Over the last decade as society has made strides toward reducing the stigma around mental health, the term “self-care” has grown in popularity.

While people have differing opinions on what is considered self-care, in general it can be thought of as any practice that promotes our wellness and health.

Oftentimes when we think of self-care, we think of big and sometimes costly practices, such as travel, or a spa day, but self-care can also be small, free practices that take 30 minutes a day or less to complete.

If self-care is something you have struggled to make time for in the past, I suggest blocking time in your schedule to focus on the practice. This can be as simple as adding an event to your calendar on your phone or writing it down on a weekly planner kept in a place you see often (fridge, desk, etc.).

Here is a list of simple and free or low-cost self-care practices that can be easily integrated into your daily routine:

  • Read a book
  • Create / listen to a playlist of favorite songs
  • Go for a walk
  • Meditate (Insight Timer is a great free app for beginners)
  • Color, paint, arts & crafts
  • Call a support person
  • Journal
  • Make a gratitude list
  • Watch / listen to a motivational video on YouTube
  • Cook your favorite meal
  • Take a bath
  • Breathing exercises
  • Make a vision board
  • Exercise
  • Take a break from social media
  • Watch a show / movie that makes you laugh
  • Make a list of affirmations – post on your fridge or mirror & repeat daily
  • Stretch / practice yoga
  • Put your phone on do not disturb
  • Explore upcoming free events in your area on Meetup.com

About Austin Oaks Hospital

Austin Oaks Hospital offers a continuum of psychiatric services for children and adolescents, ages 12-17, and for adults, age 18 and older. We also provide a women’s wellness program that feature inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment exclusively for women.

To schedule a no-cost assessment or for more information, please call 512-440-4800 or contact us online.