a pause every day and not do anything. Discuss how going non-stop can negatively impact mental and physical health.

Learn more: Growing Kids

30. Positive Messages

Place positive messages on sticky notes around the house to combat negative emotions or self-image issues. When your kids find one, they’ll get a mood boost and an affirmation of how awesome they are! 

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31. Get Silly

Laughter is the best kind of medicine! Getting silly with your kids shows them that it’s ok to make mistakes and not be perfect. Add funny plays or do wacky dances to your list of social activities to do during your kids’ next play date to get them comfortable with being silly.

Learn more: PBS For Parents

32. Drink More Water

Hydration, hydration, hydration! Drinking water is essential for physical self-care. Encourage your kids to keep track of how much water they drink every day. Next time they’re in a bad mood or feeling anxious, ask them when they had some water and offer them a glass.

Learn more: PBS For Parents

33. Volunteer

Helping others releases endorphins and makes us feel happy! Studies have shown that volunteer work or helping friends get through hard times reduces anxiety, stress, and depression. Volunteering also gives us a sense of purpose and meaning that’s important to our overall health.

Learn More: Feisty Green Polka Dot 

34. Art Therapy

Sometimes kids don’t have the words to describe how they’re feeling. Help them explore their emotions or work through problems with friends through art. Offering kids crayons and markers can make tackling their problems seem easier than talking through them with adults.

Learn more: Self

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