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15 Sustainable Self Care Ideas

Sustainable Wellness

Last Updated on April 22, 2024

These sustainable self care ideas will give you a good feel for how to take care of yourself and feel your best. Give yourself the relaxation and love that you deserve with these 15 creative self care day ideas.

We will guide you through the importance of self care and give you some sustainable self care products to consider. Doing little things like having a self care journal and using these emotional and physical self care ideas will have you feeling great. If you’ve been wondering how to take care of yourself better, this post with 15 self care ideas is for you!

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how to take care of yourself

Is anyone else having a hard time? Feeling a lot of anxiety and stress? I know that my mental health has definitely taken a hit.

If you’re feeling the same way, you’re certainly not alone.

It’s easy to be stressed and overwhelmed with the current state of affairs or what’s going on with our planet.

If you haven’t already, check out my blog post 5 Tips for Dealing with Eco-Anxiety.

To understand how to take care of yourself, it’s first vital to understand the importance of self care. Plus, I go over a few ways that you can help manage your anxiety and stress around these events that are somewhat out of your control.

Self care is so important to your health, both mentally and physically. Not only does self care help with anxiety and depression, but it also helps improve concentration, energy, and overall happiness according to this article.

If you prefer video content, check out the YouTube video I did for this post featuring one very special and fluffy pupper. Don’t forget to subscribe!

self care ideas

I’m not trying to downplay individual action because many of us can do small things that add up to a massive impact, but most of us aren’t currently in a position to make policy reform.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to incorporate sustainable practices in your life, be sure to check out my 31 Day Zero Waste Challenge.

When I feel shaken up, the key is to stay calm, relax, and wait it out — which is honestly a lot harder than it sounds.

So, I was thinking of inexpensive and sustainable ways to take your mind off what’s happening with a few sustainable self care products and tips for getting through hard or uncertain times.

self care day ideas

Sometimes a full day dedicated to self care is what you need to unwind, relax, and reset. Whether you’re doing this on a weekend or taking a full day off work, these self care day ideas can be layered on top of each other for one full relaxing day.

Or, you can pick and choose which ones to incorporate into your daily life for small bursts of self care throughout the week.

After all, you can’t give your best self to anyone else if you’re not taking time to refuel your best self!

a warm drink:

I always like to start my day with a warm drink. I’m partial to a nice cup of tea.

I prefer loose leaf tea because many tea bags can release millions of tiny plastic particles into your cup — yuck!

I typically brew my cup of tea in the early morning, and it’s nice to have that small bit of time to myself.

It’s nice to just breathe, observe, and check in with myself. It’s a great way to relax and start the day in a good mental space.

If you’re a tea drinker, be sure to check out a few of my favorite sustainable tea brands.
If you’re a coffee drinker, I’ve got a great post on
how to brew a more sustainable cup.

Sometimes, it’s also really nice to take around 10 minutes to brew a really nice specialty drink just for myself. Maybe a homemade hot chocolate or a matcha latte. Here’s a link to all of my favorite recipes.

A cup of warm tea is one of those sustainable self care acts that I am always on board with! Tea is good for you. It’s comforting too, so it is also great for emotional self care.

How to take care of yourself: a woman and her partner pouring herbal tea to unwind.

face mask:

For me, self care is simply about taking a few extra moments to indulge. It’s also taking a little bit longer to do simple tasks.

It’s about enjoying the slow moments and opening up space in my day to just breathe and not worry about what I have to do next.

And, nothing puts the brakes on my day quite like applying a face mask — 10 minutes of waiting and pausing.

Bonus points if you combine a few of these self care ideas together. Maybe throw in a few deep breaths and meditate while it’s working.

I’m not a huge fan of sheet masks because they’re pretty wasteful.

I prefer to make face masks from a few simple ingredients that you can whip up in your kitchen, or buy masks that come in small glass jars that can be upcycled and reused.

You can apply these masks with your fingers — or a brush if you’re feeling extra luxurious. When you buy a face mask in a jar, you’re saving money in the long run.

This five pack of sheet masks costs $35. It is an organic and natural skin-care brand, but for a similar price point, you could buy a small jar and get way more use than just five applications. That’s a huge savings for sustainable self care products!

