back to top

19 Tiny Self-Care Tips To Try Out

Small ways to feel a little better.

Posted on

We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales from the links on this page.

I’ve been bringing you weekly guides for self-care for almost a year now.

Rebecca Hendin / Getty Images / BuzzFeed

The response has been amazing – every week I get tweets and emails about this column, and it has been so lovely to read them.

Advertisement

So here's a collection of the easiest small changes you can make – they all take under 10 minutes.

Natalya Lobanova

Some of these may work for you, some may not. But what I've learned is that there's no one true way to look after yourself – it's about what feels right for *you*.

1. Relax with rain sounds.

instagram.com

I love RainyMood for some soothing white noise. You can download it as an app, but I like to just have it open in a tab.

2. Put pressure on period cramps.

Facebook: video.php

3. Try scent therapy.

Neal's Yard

Look, maybe this isn't for you, and I appreciate that. But my friend and colleague Emma writes:

"If you don't buy into this, that's cool, but I am 👏 here 👏 for 👏 aromatherapy👏 .

I always carry around an essential-oil rollerball in my purse to rub on my pulse points, I'm a huge fan of candles and scented baths, and I also use a pillow spray to help me sleep. Maybe I'm just a creature of luxury, but there's something about the ritual of all these things, and taking the time to focus on lighting a candle or running a bath, that I find intensely relaxing – as well as the actual smell of it."

You can read more of Emma's tips here: 13 Little Ways I Deal With My Anxiety

4. Try meditating.

instagram.com

Let me preface. Meditation and reflection looks different for everyone, and for some people, it's just not what they need. And that's OK! I've used lots of different apps, to varying success, but what's working for me at the moment is standing over the seeds that I'm growing on my windowsill, watching them slowly unfurl which I have my morning coffee.

Advertisement

5. Make your Instagram account a soothing space.

Ailbhe Malone

You may have noticed the "save" function on Instagram – if you're like me, you have accidentally saved some odd photos, due to fat thumbs and pocket-fumbles. But I've been using "save" to hang onto my absolute favourite dog pictures, meaning that if I'm feeling blue, there are many boops and woofs waiting for me, only a second away.

6. Lose yourself in your work.

Loryn Brantz/ BuzzFeed

This article in the New York Times makes a fantastic point that a) not everyone has the luxury of being able to take long baths in the name of self-care (if that works for you, go for it!), and b) some anxious brains find succour in business rather than rest.

"Chilling out just doesn’t work for me the way work does. I’ve never found a relaxation technique that relaxed me. I like yoga, but when it’s time to lie still in corpse pose my brain always starts to spin. Give me too many empty hours and I’ll see, if not women in the wallpaper, then danger around every corner — bankruptcy in my computer and death in the fridge.

"Far better for me to put my mind to use. The psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi coined the term 'flow' for the state of 'being completely involved in an activity for its own sake.' In a state of flow, he says, 'the ego falls away.' This is the best description I’ve come across for the feeling I have when I’m immersed in writing or reporting. I remember finishing a daylong project in Iowa City last year, ahead of the Iowa caucus, and realizing that all the worries that had entered the city with me had been pushed aside by the voices of the people I talked to, by the process of fitting them all together. To work, for me, is to care for the self by putting the self aside."

Follow the author, Anna North, on Twitter.

7. Write a note to yourself, reminding you of the good you have done.

Natalya Lobanova/ BuzzFeed

The next time someone sincerely thanks you for something, or you feel proud of yourself, write it down. You write down groceries in your notes on your phone so as not to forget them. Why not write down things that make you feel good too?

8. Try this interactive mindfulness book.

Ailbhe Malone/BuzzFeed

I'm sorry for the bad picture above, but I wanted to show you how this book works. The phrase "interactive mindfulness" initially made me roll my eyes, but this book is really neat. It's called Here and Now: An Interactive Mindfulness Book.

It's got activities that make you switch off, and really engage – without the enforced solitude that turns me off mindfulness apps (does that make sense?). For example, on the page I've photographed, there's an illustration of a jar of water, and you have to shake the book and wait for the water to "settle".

