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25 Self-Care Sunday Ideas to Nurture Your Mind and Body

Self-care Sunday

Self-care Sunday is more than just something to share about on social media. While it may have started that way, it’s a trend that’s actually rooted in science! (And you know how we feel about that here at Lindywell!) 

A recent study from the University of Exeter found that it’s more common than you might think to feel stressed, nervous, or emotionally down on Sundays. For some, this feeling comes from the pressure to be all ready for the upcoming week. For others, it’s an inability to “switch off” and relax.

However it manifests for you, this phenomenon has a name: The Sunday Scaries. Sounds like the exact opposite of restful and enjoyable, doesn’t it? 

At Lindywell, we’re about finding holistic ways to balance mental, emotional, and physical well-being, so we don’t have to feel stressed at the thought of another week ahead. After all, fresh starts and new possibilities should be revitalizing—not anxiety-inducing.

So if you want to add some self-care Sunday ideas to your toolbox (and ditch The Sunday Scaries), I have you covered! Here are some of the many ways I bring this fun trend into my life to feel refreshed and happy heading into each new week.

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25 Simple Ways to Nurture Yourself on Self-Care Sunday

Self-care Sunday is about cultivating an intentional practice that feels nurturing during a time when you might otherwise feel anxious or stressed. No matter what you choose, the idea is to nourish your mind, soul, and body in order to achieve a deep sense of wellness and balance in heading into the week. 

Here are some ideas to help you begin creating your own self-care Sunday practice.

1. Turn Off Your Alarm

How often do you sleep in without any guilt attached? Rest is one of the most precious gifts we can offer ourselves—especially in a culture that glorifies constant busyness, often to the point of burnout. Don’t set your alarm and let yourself wake up naturally in the morning, with no expectations to hit the floor running. I know for parents this one can be hard, but maybe you can take turns each week allowing one of you to sleep in.

2. Set a Peaceful Ambiance

Curate an environment that makes you feel calm and relaxed during the day:

  • Light your favorite candle. 
  • Diffuse some aromatherapy or essential oils. 
  • Turn on soft, ambient music in the background. 

Research shows that a “multisensory atmosphere” with pleasant sounds, sights, and smells will enhance your mood state and sense of well-being. 

3. Connect to Your Breath

Breathwork is a powerful somatic tool to reset the nervous system, slow down anxious thoughts or frenetic energy, and anchor yourself in the present. Work this into your self-care Sunday routine to let go of tension and connect to your intentions for the week—or simply slow your thoughts for a few minutes. 

Learn more about breathwork in The Healing Power of the Breath and start your free trial of Lindywell to get instant access to dozens of guided breathwork sessions so you don’t have to think about what to do—you can just let go and breathe.

4. Make Brunch for Yourself

Sure, it’s fun to meet your friends for brunch and mimosas at a trendy café—but cooking brunch for yourself at home can be just as satisfying (not to mention, less expensive). Find a recipe that looks delicious, whether it’s a fluffy batch of pancakes or a cheesy egg frittata and recreate it in your own kitchen. Don’t forget the coffee!  

I love making Pumpkin Spice Gluten Free Pancakes or a Farmer’s Market Scramble. Both of these recipes can be found in the Lindywell app too!

5. Go Thrift Shopping

Sometimes retail therapy is hard to beat—but it doesn’t have to be expensive. Not only is thrifting a fun and cost-effective activity for your self-care Sunday, but it’s also more sustainable for our planet. Fun fact that I just love: if all of us bought a used outfit instead of something new, it would lower carbon emissions by over 2 billion pounds!

6. Do a Pelvic Floor Exercise

Pelvic floor function is often ignored in women’s health and wellness—but crucial for alignment, mobility, balance, strength, and flexibility. If you want to feel strong as you move around all day long, you can’t ignore your pelvic floor. That’s why some gentle, low-impact movements that stretch, lengthen, and alleviate tension in this group of muscles is perfect for self-care Sunday. 

Learn more about pelvic floor movement here: 5 Deep Core and Pelvic Floor Exercises. Take it a step further and start your Lindywell free trial to get access to 350+ Pilates workouts, all of which support the pelvic floor and full-body strength and mobility.

7. Have a Spa Day at Home

You don’t have to plan an entire weekend retreat to reap the benefits of a luxurious spa day. I love to give myself that same lush treatment right in the comfort of my own home! Here are a few small “spa treatments” you can do for yourself:

  • Take a warm bath with Epsom salts. 
  • Put on a bathrobe and fuzzy socks. 
  • Exfoliate with a seaweed face mask. 
  • Paint your nails a fun, bright color.  
  • Do a hot bath followed by a cold shower to mimic a sauna and cold plunge.  