Here are a few of my favorite face masks you can try:

Self care ideas: a jar of sustainable skincare products.

take a walk:

It’s no secret that getting outside and connecting with nature reduces stress levels, so it’s no wonder that it’s one of the best physical self care ideas out there!

If you’re having a hard time, put on a pair of tennis shoes and go take a walk. It’s one of the most widely recommended but least utilized self care day ideas.

It’s nice having Nala around because she always encourages me to get outside the house even when I don’t feel like it…

And after I go on a walk, I always wind up feeling a lot better. Plus there are loads of health benefits to a daily walk.

In fact, I’m planning on taking the old girl out as soon as I finish writing this blog post, and for her, that can’t come soon enough.

Check out my post on sustainable and ethical activewear.

Sustainable self care: a woman taking her dog for a walk.

take a bath:

I know that everyone thinks taking a bath is just wasting water, but depending on the size of your bathtub and the type of showerhead you have, you might actually save water by taking a bath.

Before I switched to a Nebia Showerhead (and if I were shaving), I’d save water by filling up my small bathtub.

Now, I only take a bath when I’m feeling super stressed out, which is about a few times a year.

I like to light a candle or two and add in a few bath salts.

Bath salts are incredibly easy to make at home. I’ve got a wonderful recipe that’s easily customizable!

But, if DIY just isn’t your thing or you don’t have any Epsom salts lying around, a friend gifted me a jar of Herbivore bath salts which I’ve really enjoyed!

Sustainable self care products: a flower vase, cup of coffee, and candles next to a bath tub.

deep clean:

If you’re feeling a little out of control, one thing you can do right now is clean. It’s great to see immediate progress being made in an area that you manage.

Cleaning is at the top of my self care ideas. It always helps me regain control and feel more at peace in my own space.

I like to make my own household cleaners because it’s better for both my health and the health of the planet. Plus, it’s super easy and cheap!

A lot of conventional cleaning products are irritating to both the nose and throat due to artificial fragrances, volatile organic compounds (the same building blocks that create smog), and other toxic ingredients.

Most conventional cleaners are also packaged in plastic, and many of them aren’t biodegradable — meaning they won’t break down in nature.

Here’s a complete guide to eco-friendly cleaners.

If there’s a real nasty bug going around your house, then I recommend ditching the vinegar. Instead, put non-diluted 70% isopropyl alcohol or hydrogen peroxide into a spray bottle, both of which have been given a green light by the CDC.

A woman cleaning her home with sustainable self care products.


Similarly to cleaning, decluttering will help reduce your stress for a long time to come.

There’s something so refreshing about cleaning out an old drawer or cabinet and reevaluating what you truly need.

Now, you might think that decluttering is in complete opposition to a zero-waste lifestyle, but I would challenge that.

Figuring out what we truly need allows us to share and redistribute our resources. I wrote all about this in my post How to Declutter – The Zero Waste Way!

When it comes to decluttering, you don’t have to spend a dime. In fact, it’s one of the few ways you might be able to put a little extra change in your pocket if you’re able to sell any of your items.

I personally like to send my gently used clothes back to ThredUp.

Decluttering a house to depict one of the suggested self care ideas.


Few things bring me more joy than putting on a favorite tune and dancing away.

Whether you’re a dancer or not, crank some tunes and move your body! You don’t have to be good, you just have to start.

This one practice always puts me in a good mood and gets me out of my head. It stops negative self-talk right in its tracks.

One of my favorite tunes to jam to is anything by Abba. What about you?

read a book:

Reading is one of my favorite pastimes. Last year, for our anniversary, my husband installed a hammock in my office.

It’s the best place to snuggle up with a good book. I love to just relax and slowly sway.

I like to get lost in either a fiction book or read about topics I’m interested in like sustainability.

If you’re interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle you should check out 101 Ways to Go Zero Waste.

And if you’ve already read that one, here’s a list of sustainability books I love.

A woman demonstrating how to take care of yourself by reading in her hammock.

call a friend:

If you’re feeling down or lonely, pick up the phone and call a friend or family member. I know that I always feel better after chatting with my mom or one of my best friends.

To make this a double whammy, combine a few of these self care tips.

Talk with your loved ones while you’re taking a walk. Fresh air, being outdoors, and good conversation always makes me feel good.

Even better, invite that friend out with you for your walk!

