A self-care Sunday routine can help you balance your mind and body for week-long energy and calmness. Here’s how to build your own routine.
by James Han
There’s no right or wrong way to do Sundays, but for many people it’s the perfect time to unwind, run errands and set up for the busy week ahead.
In fact, a self-care Sunday routine can help you balance your mind and body so you can wake up on Monday feeling grounded, productive and refreshed.
Explore how you can build an effortless self-care routine for optimal health as well as list our favorite suggestions for activities that you can practice regardless of how much time you have.
What Is Self-Care (and Self-Care Sunday)?
You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” tossed around, but what does it really mean? According to the World Health Organization, it’s fairly simple: Self-care is simply what you do for yourself to stay healthy and prevent or deal with injury and illness. It’s a broad term that looks different for everybody, and can include the foods you eat, your hygiene, social habits and more.
For many people, self-care may feel inaccessible — like a luxury or indulgence. A recent Harris Poll reported that 44% of those surveyed believe that self-care is only possible for people with enough time, and 35% believe you need to have money to do it. But the reality is that self-care doesn’t have to be expensive or time consuming — it can be as simple as treating yourself to your favorite dessert, getting an extra hour of sleep or calling a friend.
A regular self-care schedule doesn’t have to eat up hours and hours of your time, unless you want it to. Even if it’s only 20 minutes, your self-care session can bring profound shifts to your emotional, spiritual and physical health — as long as you practice it consistently.
In this sense, the idea of “self-care Sunday” is simply to make self-care a familiar and regular part of your routine. In other words, it encourages you to dedicate a day, chunk of a day or even just an hour if that’s all you have to your well-being. But be realistic about your schedule and existing responsibilities — Sunday works for some, but your “Sunday”' can really be any day of the week that you have time for a reset.
How To Plan Your Self-Care Sunday
It might feel a little odd to plan for your own emotional self-care, but preparing in advance can help you protect your dedicated time and make the whole process less overwhelming.
Clear Your Schedule
Whether it’s 30 minutes or five hours, block off your dedicated self-care window in your calendar or planner. It helps if this is the same time (and day) every week, but squeezing some self-care into your day is always better than none.
Don’t be tempted to bulldoze over this time slot — if you’re making other plans or appointments, count it as a chunk of time when you’re not free. Unless it’s an emergency, there’s no good reason to put off your own mental, physical and emotional health.
Think About Your Self-Care Needs in Advance
In the days leading up to your self-care Sunday, think about what your mind and body might need. Are you going through Zoom fatigue? Burnout from work? Travel stress? You can do this exercise on your commute or in the shower, but if you don’t already, consider keeping a journal to assess how you’re feeling and what you may want to prioritize during your session.
Cultivate Mindfulness as You Practice Self-Care
If anything, the key ingredient for long-term self-care is mindfulness. Paying close attention to your body as it engages in self-care activities can expand your awareness, increase calmness and even help you experience gratitude. In addition to turning off your phone and finding a quiet space, you can practice greater mindfulness through meditation or by taking a dropperful of SLOW, an Ayurvedic tincture made with pure essential oils and amplified with the restorative, grounding properties of hemp CBD.
32 Best Self-Care Sunday Activities
We’ve organized the following self-care activities based on how much time you may have in your schedule. Feel free to print out this list and keep it handy as you’re planning your self-care Sunday. If you’re feeling spontaneous or want to keep your routine from feeling dull and repetitive, you can cut out each activity or write them on strips of paper, then stash them in a Mason jar that you draw from every week.
Self-Care Activities You Can Do in 15 Minutes
- Stay hydrated by drinking a tall glass of water. (Add lemon, mint or cucumbers if you’re feeling fancy!)
- Give yourself a quick tension-relieving head massage to ease tight spots in your head and neck.
- Listen to a few of your favorite songs and dance along to them.
- Apply a face mask and lie down while listening to a relaxing playlist.
- Clean a small area, whether it’s your desk, a corner of your room, the dish rack, etc.
- Do jumping jacks, breathwork exercises or stress-busting yoga poses.
- Send a check-in text to your closest friends or family members.
- Make a mug of tea or coffee and drink it away from your phone.
- Light a candle and turn on your essential oil diffuser.
Self-Care Activities You Can Do in 30 to 60 Minutes
- Take a relaxing bath.
- Enjoy a quick power nap (and set an alarm so you don’t oversleep).
- Watch an episode or two of your favorite funny show.
- Go on a brisk walk in your neighborhood or to a local coffee shop.
- Whip up a nourishing snack or meal that you don’t usually make for yourself, and eat it without looking at your phone.
- Give yourself — or your partner — an Ayurvedic massage.
- Practice meditation art, whether it’s painting, writing a poem, learning a new instrument or simply appreciating art.
- Read a book.
- Water your plants and herbs.
Self-Care Activities You Can Do in 1 to 3 Hours
- Grab coffee, lunch or dinner with a friend.
- Go into nature for a relaxing hike.
- Clean an entire room of your house (while playing your favorite music to get you energized).
- Go thrift shopping (and limit yourself to one item if you’re on a budget).
- Go to the library and peruse the shelves for a new book.
- Treat yourself to a picnic in the park.
- Sit in a coffee shop and people watch.
- Attend a workout class at a local studio or gym.
Self-Care Activities You Can Do in 3 to 5 Hours
- Check out the latest installation or gallery at your local museum.
- Have a beach day for yourself, and bring plenty of snacks, water and sunscreen.
- Have your friends over for a backyard barbecue or game night.
- Plant a small herb or flower garden, potted or in-ground.
- Go to a concert.
- Take yourself to dinner and a movie.
Ultimately, self-care Sunday is a time to tune in to your body’s needs and spend some quality time with yourself. Don’t feel pressured to try too many activities at once or carve out an entire day to do them — scheduling a 15-minute block of time every week to let yourself relax from the week is enough to help you experience positive benefits for your health.
To learn more about self-care and well-being, check out our bog.
- 8 Natural Mood Boosters for Your Self-Care Toolkit
- Self-Care Is for Men, Too. Here’s Where To Start Building a Routine
- How To Create a Daily Ritual
James Han is a writer, editor and content strategist based in Los Angeles. When he’s not deep in a Google Doc, you can find him reading, watching films and taking long walks.