Have you tried the common self-care recommendations but not found one you actually enjoy? Browse these more unusual suggestions and see if you find your match

Self-care is a vital part of all of our wellbeing, and it includes everything from taking care of our basic needs all the way up to activities like indulgent baths. But if the usual self-care suggestions you see batted about don’t spark anything in you, it might be time to think outside the box.

Here, we’re rounding up six unusual suggestions for how you can practise self-care.

1. Crying

It may initially sound counterintuitive, but allowing yourself to have a good cry every now and then (instead of holding it all inside) can be a healing thing to do. In fact, it’s often heralded as our best way to self-soothe. Back in ancient Greece and Rome, it was believed that tears cleansed and purified us. These days, it's known that crying releases the feel-good hormone oxytocin and helps soothe stress. So, if you’ve got something building up inside of you, know that there’s nothing wrong with letting it out – in fact, it could be key to feeling better.

2. Create a fear ladder

If you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety or fear around a certain activity or situation, this tool is a great way to take action in a gentle and caring way. The idea is that you create a ‘fear ladder’ that features steps you can take to get you where you need to be.

For example, say you have a blood test coming up and you're afraid of needles, your fear ladder may look something like this: 1. Imagine someone else having their blood taken. 2. Imagine yourself having your blood taken. 3. Hold a needle. 4. Watch a video of someone else having their blood taken. 5. Have your blood taken.

This tool is a great self-care activity in the lead-up to something you’re apprehensive about, and can be adapted to all sorts of scenarios – from public speaking to making long journeys.

3. Spiritual activities

For some people, spiritual activities are a pillar of both their identity and their self-care. Whether it be prayer, attending a place of worship, or engaging with spirituality more broadly, this is something that is transformative for many.

And though spirituality can be a private practice, it can also be a way of connecting with like-minded individuals, opening up your social circle and encouraging you to try something new.

4. Write letters to your future self

Whatever is bothering you right now, your future self has already gotten through it, so why not try writing letters to them and see what appears on the page? You might have questions, that, by putting them down in words, you’re able to find the answers to. You may have particular hopes and dreams that feel more achievable when you break them down on paper. And, ultimately, the process of taking some time out to write (for your eyes only) can be both a freeing and soothing experience.

5. Worry time

Similar to crying, dedicating time to worrying can seem like a pretty negative take on self-care – but it could be the wellbeing activity you’re looking for. The idea is simple: rather than letting worries haunt you 24/7, dedicate a short amount of time to ponder them. Once that time is up, let go and move on. Read more about how to build up the habit of scheduling ‘worry time’.

6. Regular sleep and wake times

Having a regular bedtime and wake-up time (even on your days off) is a great way to take care of yourself. Admittedly, it’s not always easy – life has a tendency to get in the way, and sometimes things come up that disrupt your sleep, making sticking to a routine a challenge. But, where you can, getting into a routine is worth it for the benefits. A routine helps you to keep your circadian rhythm consistent, which means – if you’re getting the right amount of sleep – you should find you wake up feeling refreshed each morning. With good sleep comes better mental and physical health, so this tip is one you will feel the effects of far and wide.