Five Self Care Indoor Activities Anyone Can Do
Updated: Sep 9, 2020
List doesn't include screens, reading, or lots of money.
Ultimately my favorite quiet indoor activities where I find the most pleasure in my alone-time are painting, crafting, and reading, but those aren't everyones cup of tea. I do have other activities in my pocket to depend on if I am looking for some quick relaxation. Here are five of those activities that you can enjoy in your home without needing anyone else to join in, or a bunch of costly supplies. Feel free to pop on a podcast, music, or tv show in the background, or open the windows and listen to your environment (neighbors, the city, the suburbs, nature, etc).
I find myself at times in need of sharing and reflecting on my day, but without having to deal with other people. Journaling is good for this because you can write down all the facts of your life, and then if you desire, reflect on them and how it fits into your world. Don't feel as though you are stuck focusing on reality -- you could have a dream journal, a journal about your future dreams, a journal of lists, research of random things that interest you, quotes, or anything you find inspiring.
I have a journal for my weekly happenings, but I have also been documenting my childhood in A Story of My Life journal I found at a bookstore in Colorado (similar here). I absolutely love it. I hope it is something my future children and grandchildren will appreciate when I am gone, and I hope they are able to learn about who I was at different points of time in my life.
To start journaling, all you need is a notebook and a pen. If you don't want to buy anything new, you can always make your own notebook using scrap paper and cardboard (aka a cereal box), and you could even make mini-books if you want something more unique in size.
Type of Self Care: Emotional, Mental, Intellectual*, Spiritual*
* Dependent on type of journal
A little less labor intensive than a journal, a jigsaw puzzle is something you can attempt to solve for hours. A kitchen or coffee table is the best place for this activity, but be aware of who might get into it if its left unattended (i.e. cats, kids, significant other, etc.). It is a great alternative to sitting down on the couch to watch mindless TV, if you don't want to be loud, or if you need to be close by to a location as its very easy to pick-up where you left off if you need to rush away. My favorite brand for puzzles is White Mountain Puzzles.
You can also make your own (basic instructions here) utilizing your children's artwork, or large family photos.
Type of Self Care: Mental
I love a good game of sudoku, scrabble, or Schwedenrätsel (a type of German logic and crossword puzzle), but my most recent favorite sans-screen mind game has been the NY Times Mini Crossword Puzzles. Each puzzle is a 5x5 square, and like a traditional crossword you try to solve it as fast as possible (or maybe that is just a tradition in my family).
There are many versions of the mini crossword books you can buy (though this is the best bang for your buck), or, you can spend nothing and do the mini crossword online each day here (you can create a free login, subscribe, and it can keep track of you solving stats).
Type of Self Care: Mental, Intellectual
Sometimes it is just relaxing to color. You can use pens, markers, colored pencils, or anything you can get your hands on. Its also alright to use a Standard #2 pencil and just work on your grey gradient shading. My favorite coloring books were both gifts: a San Francisco Coloring Book from my friend A (following my first visit to San Fran for her wedding), and a Jane Austen Coloring Book from my Aunt (both of us love Austen's books).
* not suitable for children
Type of Self Care: Mental, Emotional
This activity is very similar to journaling except you are writing bullet points on very specific topics. Its a straightforward practice without having to focus on writing full paragraphs which sometimes is too mentally exhausting for me. You can list your goals, your to-do lists, an inventory, habits you would like to work on-- anything your heart desires.
I acquired this travel listography book as a white elephant gift exchange one year during grad school. I keep lists of every place I have gone, and every place I want to go (most of my research comes from pinterest). I can't wait to use it to help make decisions while planning travel around the world. I also have the film listography sister book that I bought at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY. You can see some of the lists I made on my Film Instagram.
Type of Self Care: Emotional, Mental, Intellectual*, Spiritual*, Practical*
* Dependent on type of lists
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