Call a friend: a phone hanging on a wall as a part of suggested self care day ideas.


Similar to dancing or walking, getting your body moving is a great way to take care of yourself and feel good.

To quote Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.”

One of my favorite apps is downdog. They offer several different types of movement like HIIT, Yoga, Barre, etc., but their standard yoga is free to use.

I like to use this when I wake up in the morning or before bed.

If you don’t want to download another app, there are plenty of stretching and yoga YouTube videos.

A woman stretching to demonstrate sustainable self care.

watch an old favorite:

Speaking of Elle Woods, tune into one of your favorite movies or TV shows.

I don’t like to binge-watch TV shows when I’m not feeling super great. Sometimes, it can feel a little unhealthy to lie down and not move for hours.

I like to watch a movie because most movies have a very specific beginning and end where TV shows can suck you in for HOURS.

I love TV shows too, just be cautious and maybe set a more strict time limit.

If you’re looking for any good documentaries, here are a few sustainable documentaries that I recommend.

Unwind watching your favorite shows as part of the suggested self care ideas.


This is one of the self care strategies I need to get better about. Meditation is one of the best things I can do for my mental health.

I talked about meditation quite a bit in a recent post 10 Health and Wellness Habits You Should Adopt for the New Year.

I really like using the app calm for meditation.

They do have a few free ones you can do, but I’m not a huge fan of guided meditations. I prefer just to sit with the ambient noise and have the bell chime every five minutes.

How to take care of yourself: a woman meditating next to her houseplants.

take a class:

Learning a new skill is a great way to improve yourself, which I think is the ultimate form of self care.

If you’re looking to expand a new hobby, then you should definitely check out Skillshare.

I myself have a great class on Sustainability Basics. It’s 50 minutes long, and I would love for you to give it a watch!

You can get a two-month free trial using my link

You can also get a preview of the class with the video below!

A book with reading glasses laying on top with overlay text reading "15 self care day ideas: sustainable, cheap, and free!"
Stationary and a mug of tea laying on a bed with overlay text reading "15 self care ideas: sustainable, cheap, and free!"

faqs about sustainable self care products and activities

what are some more self care ideas?

The list really goes on and on! When you think of self care, you should be choosing things that make you feel good and help you recharge your batteries. 🙂

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Bake or cook
  • Break out the paint and create artwork
  • Have your spouse give you a massage (free!)
  • Catch a few zzzz’s and take a short nap
  • Go to the park and relax in the shade
  • Start a self care journal
  • Make gifts for friends or neighbors

what is a self care journal?

A self care journal is a book where you write down the things happening in your life. It’s just for you, so there is no judgment or critiquing! Simply gather your thoughts and put them down on paper.

You can write about the good stuff in your life, things you are grateful for, and your favorite things. You can also write about your frustrations and struggles too. Your self care journal should be used as an outlet to jot down the good and bad going on in your world.

what makes self care products ‘sustainable’?

A broad range of criteria goes into considering a product sustainable. For one, look at clean ingredients that you can obtain through ethical harvesting practices. Avoid toxic or harmful ingredients like mineral oil or petroleum.

Look for reusable and/or recyclable packaging like metal tins and glass jars, with minimal plastic waste in their packaging.

Then, look at companies that use ethical business practices, pay their employees livable wages, and are working to improve the planet — not just make as much money as possible! Many self care products ‘greenwash,’ meaning they only look like they’re eco friendly, so you have to do your research!

do you have to do all of these self care ideas?

Heck no! No one has the time to read, take a walk, practice a skincare routine, meditate and stretch, brew a fabulous cup of tea, and maintain a social life all while trying to be productive spouses, parents, employees, etc.

The point of self care is to have something that rejuvenates you, not to add things to a to-do list that are just going to stress you out.

You can do all of these in one full self care day, or just choose a couple that you like to do daily, weekly, or even monthly to recharge!

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  1. Just wanted to say I love your content and your efforts to promote sustainability! I have just signed up for Skillshare and can’t wait to start your class 🙂

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  3. Love this post. Reading and working out have been really helpful for me in this lockdown. I would add writing to this list – it’s almost therapeutic!

  4. Love this post. Reading and working out have been really helpful for me in this lockdown. I would add writing to this list – it’s almost therapeutic!