For many of us, the weekends are when we spend time unwinding with family and friends and take time off of work. It’s also when we come up with self-care Saturday ideas to rest and relax. It’s not totally clear when the self-care Saturday movement started. But it's taken social media by storm.
A quick glance at #selfcaresaturday and you’ll see all the many influencers and businesses using the hashtag to promote their ideas and services. Saturday is one of the only days for many of us to spend prioritizing our personal to-do list, family and friends time, and our mental health. So, it's important to dedicate Saturday to self-care and stress relief and make time for what makes us feel happier overall.
The idea of self-care is something many of us are familiar with though. In fact, you may practice self-care routinely as a way to combat feeling overwhelmed and stressed and to unwind. This hearkens back to the history of self-care (check out our blog post on the radical origins of self-care). But whether you’re just starting self-care or are new to the term self-care, there are lots of ways to engage in taking care of yourself.
A few of example ways to unwind and practice self-care Saturday!
18 Self-Care Saturday Ideas To Try This Weekend
Self-care looks different for each of us. And depending on what fills you up versus empties you, you, you’ll want to prioritize certain activities. But these are some Saturday-specific self-care ideas we think give us the perfect opportunity to unwind and recharge.
1 - Join a book club that meets on Saturday
The book club was the original “social media” in so many ways. It was the place we Spend the week reading your chapters, relaxing in the evenings or on breaks at. Engage your mind but then enjoy the community and time with fellow readers on Saturday. Plus, there’s nothing better than a good book!
2 - Rearrange your living room and sit with it for a day
This may not be one of the ideas you choose, depending on what helps you relax or not. But for many of us, reorganizing, purging, finding that box of old photos, and creating new spaces to enjoy is life-giving and even restful. If you need tips on how to organize your life in a wee
3 - Listen to inspiring podcasts
A lot of us have a long list of podcasts we aspire to listen to every week. But inevitably there’s not enough time to catch each new episode. Self-care Saturday tip #3 is to catch up on your most inspiring podcasts that you missed during the week. Join this with a bike ride, long walk or sunrise hike while you listen, and you’re getting fresh air and inspiring the mind!
Need a list of some podcasts to try? Our list of productivity podcasts to try is sure to have some that’ll inspire you!
4 - Pick a hobby and learn something new
This one may seem like biting off more than you can chew. But it’s actually a great self-care activity for lots of reasons. Learning something new actually changes the way your brain works - it requires tapping into new parts of yourself and your brain that you don’t normally use. Whether you have a hobby that you already enjoy or you’re looking for a new hobby, it’s a great way to acquire new skills. Plus you can take it slow. Start by choosing a hobby, then think about the gear or materials you need. Then seek out a community to engage with and encourage your progress. It’s an important part of personal growth and development!
5 - Visit an art gallery
A lot of art shows and new exhibitions open at art galleries on Saturdays. If you live near a city center, chances are you have access to at least one art gallery. And visiting one can be the best thing for getting us out of our bubbles, experiencing something new, and seeing the world through someone else’s lens. Interpreting and enjoying art forces us to be in the present moment. And visiting art galleries is a great way to spend a mental health day or self-care Saturday!
6 - Go for a hike or a long walk
One of the best self-care tips is to just go outside. It seems like a no-brainer, right? But getting fresh air is one of the best ways to manage our stress levels. A self-care Saturday routine we should all be doing is to go outside and go for a long walk to get our heart rate up and live a healthy lifestyle. This is one of our self-care Saturday ideas that is a simple act. But it helps us prioritize both our mental and physical health… and it's the perfect opportunity to enjoy nature before heading back inside!
7 - Plan a spa day
While spa days may not be a weekly occurrence, they’re a great self-care idea for some Saturdays and special occasions. Schedule a professional massage, add regular facials to your skincare routine, use a face mask, try aromatherapy with essential oils… these are all things you can learn from a spa experience and take home with you in some way, shape or form. Plus, these are
8 - Practice meditation or go to a yoga class
During the week, many of us don’t find time to indulge in a lengthy meditation session or go to as many yoga classes as we’d like. Saturdays are a great time to put zero limits on the amount of time you spend on meditation and yoga. For many of us, it helps us set intentions, tune into the present moment, and hit our mental and emotional reset button. This is what taking care of ourselves on self-care Saturday is all about!
9 - Try baking something you’ve never tried before
If you’re into baking (or admire baking from the couch while watching The Great British Baking Show, like me), it’s fun to think about making something you’ve never tried before. Not only is it a good way to challenge yourself, but it’s also a great way to learn something new, acquire new skills as a baker, and enjoy a hopefully delicious end result. This is one of those self-care Saturday ideas that is can really help you focus on the present moment and set an intention to enjoy the task at hand.