8. Unleash Your Inner Artist

Whether your medium is a professional canvas or a coloring book, let your creativity run wild on Sundays. You don’t have to be an “artist” to enjoy this either. There are so many ways to tap into your creative side:

  • Make a collage or vision board. 
  • Paint a sunset. 
  • Take photos of nature. 
  • Learn calligraphy. 
  • Write a haiku. 

Your end result doesn’t have to be perfect. Art is about the freedom of self-expression without a rigid outcome. You may be surprised by how much you love it!

9. Stimulate Your Brain

The brain needs regular exercise just like the body. In fact, “brain training” can lower the risk of memory loss or cognitive decline. On Sundays, carve out some time for a puzzle, sudoku, crossword, or anything else that activates your thinking cap. You’ll have fun, and your brain will get a workout. I love doing Wordle!

Learn more about healthy brain function and how you can use it to create healthy habits in our blog post, Principles of Neuroplasticity 101

10. Get Outside

Spending at least 120 minutes each week outside in green spaces will increase physical health markers while alleviating mental distress. Walk or ride your bike to a local park, trail, or nature preserve on Sundays. If you don’t want to get out and about, just spend time in your yard. 

I started doing daily walks and I’ve come to love it much more than I anticipated I would. There’s something so pure and restorative about touching the earth, breathing in the fresh air, and soaking up the scenic views.

11. Unplug from Screens

Let’s be honest: many of us have jobs and other obligations that make it hard to escape from screens during the week. But all this exposure to technology can feel stressful or overwhelming at times. If this sounds familiar, make intentional screen-free time part of your self-care Sunday routine. 

Instead, read a book, write in your journal or just listen to music with a cup of tea—those social media notifications can wait. If you don’t know where to start, buy my book Well to the Core to get access to the Choose Your Own Digital Detox Guide that I share inside!

12. Do a Meditation

The science-based benefits of meditation are seemingly endless. Even better, just 10 minutes can feel so refreshing and allow you to reap the many benefits. Bring meditation into your self-care Sunday routine to calm your mind, balance your nervous system and so much more.

I love to meditate with Breathwork for Gratitude, Grounding, and Joy, one of the breathwork sessions inside of Lindywell!

13. Explore Your Neighborhood

You don’t need a plane ticket to have an adventure—be a tourist in your own zip code! I love seeing all the beauty that Santa Barbara (where I live) holds. Here are some ways you can do this where you live: 

  • Check out a museum or a new restaurant that opened recently. 
  • Take your time checking out all the unique vendors at your local farmers market. 
  • Grab some coffee and walk around a new neighborhood or area of town.

You might discover a hidden gem that you can’t believe you never knew existed!

14. Savor a Cozy Beverage

Raise your hand if the idea of curling up under a blanket with a warm beverage makes you feel warm and cozy. Same! Especially in the winter. Whether you prefer your drink to be light and fizzy or rich and toasty, mix up whatever libation you’re craving on Sunday.

Get some fun drink recipes in 3 Winter Mocktails to Make You Healthier and Happier.

15. Declutter Your Space

A messy physical environment can (surprisingly!) impact so many areas of your life, including:

  • Mental health
  • Emotional balance
  • Stress levels
  • Decision-making abilities
  • Concentration
  • Sleep habits
  • Eating habits

Since your brain is wired to seek out order, too much clutter can make you feel out of control. Fortunately, there’s a solution—organize your space on Sundays. If you do this regularly, there will be less and less to organize each time and you’ll feel more calm all week long. 

16. Call a Loved One to Chat

Maintaining healthy relationships is an essential part of your overall health. The CDC says, “When people are socially connected and have stable and supportive relationships, they are more likely to make healthy choices and to have better mental and physical health outcomes. They are also better able to cope with hard times, stress, anxiety, and depression.”

When was the last time you called someone just to catch up? Reach out to a loved one you haven’t spoken to in a while and ask about what’s happening in their world. It can be casual and short, but you’ll finish feeling refreshed and connected.

17. Let Yourself Be Playful

You’re never too old to play! During the week, other commitments can make it difficult to prioritize this—I know how it goes as a business owner with four kids myself—but Sunday is the ideal time to cut loose and unleash your inner child:

  • Dance around the house. 
  • Build a blanket fort in the living room. 
  • Play a game of hide-and-seek with your kids.   

