41 Ways to Do Self Care in 2021

Self-care is a form of activism. What does that mean in 2021?

Self-care /ˌselfˈker/: the practice of taking an active role in protecting one's own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.

Many think of spa days and mani-pedis, which we love, but self-care should be thought of in a much more holistic practice of physical and mental health that allows everyone to be their whole self. Because when we're healthy in our hearts and minds, we can show up for others who need us. But self-care means different things to everyone.

Rachel Cargle, public academic and founder of The Loveland Foundation, said in this profile by The Washington Post, "I have a lot of conversations about what self-care looks like. If a middle-class white woman decides to go to the spa, it’s just ‘self-care.’ If a poor black woman decides to take a day off work, she’s being irresponsible. Who deserves to care for themselves?”

Self-care is different for each person and may be different from day to day.  An act of self-care for one person could actually be triggering for someone else, such as visiting with family or getting a massage that brings up trauma. We choose to celebrate and encourage the idea of self-care and whatever that means to each person so all in our communities can show up for themselves, their family and us. 

We pulled self-care strategies from different mental health groups and put together this list of 41 ways to do self-care. When you've taken care of yourself, think about how you can help others make space to find and take part in self-care. Hosts have organized self-care events with SameSide to raise money and awareness of The Loveland Foundation which works to bring culturally competent therapy to Black women and girls in America. Find events here.

Start Your Day Strong

  • Get enough sleep and try to keep a regular sleep schedule. Try using a meditation app to help 
  • Eat a diet that makes you feel good and includes fruits and vegetables
  • Drink lots of water
  • Sip on a healing herbal tea


Remember The Small Things

  • Take a bath if available or take a shower with a few drops of essential oils 
  • Try a new beauty product 
  • Wear clothes that are clean, comfortable and that you feel good in
  • Read, watch your favorite shows or movies, and don't feel guilty about not being productive
  • Make your favorite snack and eat it all up


Just Say No

  • Avoid triggers whether they are people in your life or content you see
  • Walk away from your computer, phone, or social media for 20-30  minutes. See how you feel
  • Actually say no to something. When we take on too many commitments, we put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to complete something. What is one things your can back away from or say no to?


Do Something That Supports Others

  • Sign up for a non-profit's mailing list that works on an issue you care about
  • Volunteer to do social media posts or call volunteers about opportunities
  • Host a fundraising event for an organization you care about. Raise awareness about the issue and funding to support it. SameSide can help. Reach out to us to learn more: info@onsameside.com


Subscribe to our newsletter for more ways to fit self-care and activism into your lifestyle. 

Get Your Body Moving

  • Get walking, one of the most underrated forms of exercise
  • Do some simple stretches (we love these 15 min & 5 min routines) 
  • Put on your favorite song and dance it out
  • Do a virtual yoga class
  • Join a fitness challenge


Get Outside

  • Go for a short walk
  • Ride your bike, skateboard, or rollerblade
  • Have a picnic in the park - bring a friend or a good book
  • Go to the beach or join Yoniswell in LA for a community of women surfers
  • Go for a hike


Treat Yourself

  • Get a manicure or pedicure
  • Buy a new nail polish and give yourself a manicure
  • Eat your favorite meal or dessert
  • Buy something for yourself


Get Creative

  • Draw
  • Write a story or a poem 
  • Journal
  • Paint
  • Try a DIY project
  • Cook (we LOVE the NY Times cooking app)
  • Bake
  • Work on anything that inspires you

Virtual & In-Person Social Activities

  • Text, call, or FaceTime with a friend
  • Join an online community to connect with others
  • Watch a movie with a friend
  • Have dinner or coffee with friends (where safe)
  • Visit with your family

SameSide has events that are self-care for you and for others. Find events that connect communities to causes and join one today. 

Learn more