10 - Spend 30 minutes organizing
Even just 15 minutes in the kitchen and 15 minutes in your bedroom, tidying, folding laundry, and purging or putting away any clutter, can make a huge difference for your mental health. While it may not feel like the most indulgent way to practice self-care, it may be one of the best ways to help with stress relief. Feeling overwhelmed by your home environment is easily avoided. So, take care of yourself going into the new week by spending enough time getting organized and creating a calmer environment around you.
Want to really get organized? We have a day-by-day guide for organizing your life in a week.
11 - Make time for a bath soak
Whether it's a hot bath, a bubble bath or just a long shower, it can be incredibly relaxing to physically unwind and hydrate your body. A lot of people feel better after a hot bath, and for good reason! There are many known health benefits, like increasing heart health and blood flow and helping to reduce stress. This is one of the easier ways to practice self-care and prioritize your physical health for self-care Saturday.
12 - Try an adult coloring book
This may send you back to your elementary school days, when a fresh box of crayons was the closest thing we got to a zen moment in the 5th great. But adult coloring is an activity that research shows to reduce anxiety and produce creativity, self-efficacy and positive effect. So, for your upcoming self-care Saturday idea, try printing out some coloring pages or go buy a coloring book and some colored pencils or markers and get to coloring!
13 - Go to your local farmer’s market
Most farmer’s markets are only on Saturday’s. And if you’ve never been to one, it’s a great self-care Saturday idea! Buy fresh flowers for your kitchen counter, stock up on locally-grown veggies and plan some meals for the week ahead. A farmer’s market is also a great place to interact with your community and meet farmers, growers, and crafts people from your area.
14 - Start a gratitude journal
We often don’t have the time we wish we had to devote to journaling to the busy work week. Especially on Saturday, we can take time to slow down, pause and reflect. One way we can focus on the present moment in our lives is to cultivate a gratitude practice - and a gratitude journal, where you write down specific things you’re thankful for or even spend entire journal entries on a single point of thanks, can be a great way to do this.
15 - Write a love letter to yourself
Future self journaling is a concept you may not know much about. But there are lots of ways to have a journaling practice that focuses on self-enrichment. Future self journaling is one way to do this. There are a few methods (we outline them in our blog post here!), but the simple act of writing a love letter to yourself is a great way to start. From there you can try using self-love journaling prompts for more ideas!
16 - Create a vision board
If you’ve never thought about doing a vision board, now’s the time. A fundamental part of self-care is asking yourself if you’re happy with how you spend your time and what you’re accomplishing in life. Self-care is tied closely to self-discovery. A vision board, whether it's a part of a bullet journal or its own exercise, is a great way to creatively plan and visualize your goals. This is a self-care Saturday idea that is geared more towards personal growth and brainstorming, but sometimes that’s exactly what we need to feel prepared going into the week ahead.
17 - Brush up on your bucket list
Have you ever made a bucket list? Sometimes we get so lost in the daily hustle that we forget to dream. Live abroad, visit the Taj Mahal, start a coffee shop business, join the symphony orchestra… Some of these are things we wouldn’t dare to dream of doing, now that we’re in a routine of work, home life, and family. But, it’s important to think about things we’ve always wanted to do. And not let our ambitions, passions and the things that enliven our soul ultimately die out. So, take extra time this self-care Saturday to dream a little.
18 - Cook a fancy meal
You don’t have to have a dinner party with guests and table settings and formal attire to cook a fancy meal. In fact, one of the best self-care ideas we’ve heard of lately has been to treat yourself like a dinner guest. And cook a fancy meal for yourself! Enjoy the creative cooking and plating process, and pretend you’re a Michelin star chef for a moment (think, Chef’s Table). Whether you invite friends to join you or not, think of your favorite meal and indulge a little.
19 - Call an old friend
It may not seem like a meaningful experience at the moment, but sometimes connecting with an old friend or colleague can be incredibly rewarding. There is a moment of angst or nervousness when writing an email, text or picking up the phone to call someone you haven’t talked to in a while. But imagine if you’re on the receiving end… wouldn’t you feel honored? So, one self-care Saturday idea is to connect with an old friend, catch up, even for 10 minutes, and you’re sure to feel good about yourself.
20 - Look at old photos
Many of us have a shoebox of old photos and mementos from our childhood and school-age years. Sometimes it can be therapeutic to look back at these. Our past may remind us of pain and heartache. But looking at old photos, papers, year books and awards can be a great way to cultivate gratitude for the growth we’ve experienced and the ways we’ve changed over time. While it may be easier said than done, make time one self-care Saturday to walk down memory lane.
We hope you liked some of these self-care Saturday ideas! For more self-care content, check out the “self-care” section of the Silk+Sonder blog!