Learn more about the surprising health benefits of play in our blog post, 5 Reasons to Make Play a Daily Habit as an Adult.

18. Try Out a New Hobby 

It can be easy to feel “too busy” to explore something you love. I know I feel that way sometimes too. But there’s no time like the present to learn a new hobby—or revisit one that you used to love. I started gardening as a new hobby! It was a great way to learn about something new, get outside, get my hands dirty, and include my kids in the process as well. A total win-win-win!

19. Practice Mindful Movement

Fitness doesn’t have to be boring, repetitive, or forced. In the Lindywell world, we focus on mindful movement that’s anything but those three things. Instead, I guide our members through Pilates routines that encourage them to tune into the mind-body connection as they flow through each exercise building strength, mobility, and self-compassion. Make this a part of your Sunday routine and your mind and body will thank you.

Learn more about mindful movement here: 8 Reasons Mindful Movement Will Make Your Fitness Routine Stick. Plus, start your free trial of Lindywell and get instant access to 300+ workouts, guided breathwork sessions, and recipes!

20. Connect With Personal Goals

Pursuing goals that align with your values and passions can boost your well-being, vitality, and sense of meaning in life. So don’t let these goals fall to the wayside as you focus on other areas of your life, like work. Spend time during self-care Sunday to reconnect with what you want to achieve in your personal life and what you need to do to get there.

Journaling is a way that I like to check in with myself and how I’m doing with goals that I previously set. I also like to set intentions for the week when I do this. For example, I might set an intention of taking three walks and doing 3 Pilates workouts throughout the week, plus drinking 64+ oz of water per day.

21. Blast Your Favorite Song

This one is simple—and maybe also one of my favorites on this list. From Beyonce’s “Run the World,” to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off,” to Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” the right song can make any day feel better. Put on your favorite playlist and belt out the lyrics at the top of your lungs. Side note: Free-style dance moves are also encouraged!

22. Lean into Gratitude

There’s so much to be grateful for in this world—from the small pleasures, like morning coffee, to the existential blessings, like another day to be alive. Pause to reflect on these gifts, then set aside a few minutes to cultivate your own gratitude practice. You’ll feel more generous, altruistic, compassionate, and a whole lot happier!

Learn more about gratitude practices in our recent blog post, 5 Steps to Create an Attitude of Gratitude. You can also learn about how gratitude impacted me personally in my post about 30 days of gratitude

23. Write Affirmations for Yourself

Personal affirmations or mantras are truthful statements you repeat in order to combat intrusive thoughts and critical self-talk. These can also help you manage stress and cope with uncertainties. On Sunday, write an affirmation that resonates with you (ex: “I am worthy”), then place it in a visible area like on your fridge or mirror so you can see it and repeat it each day.

If it seems like your affirmations or mantras don’t feel aligned, read Why Your Self-Love Mantras Aren’t Working (And How to Fix Them), written by Kiesha, our head of Breathwork and Somatic Programs.

24. Do a Financial Check-In

Have a budget meeting with yourself each week. Believe it or not, financial literacy is part of self-care too. When you’re in control of spending habits, saving plans and other facets of money management, you’ll be in a more stable position to work toward your future dreams, such as buying a house or traveling abroad. Plus you feel more confident as you educate yourself on finances and how to get where you want to go!

25. Create a Food Prep Ritual

Prep some of your favorite meals in advance for the upcoming week. This is a convenient way to ensure you’re eating nutritious foods on a regular basis. Plus, the mindful act of preparing your own meals (whether it’s oatmeal for breakfast or a grain bowl for dinner) can help you start nurturing a balanced relationship with food. It’s an act of self-care that also makes your week easier—win-win!

Learn more about how this can support your self-love practice in, How to Fuel Radical Self-Love with Food.

Make Self-Care Sunday an Intentional Part of Your Weekly Routine

Self-care Sunday is more than just a social media trend. It’s a great way to transition back into the week feeling calm, confident, and connected rather than stressed or anxious. I hope some of these ideas will find their way into your weekly routine, even beyond Sunday! 

The best way to take care of yourself is to make it a regular practice. See how you might be able to weave some of these ideas into your daily routine or as part of other days of your week, in addition to Sunday, to reduce stress even more. 

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3 thoughts on “25 Self-Care Sunday Ideas to Nurture Your Mind and Body”

    1. Thanks so much for adding! This list is certainly non exhaustive and we always encourage you to continue to care for yourself in the ways that is best for you too.

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