One of the things I really fell in love with over the past few years has been self care. I had never practised it much before, but as my life got busier and busier, I had to find a way to look after myself.
Adopting this practice will be highly beneficial for you if you’re also a busy bee like I am or you have a particularly stressful lifestyle.
This post is designed to give you some ideas and inspiration to start your own self care Sunday routine.
What is self-care?
The word is pretty self-explanatory, but self-care is a practice where you take care of yourself.
I never learned this when I was younger which is a shame because I ended up burning out more often than I’d like to remember.
Simply put, self care allows you to take time out to recharge, spend some time with yourself, and release the stress that may have been piling up in your body so that you can show up as the best version of yourself.
Self care has become such a popular trend, especially in recent years, that this very interesting article from the WHO shows that on average, people spend less than 1h a year with a health worker but around 8700h a year in self care activities. Wow!
Why is self-care important?
Although many people see this as a waste of time, I believe self care is incredibly important because it allows us to take care of our health, both physical and mental.
We were never meant to be like robots who go from one task to another without ever taking a break, and we certainly weren’t meant to sacrifice our health for our jobs and other demands of life.
WIth self care, you show that you love yourself enough to prioritise your wellbeing, reduce your stress levels and have a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.
I believe everything has to be done in moderation because I have also seen what the other spectrum is where someone is completely lost in this practice and doesn’t do anything with their life.
That’s not very good either, so the key is always to do everything in balance.
Whether you have been a pro at this or you’re just starting in this journey, I want to share with you 25 ideas that you can try for self care Sunday.
Why Sunday? Because that’s the day most people tend to use to rest, reset, and get ready for the new week.
If you want to learn more about my own self care routine, you can read this post.
25 self care Sunday routines and ideas to try
Wake up naturally
This was definitely a game-changer for me.
As a high-achiever, I always thought that not setting an alarm was a sign of laziness and that I was wasting my time sleeping, but thankfully now I know better.
You need to allow your body to sleep the hours it needs and let it wake up naturally, and Sunday might be the perfect time to do that.
If you’re particularly stressed or have been in a very busy season of your life, at first you might wake up very late, but that’s okay.
Once your body has rested and adjusted, you’ll probably start waking up quite early on your own, so that’s a sign that you’re making good progress, and it’s a lovely little self care treat.
Have a special breakfast
Daily life can get pretty ordinary and routine, so if you’re a foodie like me, treating yourself to a special breakfast is a great act of self care.
It doesn’t have to be anything fancy (unless you want it to be), but it’s just something that you wouldn’t have on regular days.
On the weekend, I like to treat myself to a homemade brunch and it’s always delicious! I seriously look forward to it all week (IYKYK), and it allows me to slow down and enjoy a more chilled morning.
Spend some time in reflection
Slowing down is so important for our well-being, and if you want to practice self care Sunday, an extensive time in reflection will be of great help for you.
I normally spend some time praying, reading the Bible, and allowing myself to focus on that area and ignore everything else. I do that every day but on my self care day, I like to take my time and not have a schedule for it.
Do some journaling
Remember that checking in with yourself is necessary to have a healthy lifestyle.
One of my favourite activities during self care Sunday is spending some time journaling, writing down life updates and how I’m feeling in a certain season.
If you’re also busy like me, it might not be possible for you to journal every day and that’s okay; however, you should make the effort at least once a week because it’s important to track your progress in life.
If you’d rather use a digital journal instead of a paper one, you can check out this very detailed post with some great journaling apps.
Go for a walk
Nature has some great healing powers, so one of my favourite activities during self care Sunday is to go for a walk in a green space (or by the beach when I’m back home in Italy).
If you live near a park, there are really no excuses. Any green space is great to allow you to breathe fresh air, hear the sounds of nature, take time to slow down and take it all in and feel better about yourself.
Do a long stretch session
I love a good stretch session!
It’s important to stretch every day, but when time is limited, you may not be able to do it for long.
However, during self care Sunday this can be on top of your list! There are so many great videos on Youtube that are worth checking out and can help you to stretch your body, and looking after your physical and mental health.
Visit your family or facetime them
Having a relationship with your family is a blessing, and cultivating that is a must.
Before I moved to London, Sundays used to be the family day for me (and I think they are for most Italians).
I’d visit my grandparents, my uncles or aunts would often be there, I’d be with either my mum or dad and my sister, and it was always a great time.
Now that I’m in the UK, I have to be super intentional with face-timing them and staying in touch, so most Sundays I’ll take some time out to call them and check-in.
Whether you live close to your family or you can only facetime them like me, it’s important to be intentional with that, because family really is everything.
Cook your favourite meals from scratch
I don’t know about you, but cooking is one of my favourite activities.
However, because I’m quite a busy person, I normally tend to meal prep everything for the week, so I’m trying to be super focused and efficient instead of enjoying the moment.
At the weekend though, a great activity for self care Sunday is to buy the ingredients for your favourite meals and then cook them from scratch.
Play some music in the background, do some singing as you cook, and enjoy the beauty of being present and eating a delicious meal.
Read a fiction book
Of course, reading had to be on this list; what better way to spend self care Sunday than to get lost in a good fiction book?
If you’re part of the book worm club, you’ll find this activity very therapeutic and you’ll look forward to it every single week.
