Everyone needs at least one day of the week to recharge for the days ahead.
If Sunday is a day off for you—and the days afterward are not—a self-care Sunday could change everything.
Whatever day you pick, though, you now have our list of 29 self-care day ideas to choose from.
Plan your self-care day ahead of time to give yourself something to look forward to.
And don’t be afraid to try something new.
What is Self-Care Sunday?
For many of us, Sunday is the day that sets up the whole week. It’s the day before we go back to work or school (or both). So, it makes sense to keep a list of your favorite self-care things to do.
If you’re still on the fence, consider what a weekly self-care day could do for you:
- Give you a chance to honor needs neglected over the past week.
- Restore energy for the week ahead
- Help you manage stress by providing an outlet and a chance to relax.
- Improve your relationships with others
- Help prevent burnout and boost overall well-being
Self-care isn’t selfishness. It’s not about making a habit of putting your needs ahead of everyone else’s. The plain truth is you can’t pour from an empty cup. You need to fill your own tank before you can tend to the needs of others.
How will you fill your tank this week?
29 of the Best Self-Care Sunday Ideas
Get ready to transform your Sunday routine by adding any combination of the following self-care activities. Look through the list and choose some favorites, along with something new.
1. Turn off your alarm.
If there’s ever a time to turn off your morning alarm and catch up on your sleep, it’s Self-Care Sunday. If you don’t want to sleep in too late, consider setting your alarm at least an hour later.
2. Write in your journal.
Take at least a few minutes to check in with yourself by writing in your journal. Give your noisiest thoughts an outlet, so you can make sense of the noise and think more clearly.
3. Curl up with a book.
You know that book you’ve been wanting to read but haven’t had time for? This is the day to carve out some time to sit in your comfiest chair and do some reading—just for fun.
4. Write a story of your own.
If you enjoy creative writing and want to craft binge-able stories of your own, Self-Care Sunday is a great time to start your next epic tale and get acquainted with its characters.
5. Make time for meditation.
Whatever type of meditation you prefer, make meditation one of your top Sunday morning activities to get your head into the best space for whatever comes next. You don’t have to be an expert to reap the benefits.
6. Do some yoga.
Use an app or find a YouTube video with an instructor you like. Go to a room where you can move through the routine without spectators or interruptions. Even a few minutes of yoga stretching can do wonders.
7. Take a long, therapeutic soak.
If you like baths, gather your favorite bath accessories—bath salts, loofah, essential oils, candles, music, etc.—and make time for a long, restorative soak. For extra credit, prepare a soothing drink to enjoy.
8. Use a face mask.
If you’re like me, you have a few of these in your bathroom drawer. Prepare with your favorite skin cleanser and apply the mask, waiting 15 to 20 minutes before gently peeling or rinsing it off.
9. Create a home spa.
Go beyond a simple face mask by creating an at-home spa experience involving any combination of skincare treatments.
Finish with a moisturizer that nourishes and hydrates your skin from head to toe.
10. Take a nature walk.
Get outside for fresh air and exercise and take in the sights. Enjoy the variety of trees or whatever nature you have in your neighborhood. You can even walk somewhere new and do some exploring.
11. Learn a new relaxing hobby.
Check out this list of 21 relaxing hobbies to try—or spend time on one you already enjoy but haven’t had time for during the week. Do something that lowers your blood pressure and helps you feel at peace.
12. Try a new recipe.
This Sunday is the day to try that new recipe you’ve been curious about—or figure out how to prepare your own Indian food buffet. Bake your favorite cookies and share some (but not all).
13. Watch a favorite movie.
Pick out a favorite movie and prepare your favorite movie snacks and a soothing drink. Self-care Sunday doesn’t have to be productive. The goal here is fun and relaxation. Choose a feel-good movie for the best results.
14. Play a (new) favorite video game.
If you love playing video games—or you live with someone who does—you can spend some time learning how to play or brushing up on your gaming skills. Just make sure it’s more fun than stressful.
15. Shop for something fun.
You can shop online or visit a favorite store. Start with something you know you enjoy looking at (electronics, books, shoes, etc.) and browse to your heart’s content. Think of it as research or idea-gathering.
16. Hang out in a local bookstore.
Browse the bookshelves or look through the magazine selection. Find a comfy chair and do some reading. If the bookstore has a coffee shop, treat yourself to something soothing.
17. Spend some time in the sun.
Soak up some vitamin D by spending some time outside—walking, sunbathing, or going on a picnic. Find a spot where you can take a moment just to enjoy the warmth of the sun’s rays.
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18. Go on a trip—or plan one.
If you don’t already do enough driving during the week, a road trip might be just the thing. Otherwise, you can research travel options and plan your next dream vacation.
19. Light a candle (or a few).
If you find candles relaxing, light a few where you can see them and enjoy the glow. Woodwick candles make a faint crackling sound you might enjoy. Play it safe and burn each candle for four hours at the most.
20. Tidy up your space.
For many of us, a clutter-free home is more relaxing than a messy one.
Tidying up doesn’t have to take a massive amount of time or energy, and the payoff is something you can enjoy during the week.
21. Plan your week.
Getting your week all sketched out—at least roughly—can help you feel more on top of things, which allows you to manage stress and feel better about the days ahead.
22. Get a good night’s sleep.
Retire early to get a good eight hours or more of restful slumber before you wake up for your Monday morning routine. Your brain and body will thank you for the chance to heal while you sleep.
23. Plant something.
Weather permitting, you can plant something outside— in a garden or a planting container. Indoor gardening is also an option, whether you’re growing kitchen herbs or propagating houseplants.
24. Delegate a dreaded task.
If doing the laundry is something you dread, consider delegating it to someone else in exchange for a task they dread but that you don’t mind so much (maybe sweeping the floor or preparing a meal).
25. Indulge in a favorite food.
This could be a meal, a snack, or a dessert. Order in or go out to enjoy a meal with family or friends. Don’t forget to tip the person delivering your food. They make this kind of fun possible.
26. Spend some time with a favorite person.
Make time to connect with someone you love (or multiple someones) and enjoy a meaningful conversation with them. Or, if you’re both all talked out, enjoy some companionable silence together.
27. Write a letter to someone you love.
Treat someone you love to a written letter updating them on your life and checking in on theirs. Use fancy stationery or basic printer paper. What you write on it is what matters.
28. Enjoy some laughter therapy.
Watch, read, or listen to something that makes you laugh, especially if your week is generally laughter-free. Laughter’s healing benefits include better heart and respiratory health and improved body chemistry and brain function.
29. Listen to your favorite music.
Enjoy a favorite playlist—either as background music or an excuse to try some new dance moves. Bonus points if you sing along or play along on a musical instrument of your own.
Now that you’ve seen all 29 Self-care Sunday ideas, which ones stood out for you? And what will you do differently next Sunday?