Self-care can mean different things to different people – but we think the following two definitions say it the best.
- The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own physical and mental health.
- 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 on a regular basis.
At the most basic level, it is making sure that you are:
- Getting enough sleep
- Maintaining a balanced diet
- Exercising regularly
Beyond that, self-care is also taking time to:
- Relax and unwind
- Be creative
- Practice gratitude and forgiveness
- Reflect on your life and emotions
Unfortunately, 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 2022 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 18 Self-Care Resources for Teens and Adults
1. Course: The Science of Happiness
We love this course first of all because it’s backed by research, and second of all because there is a version that is totally free. Over the course of eight weeks, you can learn all about what the research says about happiness, how to increase happiness in yourself and others, and how to build mental habits that are conducive to a happy life.
Check it out here: The Science of Happiness from BerkeleyX
2.App & Resources: Headspace
Headspace is one of the most popular mindfulness apps available and it’s packed full of meditations, exercises, music, and stories to help you sleep, focus, reflect, and live a balanced life. Access to the full app will require a monthly or annual plan. If you’re not quite ready to pay for a full Headspace subscription just yet, you can still check out their free resources which include an extensive video library on YouTube, podcasts, and blog library.
Download the app here: The Headspace App
3.Podcast: NPR’s Life Kit
Wouldn’t it be great if we had a ready-made tool kit with advice on how to do things like setting boundaries, navigating feelings of anger, and overcoming fear? Thankfully, NPR’s podcast series Life Kit comes pretty close! You can subscribe wherever you get your podcasts or check out their website below.
Check it out here: NPR’s Life Kit
4. Expert Advice: The Sleep Charity
Sleep plays such a critical role in our mental health and physical health. If you are struggling to get a regular 7-9 hours of sleep each night, The Sleep Charity has a ton of fact sheets and guidance for specific challenges such as establishing a bedtime routine, coping with nightmares and night terrors, and how to sleep as a shift worker.
Check it out here: Advice sheets from The Sleep Charity
5. Podcast: BBC’s Slow Radio
Some days are more chaotic than others, and it can be difficult to unwind at night when our minds feel like they’re running at 100 miles an hour. That’s why we love the Slow Radio podcast from the BBC which features a calming mix of music, natural sounds, and ambient noise to help you relax before bed.
Listen now: Slow Radio from the BBC
6. YouTube Channel: Yoga with Kassandra
Even just 10 minutes of yoga each day can help you feel more in tune with your mental, physical, and spiritual health. The Yoga with Kassandra channel on YouTube is a great resource to have on hand when you’d prefer to practice yoga at home. We love her channel because of its flexibility in terms of time and difficulty.
Check it out here: Yoga with Kassandra
7. Audio: 10-Minute Guided Body Scan Meditation
It’s all too easy to go about our lives without properly checking in with our body. Are we hungry/thirsty? Do we have any physical aches or pains? Do we have tension in our shoulders? Even if you think that you feel “okay”, it doesn’t hurt to take a pause to check in with yourself at least once a day – this 10-minute body scan meditation is a perfect tool to help you do just that!
Listen here: Body Scan Meditation from Declutter the Mind
8. Resource Library: Forgiveness Defined
When we think of the word “forgiveness”, we often think about it from a moral or religious perspective. However, it can also be looked at from a psychological perspective, too. In fact, research shows that actively practicing forgiveness makes us happier, improves our mental health, and may help to reduce the risk of suicide. Learn more from the Greater Good Magazine’s section on forgiveness.
Check it out here: Forgiveness Defined from the Greater Good Magazine
9. App: Redecor
As adults, it’s easy to let our creative sides go into hiding. We’re either too busy with work or family obligations, or we find it difficult to open up and express ourselves. The Redecor app is a completely free home design game that can help you get more in touch with your creative side. Even just 5 to 10 minutes in the evening not only helps foster creativity and joy, but it can also make you feel more relaxed as well.
Check it out here: The Redecor App
10. Website: Writing Exercises
Writing is another tool you can use to stay in touch with your creative side. If you’re not quite sure what to write about, these creative writing exercises and prompts can be helpful for getting started. Worried about someone reading your writing? Try to keep everything in a designated journal that stays in a safe space in your home.
Check it out here: Writing Exercises by JG Web Publishing
11. Article: 40 Positive Affirmations to Add to Your Daily Rotation
If you’ve never used affirmations before, they might seem a bit silly at first. However, they are scientifically proven to improve mood, alleviate stress and anxiety, and combat negative thoughts. Need inspiration on what to say? Check out this list of Oprah-approved positive affirmations.
12. Article: Food and Mood
The nutrients that we put into our bodies can have a profound effect on our mood. Learn all about it with the help of this article from Mind, which explains how what you eat (and when you eat) can impact things like your blood sugar levels and digestion, which in turn affects how you feel.
Read it now: Food and Mood by Mind
13. YouTube Channel: Deliciously Ella
We can all benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables in our lives. We don’t necessarily need to go vegetarian or vegan, but we can still incorporate more plant-based recipes into our weekly household menus. Get inspired by the Deliciously Ella channel on YouTube, which has tons of simple (and tasty) recipes that keep fruit and vegetables front and center.
Check it out now: Deliciously Ella
14. Expert Advice: The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Healthy Diet Guidelines
There is a ton of noise out there when it comes to what makes a “good” or “healthy” diet. Keep it simple by reading through the WHO guidelines on what comprises a healthy diet for humans. Learn all about how to balance things like caloric intake, salts, and sugars in order to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
15. Video: The Art of Listening
Effective communication with others (and within ourselves) is also a key component of self-care. Taking time to listen to what others are saying so that we can respond appropriately helps us to maintain our relationships, build long-lasting bonds, and feel a sense of community with those around us. Learn more about the benefits of listening from author and inspirational speaker, Simon Sinek.
Watch it now: The Art of Listening by Simon Sinek
16. Video: How to Have Constructive Conversations
Effective communication is less about trying to get all of our points across, and more about working towards finding common ground and making progress. In this video, world champion debater Julia Dhar shares her ideas for how to have more constructive conversations with each other.
Watch it now: How to Have Constructive Conversations by Julia Dhar
17. Support Guide: Seeking Help for a Mental Health Problem
When we take the time to listen to ourselves, we may identify areas of our mental health that we need some help with. This can be quite intimidating, but it’s important to remember that we are not alone. Check out this support guide from Mind which provides expert tips and pathways for how to seek help when you have a mental health challenge.
Read it now: Seeking Help by Mind
18. Downloadable: 2022 Self-Care Packet from The Lily-Jo Project [for adults and teens]
The last resource on the list is our official 2022 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 .
The International Weekend of Self-Care
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.