Watch some of your favourite TV shows
Although I significantly cut down the amount of TV I watch weekly, I think there’s nothing wrong with bingeing with your favourite show if you fancy it.
Sometimes all you need to do to rest and recharge your batteries is to sit on the sofa with a good snack and watch your favourite shows for a few hours, so I’m all for it!
Go for a swim
Another great thing you can do is to go for a swim. Whether you’re blessed to live near a beach (I really feel homesick right now), or you need to go to the local swimming pool, just go for it!
Swimming not only has incredible health benefits for our physical bodies, but it also helps us to empty our minds, focus on the activity, and to give our brain some rest.
Have a skincare session
Would it be self care Sunday without a skincare session? Probably not.
This is probably one of the tasks I did every single Sunday to love my skin a little more, make sure that I’m always hydrated and that I keep my glow.
The best purchase you can make for this (apart from the products you’ll need) is a face steamer; trust me, you won’t regret it.
Take a bath
I loooove doing this activity in the winter, especially after a stressful week.
You can use Epsom salts or a good bath soak to have some muscle relief, slow down and enjoy some ‘you time’.
I like to have my bath with a good book and a glass of wine, and then I’m sorted for the afternoon.
Catch up with a friend
Just as I mentioned that family is important, good friends also are.
You can use self care Sunday to catch up with a friend; perhaps go for a coffee, or brunch, or a little cinema date and dinner.
Whatever you fancy, you’ll have a great time together and you’ll continue strengthening the bond you have; or, you’ll build a bond with a new friend.
Spend some time planning the new week
Yes, I firmly believe this is also an act of self care.
There’s nothing worse (in my opinion) than jumping into a new week without having a plan. By the time Monday hits, you’ll find yourself overwhelmed and unprepared.
Spending as little as an hour to plan for the week ahead will be very beneficial for you and will allow you to have a less stressful week.
Sort out your laundry
Call me grandma, but I think this is also self care. An empty laundry basket and all the laundry folded and put away before Monday begins? Sounds like a dream!
I always go on about the importance of keeping your house in order, and laundry is probably a big part of it.
I recommend you do it first thing in the day so it has time to dry, and by the time evening comes you simply put it away.
Tidy up your space
If you want to look after your mental well-being, you need to tidy up your space. That means your bedroom, kitchen, whole house (even if you live in a shared space), and also your digital space.
Self care also includes getting rid of anything that doesn’t serve a purpose and stewarding well what is actually useful.
A tidy space will automatically make you feel more at peace and avoid you getting stressed in your day-to-day.
Explore your city
As a Londoner, I find that there are always new places to explore and new things to see, so I love being a tourist in my own town.
No matter where you live, I’m sure there’s something unique about it that may have been taken for granted just because you’re so used to it.
Exploring your city on a Sunday is a fun and exciting idea.
Have a dance party
Dancing is always the answer to so many things.
Having a bad day? Throw a little dance party!
Feeling nervous/stressed about something? Throw a dance party!
Being happy about something? Throw a dance party!
Do a digital detox
This is so important to protect your peace and allow yourself to have a break.
You can challenge yourself to have a ‘no social media on Sunday’ policy, so you can enjoy real life with real people – or in your own company!
Do your nails
I started doing my nails in lockdown and it was a great experience because it forced me to slow down and exclusively focus on that.
I’ve been getting my nails done for the past year and a half and it’s a little me-time that I look forward to every month or so.
Light a candle and play relaxing music
What’s better than a little aroma therapy? Light a candle of your favourite fragrance, play some chilled background music and allow yourself to relax and let go of any anxiety, stress, and worry.
To take it up a notch, you can even make your own candle by ordering a DYI kit online.
Dry brush your body
I was sold on this idea when I heard of the benefits of dry body brushing.
This should also count as a self care activity, perfect for every day but if you’re lazy and want to start slowly, you can incorporate it into your Sunday routine.
A little goes a long way, and consistency is key with this practice.
Do some colouring
I find colouring so therapeutic and relaxing, especially when I’m going through a busy season.
You can order some adult colouring books online and spend an hour or two on a Sunday doing that; it will surely boost your mood and energy levels!
Write a letter to someone you love
This might seem something old school, but I think it’s still one of the best ways to communicate our love to others and maintain a relationship.
It could be someone who’s present in your daily life or someone that doesn’t live as close to you so you can update each other on your lives.
Inspiring self care quotes
In this section, I just wanted to put a few self care quotes that you can use whenever you feel the need.
“Until you value yourself, you won’t value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.”— M. Scott Peck
“If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, you won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.”—Wayne Dyer
“You are magnificent beyond measure, perfect in your imperfections, and wonderfully made.”— Abiola Abrams
“Keep good company, read good books, love good things, and cultivate soul and body as faithfully as you can.”— Louisa May Alcott
“Self-care equals success. You’re going to be more successful if you take care of yourself and you’re healthy.”— Beth Behrs
Final thoughts on what to do on self care Sunday
I’ve really poured all my knowledge, thoughts, and passion into this post.
I believe that looking after ourselves is the first step to a healthy, successful and fulfilled life.
Remember, you have to take care of yourself if you want to prosper in every area of your life, so make sure you try some of these self care Sunday ideas and let me know which one is your favourite!