It's only £5.59 on Amazon.

Advertisement

10. Take care of your skin.

@sassycurmudgeon

This tip comes via commenter maegann:

"My suggestion is to take 10 minutes before bed every night (for a week at least) to put body lotion on. While doing it, try to be really intentional about it, focusing on having positive and affirming thoughts about your body. It’s a small act of self-love, but it will make your skin feel really soft while also giving your brain a mindfulness break by focusing in on the 'here and now'. It’s a great way to prepare for bed and you might notice how good your skin/body feels after just a few days."

Not sure where to start? This article is useful: 13 Products That Will Help You Start Your Skincare Routine

11. Manage your expectations from both sides.

Adam Ellis/BuzzFeed

Self-care is important for everyone – not just people who are dealing with mental health issues firsthand. Speaking from personal experience, it's often just as hard on loved ones as it is on the person who is ill.

Maggy writes: " While your friend might be going through a difficult time, make sure you’re not neglecting your own wellbeing. Focus on being well rested and make sure you have someone else you can vent to. Also pay close attention to your body. If you feel yourself getting ill or over-stressed it may be time to take a break.

"Being there for someone with a mental health condition can be emotionally draining, especially if you feel guilty for all the times you’re not there, when you’re busy with something else. Remember there’s only so much you can do. You can support them every step of the way, but your friend has to do a lot of the hard work themselves."

12. Try a pillow spray.

instagram.com

My favourite part of going to sleep is luxuriously spraying my pillow and sheets with a calming scent. I've tried plenty, but I especially like L'Occitane Relaxing Pillow Mist (£18 for a huge bottle), This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray (£16 for a decent-sized bottle) and Costwold Lavender Slumber Spray (£7.25). You don't have to buy a *specific* sleep spray – I've also used ironing water/linen spray as well. The main thing is that you enjoy the scent.

13. Find your well.

Flo Perry/ BuzzFeed

This piece focuses on ways Muslims can feel just a little more OK right now (which is good, and useful!) but this point is relevant to all:

"Rashad says to ask yourself, 'Where do I go to feel nourished and affirmed? To feel understood?' Maybe it’s a friend who always makes you laugh, someone who texts you loving things, a conversation with your mom, being in nature, meditation, prayer, or even watching a video of your adorable baby cousin. Just make sure you know what your well is and that you go there often, using it as a chance to take a moment to breathe and gather your strength."

14. Try an old-school puzzle.

Ailbhe Malone

I've taken to carrying a little book of crosswords in my handbag. I do one in the morning on the train to work, and one on the way home. If I'm having a creative block at work, or I need a couple of minutes to myself, I try and bash out a few clues too.

Focusing on a logic problem with a finite solution (and a solutions page at the back!) is very reassuring.

Advertisement

16. Flip your perspective.

Flo Perry/ BuzzFeed

Commenter George suggests: "What I find helps is when I’m being hard on myself I imagine it’s one of my friends in the same situation and I try to imagine how I would react to them (usually a lot nicer) and then duplicate it on myself."

17. Take pleasure in the achievements of others.

tfw your friends are all doing so well and you support them and enjoy their achievements like they are your own

The greatest thing I have learned is to be proud – not envious – of my friends. It is so wonderful to be able to feel happy for somebody else's successes, and to know they are feeling the same thing for you when you do well.

18. Write down a compliment you get.

Zoe Burnett/ BuzzFeed

Sometimes it's hard to remember the nice things that people have said to you. So now, when I get a compliment, I write it down in my notes on my phone. That way when I'm feeling unsure of myself, it's easy to access.

19. Call your person.

Michael Hinson/ BuzzFeed

Anna writes: "Maybe for you, that means calling your parents to check in and get an instant pep talk or maybe it’s your best friend from college. Or maybe it’s just a friend down the street you don’t see enough because of your busy schedule. It doesn’t even have to be a long phone call — just say hi when you have a free five minutes so your day is a little brighter."

Comment below or @ me with your suggestions for easy self-care tips and you could feature in the next edition!

Every. Tasty. Video. EVER. The new Tasty app is here!

Dismiss