If you haven’t already signed up for self care Sundays, you’re doing Sundays wrong, my friend! Worry not, I’ve got plenty of self care Sunday ideas that you can incorporate into your schedule when the weekend rolls around next!
I don’t know about you, but Sundays are usually really sacred days in my dictionary. It’s definitely a day for me to unwind and relax, and at the same time, set myself up for a productive week ahead. The unwinding and relaxing part is where my usual Sunday self care practice comes in.
If you’re reading this, I am hoping you’re already on board the self care train and that you appreciate the value of a self care practice. But if you’re a total self care newbie, here’s a quick primer for you:
What Does Self Care Mean?
In the simplest of terms, self care is anything that you do with intention to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. It’s a fairly broad term and can mean different things to different people. It can look like working out for an hour every day or catching up with your best friends over lunch, or meeting with a therapist.
Why Self Care is Important
A car without gas or fuel can run on empty only for so long. You are the car. Your mind, body, and soul are the fuel in this example. If you feel depleted from the inside, it’s going to be that much more difficult for you to take care of anyone else. Be it your family, your work, your business, any social commitments.
When you feel good about yourself, you’re that much more inclined to pass on those good vibes to others. And what is self care, if not the act of being good to yourself?
From personal experience, I know that when I feel like shit about myself, I tend to be more impatient and irritable with others. I’ve had to work hard to get to a mental space where I’ve finally that accepted both self love and self care are crucial aspects of my own happiness.
What is a Good Self Care Routine?
There is a really no right or wrong way to practice self care. Because it does not mean the same thing to everyone, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to self care.
I like to think of self care as treat yo self, but with an added dose of mindfulness. I mean, yesssss, eating your way through a big box of doughnuts every single day would definitely tick off the “treat yo self” box, but can you even imagine the havoc you’re wrecking on your health!
Also, your self care routine can vary depending on the season of your life. A new mom’s self care routine would likely be quite different from that of a young, fresh college graduate! But no matter what season of life you’re in, you need to remember that a) self care isn’t selfish, and b) you can practice self care even on the busiest of days.
READ MORE: Self Care Ideas for Busy Days
Now that we’ve got the basics out of the way, let’s get to one of my most favorite things ever – self care Sundays! I’ve rounded up some 31 self care activities that you can incorporate into your routine starting this Sunday. There is a good mix of ideas to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional health. And they range from taking just a few minutes all the way up to a few hours!
You don’t have to do all these things every single Sunday. Pick a couple of these self care activities depending on what you need the most on that day.
Also, here’s a little cheat code for you: you don’t have to wait for a Sunday to try these out! Feel free to try these out on any given day. :P
31 Self Care Sunday Ideas for You to Try
1| DON’T RUSH YOUR MORNING WAKEUP
Uggghhh. I hate rushed mornings on any day, and most definitely on a Sunday. Whether or not you’ve already mastered a relaxing morning routine, you can always plan for a slow-ish Sunday morning wakeup.
Don’t snooze your alarm multiple times (maybe, skip the alarm in the first place!). Don’t wake up and rush your to-do for the day. Instead, take a few moments to breathe mindfully. Savor a cup of tea or warm water before you tackle your morning chores.
Sunday is a day of rest. Treat your morning with the same intent.
2| SPEND SOME TIME BY YOURSELF
I am the biggest advocate of alone time, and that’s probably the hard-core introvert in me talking. But introvert or not, I think everyone can benefit from a few moments of alone time. It can recharge you and allow you to make room for some quiet contemplation, or a few moments of doing nothing at all.
3| MOVE YOUR BODY
You don’t have to make it a sweaty exercise session if you don’t want to, but be sure to add in some gentle movements into your day. Maybe try some mobility exercises, or a yoga session, or dance it out. And yes, you can totally opt for a power-packed HIIT session if that’s what you need to do. :)
4| SPEND SOME TIME IN NATURE
I am pretty sure that you already know how great spending time in nature can be for your mental health! At its hardcore best, this could mean going out on a hike or some outdoor adventure. Orrrrr, if you’re more like me, you can opt for a walk around the nearby park, or perhaps, even an hour pottering around your balcony garden!
