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Self-care is defined as, “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own wellbeing and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.”

As an individual, this means nurturing your physical health, mental health, and spiritual health. 

At the most basic level, self-care is making sure you are: 

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Maintaining a balanced diet
  • Exercising regularly 

Beyond that, self-care can also look like:

  • Taking time to relax
  • Fostering your creativity
  • Practising gratitude and forgiveness
  • Reflecting on your life and emotions

Unfortunately though, busy schedules, family and work obligations, and the many other stressors of life can make self-care seem impossible. Oftentimes, we are so focused on looking after others that we forget to look after ourselves!

The good news though is that there are resources out there that can help. In many cases, it can even take a handful of resources to make self-care a regular and sustainable part of your life. 

Below, we have compiled a list of our top 15 self-care resources of 2021 that may help. While you may not need to use every single resource named in the list, it is a good list to keep on hand and refer to as needed.

Let’s get started!

Top 15 Self-Care Resources for Teens and Adults

Course: The Science of Wellbeing from Yale University

If you are looking for researched-backed ways to improve your wellbeing, look no further than the (completely free) Science of Wellbeing online course from Yale University. Over the course of four weeks, you can learn more about how the mind works, misconceptions of happiness, and science-backed ways to build healthy habits. 

Check it out now: the Science of Wellbeing course from Yale University

App: Calm

The Calm App has been around for a while and it has helped hundreds of thousands of users find their sense of calm through guided meditations, sleep stories, and breathing exercises. There is both a free and paid version to try if you need assistance with sleep or relaxation. 

Download it now: Calm App

Article: Healthy Sleep Tips from the Sleep Foundation

The Lily-Jo Project already has an article on the do’s and don’ts of sleep hygiene. However, this article from The Sleep Foundation provides further advice on ways to create a sleep-inducing bedroom, optimize your sleep schedule, craft a pre-bedtime routine, and implement pro-sleep habits throughout the day. 

Read it now: Healthy Sleep Tips from The Sleep Foundation

YouTube Channel: Yoga with Adrienne

Yoga is not only good for your physical health, but it is a great way to meditate, relax, and get in touch with your body. If you have never tried yoga before, it’s understandable that you may be feeling a bit intimidated! That’s why we love the Yoga with Adrienne channel on YouTube. This is an excellent resource for exploring different yoga techniques from the comfort and privacy of your own home. 

Watch it now: Yoga with Adrienne

Video: Ted Talk, “The Importance of Listening to Your Body”

If you love a Ted Talk as much as we do, check out this talk from Anna Merkulova, a professional ballet dancer. Anna shares her story of coping with multiple injuries throughout her career. She also shares some practical tips on how we can all listen and be more mindful of what our bodies are trying to tell us. 

Watch it now: Anna Merkulova, “The Importance of Listening to Your Body”

Video: How to Forgive from The School of Life

The act of forgiveness is oftentimes much easier said than done. The video “How To Forgive” by The School of Life helps to break down exactly what forgiveness is. It also shows us examples of how to be more understanding of the perspectives and traumas of others. 

Watch it now: “How To Forgive” by The School of Life

App: Sketchbook

Sketchbook is a free drawing and painting app that can be downloaded on your phone, tablet, or computer. Even if you enjoy drawing or painting with real art supplies, this app enables you to be creative on the go. It’s also perfect for those looking for an inexpensive creative outlet to bring joy and relaxation. 

Download it now: Sketchbook App

Article: “Using Affirmations” from Mind Tools

Affirmations are a common tool used by counsellors, therapists, and coaches worldwide to help their clients develop a positive mindset. You don’t need a counsellor to use them though! You can say them out loud in the mirror or write them down in your journal to stay confident and focused. Not quite sure which affirmations to try? Check out this list from Mind Tools to get started!

Read it now: “Using Affirmations” from Mind Tools

Video: The Lily-Jo Project’s Guided Meditation Exercise

Guided meditation is a great tool to help you feel relaxed and grounded in your body. If you have never tried it before, The Lily-Jo Project’s guided meditation exercise on YouTube is a great place to start! 

Watch it now: The Lily-Jo Project’s Guided Meditation Exercise

Article: “How 15 Positive Affirmations Can Change Your Life” from Good Therapy

More affirmations! This article from Good Therapy provides 15 research-backed affirmations that can help to block negative thinking, increase your frequency of positive thoughts, and foster positive emotions. 

Read it now: “How 15 Positive Affirmations Can Change Your Life” from Good Therapy

Medical Advice: Eat Well from the NHS

Self-care is not about being “on a diet”, it’s about making good nutritional decisions for your body and your mind. When it comes to eating healthily, the best approach is to keep it simple. That’s why we love this “Eat Well” resource from the NHS with recipes and practical tips about how to maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Remember, balance and consistency are key!

Read it now: Eat Well from the NHS

Video: “Self-Esteem” from The School of Life

Self-esteem can play a critical role in our sense of happiness and purpose. In this video from The School of Life, the concept of self-esteem is covered by exploring potential factors that can influence our self-esteem and self-worth. 

Watch it now: “Self-Esteem” from The School of Life

Video: “Self-Compassion” from The School of Life

Another video from The School of Life! This particular video covers self-compassion, specifically the reasons why we can be so critical of ourselves. It also provides a few practical tips for thinking positively and framing yourself in a more realistic way. 

Watch it now: “Self-Compassion” from The School of Life

Song: “Diamond” by Lily-Jo

Music is such a powerful tool for mental health. It can help us feel relaxed, it can motivate us to make a change, and it can even help to lift our mood. Lily-Jo’s song “Diamond” is the official song for the International Weekend of Self-Care because it reminds us that, just like a diamond, we are all precious, unique, and worthy of self-love and self-care. 

Listen now: “Diamond” by Lily-Jo

Downloadable: 2021 Self-Care Packet from The Lily-Jo Project [for adults and teens]

The last resource on the list is our official 2021 International Weekend of Self-Care packet for adults and teens!

This resource is packed with:

  • Reading material on self-care
  • Practical exercises and worksheets
  • Links to additional resources and further help

Grab your packet here: Self-Care Packet for Adults and Teens

If you have children, you can also access our dedicated kid’s resource here: Self-Care Packet for Kids and Families.

Final Thoughts

If you have never actively sought out to create a self-care routine before, you might be feeling a bit overwhelmed – and that’s okay! The best way to get started is to make one small change, then another, then another. Over time, these “changes” become healthy habits that benefit your overall health and wellbeing.

This blog article is a part of The Lily-Jo Project’s International Weekend of Self-Care campaign which takes place in August. To learn more about this campaign and access additional self-care resources, visit www.thelilyjoproject.com/internationalweekendofselfcare.

Further Resources on Self-Care

If you found this article helpful, check out these other resources on self-care provided by The Lily-Jo Project.

About the Author: Shelby Hale

Shelby has been with The Lily-Jo Project since October of 2018, serving as the platform’s PR and Communications Manager. Having lived in four different countries throughout her young adulthood, Shelby is passionate about the positive impact new experiences can have on mental health. 

When she’s not working with The Lily-Jo Project, she supports other projects through her creative agency, Hale Marketing and Communications. If you’d like to stay updated with Shelby’s story, you can find her on Instagram and Twitter


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