This list of DIY self-care routine comes from Natalie, our Sustainable Materials Manager and Expert in Low-Waste Living.
Self-care takes many forms: Anything that makes you feel alive, reduces stress, supports your well-being, or just sparks a moment of joy. It can be as lengthy as a 40-minute tub soak or as quick as a few deep breaths. And the best part: Practicing self-care can be totally sustainable (and DIY-friendly).
If you're looking for a new self-care routine, start with these top 15 self-care activities (all with a low footprint):
- Make your own rose water. It's soothing, nourishing, and smells great. Once you've made it (spoiler: it's super easy), you can use it to make homemade soaps and fragrances, as a facial mist, in a bath for that extra ahhhh moment, or even for cooking.
- Make DIY face and body scrub using coffee grounds. Combine a zero-waste kitchen hack with a favorite DIY self-care recipe and we're sold. Coffee naturally contains antioxidants, exfoliates, and fights inflammation and redness so this homemade facial scrub packs a punch. Bonus: Put extra scrub in a nice jar and you have a thoughtful self-care gift idea for a friend.
- Treat yourself to a coconut oil hair mask. Spread coconut oil throughout your hair, focusing mostly on the ends (and only the ends if your scalp is naturally oily). Leave in for 30 minutes before you shower and then wash your hair as you would normally. This has been one of our favorite self-care ideas during quarantine, because it uses nothing but a simple pantry ingredient.
- Meditation. One of our favorite forms of self-care, the benefits of meditation are endless. If you're intimidated by even the thought of it, we have good news: There are many different types of meditation, some more advanced than others (and any type of meditation is a plus for your mental health). If you're just looking to dip a toe in, you can gain all the benefits of meditation in as little as three minutes a day. Check out our Beginner's Guide To Meditation to get started on your self-care journey.
- Natural loofa. Swap out your plastic-based loofa for one made out of a veggie (yup, you heard that right). Either grow your own (awesome guide here) or sometimes you can find them at your local Farmer's Market. When it's time to replace, throw your old one in the compost. Yay for nature!
- Take a bath. A basic, but awesome, go-to self care idea for stress relief. Add some flower petals from your yard, baking soda, or Epson salts for peak relaxation.
- Make your own toothpaste. Yes, keeping your mouth healthy is a type of self-care. Mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda. Add 20 drops peppermint, spearmint, or cinnamon essential oil (make sure to use food-grade oil). And that's it! We'll be honest - the taste of DIY toothpaste takes a bit to get used to. But, the feeling of your super clean mouth from natural ingredients, will have you converted in no time.
- Sleep. It may seem simple, but this should be a top priority of everyone's self-care routine. To help achieve better sleep turn your bedroom into a super restful zen den by focusing on what makes you feel the most relaxed. Make it extra dark, opt for soft textures, bring in lavender scents, calming music or white noise, or create a plant oasis (or all of the above). Going to bed and waking up at the same time every day will also optimize your sleep health.
- Cell phone break. At least once a month, take an evening (or better yet a whole day) without your phone. Leave it at home or turn it off and explore what comes up for you without being 100% connected to the outside world. Add this to your monthly self-care routine checklist: We promise it's worth it.
- DIY candles. We love candles for the calming mood they help create, but constantly stocking up on new ones can get expensive (and not so great for the planet). Head to the internet for some surprisingly easy how-to guides, and start collecting old jars, vases, and empty candle vessels that you can refill. Nothing but time these days anyway, are we right?
- More plants. There are just about a gazillion benefits to having plants around, including improved well-being and mental health. If your thumb is not so green, start with one that's super easy to keep alive, like a snake plant, spider plant, or pathos.
- Spend time with furry friends. Does this one even need explanation!?
- Journal. No need for a fancy book, just get started whenever and however it works for you. Even if you only write 5 words (think: "Today I'm grateful for... X"), journaling is a habit that grows the more you do it - and is said to reduce stress, boost mood, and keep your memory sharp.
- Move your body. We believe you can't have a good self-care routine without a little movement. Stretch, dance, go for a walk - get the blood pumping and your mind, body, and mood will thank you.
- Make spa water. How easy is it to infuse a pitcher of water with your favorite fruits and herbs (Cucumber + mint + lime, watermelon + basil, and grapefruit + rosemary are a few of our faves, but the possibilities are endless). Your daily water-drinking routine just got a little fancy.
So, if you're thinking, "what should I do for a self care day?" start here. We spy some extra joy on the horizon.