5 Self-Care Ideas to Reduce Your Anxiety

By Milly Hailstone


Knowing what self-love is and deciding to act upon it, are two totally different things. It took me a while to get my head around this whole self-care thing, as I'd been putting others needs before my own for so long. But, when I finally decided to do something positive for myself, the cloud of anxiety that hovers above my head started to disintegrate. 


While everyone's self-care rituals and routines are different, I'd like to offer up some ideas to get you started. But, there's one thing you should know - self-care isn't always about having fun and treating yourself. Sometimes it involves doing things that you don't want to do, to benefit yourself in the long run... which brings me to my first point.


Always putting others first? It's time to show yourself some love. With these 5 self-care ideas, you'll learn how to look after your mental health and reduce your anxiety.


1. Join the Gym


I don't mean to sound like a cliche, but since starting the gym my anxiety pops up way less than usual. Don't get me wrong, it took me 6-months of thinking about it and procrastinating before I finally signed up.  And sometimes I need to convince myself to go to the gym, but once I get there I'm always glad that I did.

Yes, I still I get that voice in my head that says, "Everyone will stare you," or "You'll fall off the treadmill and everyone will laugh at you." But, I've decided to stop listening to that silly voice, and also stop caring what other people think. It's that fear of being a newbie and looking stupid that held me back. But then, I thought to myself, every single person who is great at something started from the bottom, so there's no need to feel silly and anxious about being a beginner.


I've started to feel proud of myself for committing to something that I've wanted to do for ages. Yes, it might be hard work, but I'm so pleased that I decided to do this for myself. It feels good to be healthier, and stronger, not to mention to see myself get slimmer. It's a lot easier to love yourself when you give yourself something to be positive about.


Related: How to Stop Caring What Other People Think


2. Take Yourself Out for Lunch


I'm a big believer that you should celebrate every accomplishment you make, no matter how small or big, and my favorite treat is to eat out. Sometimes, when you are going through a bad patch, simply getting out of bed, showering and facing the day is an achievement.


So, next time you're struggling to find a reason to leave the house, make the decision to treat yourself to a meal at your favorite restaurant as a reward. It's a positive shift in your mindset that is key to changing the direction your day is heading in. While this isn't a long-term solution, it can really brighten up your day when you are feeling bad.


3. Laugh


When was the last time you laughed so hard you're stomach hurt? Can't remember, huh? Seems like you are long overdue a dose of hilarity!


So, whether you choose to watch a comedy or meet up with that hilarious friend of yours (we've all got one, and they are usually a Leo), just forget life's troubles for a moment and laugh so hard that you cry.


Related: What is Self-Love? + 6 Practises You Need to Try




4. Cook a Meal From Scratch


I've said it before, but I'll say it again: learning how to cook is incredible self-care!

There's nothing as quite as satisfying as a delicious meal cooked by yours truly. Knowing how to cook is great for looking after yourself, and if you love to eat as much as I do it'll probably become one of your favorite hobbies. It's something that you can feel good about yourself for, not to mention partners, friends, and family will appreciate you a ton for it!


Can't cook for shit, but you'd like to try? Check out my 5 favorite vegan cookbooks.


5. Start a Savings Account


If a ton of your worries come from money, it's time to check yourself. The best way to begin saving is to transfer a portion of your paycheck to a different account on the same day that you get paid. You can even set this up automatically.


Rather than discover that you have nothing left to save at the end of the month, start at the beginning. Even if it's just $20 for the first month, that's a great start and you will help you develop healthy habits around money.


I used to be the biggest spender, and when I couldn't afford to pay a bill it was my own fault. It wasn't until I began writing for a finance blog that my relationship with money began to change. This is a really important step, as no one can give you a financial education except for yourself.