5| GET LOST IN THE PAGES OF A BOOK
What could be better than a Sunday spent curled up with a book in that comfy, oversized armchair by the window? Pick up a cozy romance novel, or the latest in a YA fantasy series, or one of these short novels that you can finish in less than 24 hours. Let the books work their magic and transport you away to another world!
6| CREATE A RITUAL AROUND AN EVERYDAY ACTIVITY
Take an everyday activity and elevate it by creating a ritual around it. How about making a rule of having pancakes for breakfast on Sundays? Or, reserving a special cup for your Sunday morning coffee? Or, maybe even making Sunday dinner a savored family tradition?
There are so many possibilities with this but focus on adding a sense of fun, charm, or quaintness to something that you would do in any case, to make a Sunday special that you look forward to.
7| HAVE A PROPER PAMPER SKIN CARE ROUTINE
Instead of rushing through your skin care routine like perhaps every other day, use your Sunday to have a proper pamper session. Put on your favorite face mask. Do some dry brushing. Exfoliate your skin. Slather on that decadent moisturizer. And revel in the pleasure of taking care of your skin.
8| SHOW YOUR HAIR SOME TLC
And while we’re on the topic of pampering yourself, don’t forget your tresses. Haircare often ends up becoming an afterthought, but as my current tryst with crazy hair fall is reminding me, it’s just as important as skin care!
9| HAVE A SPA DAY
If you’ve got time and money to spare, how about booking yourself for a relaxing massage at your favorite spa. Or, you could even hire a massage therapist to visit you at home!
10| GET A MANICURE & PEDICURE
If getting a full-fledged massage seems like a bit much at the moment, how about a manicure & pedicure at your favorite salon? You could even get some girlfriends together and make an event out of it!
11| DIG INTO A NEW TV SHOW OR DOCUMENTARY
Of course, there has to be some room for Netflix and chill on a self care Sunday, don’t you think? My latest Netflix indulgence was Emily in Paris, and while it’s not faultless, it’s set in Paris, the fashion is delightful, and the storyline is fine enough. What more do you need for a Sunday binge watch?
12| PRACTICE SOME SELF LOVE AFFIRMATIONS
Because self love is self care, and we could all do with some positive affirmations every once in a while.
READ MORE: 30 Empowering Self Love Affirmations
13| JOURNAL YOUR THOUGHTS
Yes, yes, I am a broken record by now, but seriously, journaling is really as great as it is made out to be! You can use it as a record of your day-to-day, to practice mindfulness, or even to know yourself better!
PS – The 5 Minute Journal is a great guided journal notebook to begin with.
14| CATCH UP WITH FAMILY/FRIENDS
Self care does not have to mean solo activities. Catching up with people you love and whose company you enjoy is a great way to incorporate some social time into your self care routine.
15| MAKE A PLAN FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
File this under adulting things that are good for you! Making a proactive plan for the week ahead, or at least knowing what your schedule looks like will give a sense of control, which can prevent you from flying blind!
PS – A simplistic weekly planner
16| MEAL PLAN
Yet another thing to file under adulting things that are good for you. Meal planning can take a lot of the guesswork out of your eating plans, and consequently, help you stay on track with your nutrition objectives.
And yes, I know it can take up time, so maybe instead of doing everything on Sunday, you could break it up over the weekend. Perhaps, buy your produce & groceries on Saturday, and some actual prep/cooking on Sunday.
17| COOK OR BAKE SOMETHING DECADENT
There’s got to be some room for enjoyment in your eating plan! And no, I am not telling you to bake a full-sized cake to eat by yourself every Sunday, but how about a mug cake? Or perhaps, try out that delicious family heirloom recipe. The idea is to indulge your taste buds, but maybe don’t go all cray cray!
18| DO SOMETHING CREATIVE
Sunday is the perfect time to make room for some creative hobbies that you otherwise may not get the time for during the week. Bust out your inner Picasso, or Chopin, or Ansel Adams, and see how your skills improve over time!
19| CLEAN OUT AN AREA OF YOUR HOUSE
Nothing screams adulting more than doing a proper clean-out of your house. A clean space is definitely a form of self care, but since it’s a Sunday, perhaps restrict yourself to a small, manageable area. Or, if going full Monica literally speaks to your heart, then go all out and spruce up your entire house over the course of the Sunday. You do you! :)
20| EAT SOMETHING HEALTHY
If you’ve been indulging in way more junk food than usual, perhaps give your body the break that it needs and feed it something nutritious for a change! Your overall health will thank you for it.
21| TRY SOMETHING NEW
Switch up things a bit. Make it as small or as big as you have the ability to. Listen to a new-to-you artist. Check out a new restaurant in town. Watch a YouTube video on something that is completely different from your usual fare. A little bit of experimentation is always good for your mind and heart!
22| EXPLORE YOUR TOWN/CITY
Be a tourist in your city. Visit that museum you’ve always dreamed of going to. Check out a new-to-you neighborhood. Go on a walking tour. Even if you’ve spent forever and more in your town/city, there could still be places which you’ve never ventured out to before.
23| GET PROPER SLEEP
If you’re not getting proper sleep at least on Sundays, you’re doing life wrong. Unless you’re a new mom (or dad!). In that case, please ignore what I just said, and get whatever sleep you can get!
24| DO A FULL DAY, OR A MINI DIGITAL DETOX
Been spending too much time on your phone lately? I am not judging (because that would mean judging myself!) but we could all do with a little digital detox. If the thought of staying away from your phone the whole day sends you into a mental tailspin, give yourself at least a few hours off your phone this Sunday, and see how that feels.
25| HAVE SOME WHITE SPACE IN YOUR SCHEDULE
Don’t over-plan your Sunday or any other day for that matter. Leave some room in your schedule for spontaneity and frankly, just some breathing space!
26| DO SOMETHING YOU’VE BEEN PUTTING OFF
I almost always have something on my list that I’ve put off forever, and yet it stays on my mind, like a reminder of all the things that I am failing at. Don’t be like me. Tackle one thing that you’ve been putting off and be proud of yourself!
27| BUY YOURSELF SOME FLOWERS
28| LISTEN TO AN INSPIRING PODCAST
I’ve mentioned this a few times now, but really podcasts have been my favourite lockdown discovery. These days, I am loving the content from Practical Positivity, Earn Your Happy, and Mark Groves Podcast. Give them a listen for a little dose of inspiration on Sunday.
CHECK OUT: 9 Podcasts Worth Listening To
29| PRACTICE SOME STILLNESS
I’ll admit, this is a difficult one for me! Having said that, whenever I am able to meditate for even a few minutes, it’s made a huge impact to my sense of mental peace. So yes, meditation works, and it would be the best kind of self care activity if you can make it a regular practice.
30| DO SOME FUTURE PLANNING
Whether you’ve made yourself a vision board or not, you can always spend some time on a Sunday thinking about your vision for your life. Think of it as a weekly check in with your dreams. Ask yourself if how you’re spending your time these days is in alignment with the vision that you have for your life. Reflect deeply about how you want your life to look like in a year’s time. Spend some time getting excited about your hopes and dreams, and let that excitement recharge your soul.
31| LAUGH OUT LOUD
Because what would be a Sunday without some light-hearted moments!
I hope this list of self care activities has given you a fair sense of what you can include in your next self care Sunday. Use this list of self care Sunday ideas to create your personal Sunday routine, and I hope it gives you a sense of deep fulfillment!
I’d love to hear from you – do you have any more ideas to add to this list, and what does your perfect self care Sunday look like? Let me know in the comments below!