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10 Creative Ideas for Practicing Self-Care in the Outdoors

10 Creative Ideas for Practicing Self-Care in the Outdoors

by Mikayla Merchant | June 08, 2020

Sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. When was the last time you did something just for you? If it’s been a while, we’ve got some fantastic ideas for practicing self-care in the outdoors that just might inspire you to set aside some “you” time. Now that the weather is warming up, grab a few spare minutes or even an entire weekend to head outdoors and treat yourself to some fresh air, nature, and sunshine. It’s all about unplugging and reconnecting with yourself! 

What is self-care?

Before we dive into these creative ideas for self-care in the outdoors, it might be helpful to define exactly what self-care means. Obviously, it means taking care of yourself, but there’s more to it than that.

Self-care is all about focusing on yourself and taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. Most people tend to think of getting their nails done or taking a bubble bath as self-care, and they are. 

But what it’s really about is setting aside time to give yourself what you really need. These outdoor self-care ideas will nourish you on a much deeper level.

Why Self-Care is Important

When you don’t take the time to care for yourself on an emotional, mental, and physical level, you’re going to feel burnt out and generally worn down. Putting yourself on the back burner all the time leads to feelings of exhaustion and you may even begin to resent those who are close to you. Practicing self-care is not only important for you, but it also allows you to be more available to those around you.

Creative Ideas for Self-Care in the Outdoors

1. Bring Nature to Your Backyard

Stress can build up on the day-to-day and enjoying nature is a great way to get some relief. Consider putting up some bird feeders, a birdhouse, or even a beehive in your backyard. Not only will it bring nature to your backyard, but it will also help you release all those pent-up emotions.

2. Go on a Day Hike

Local day hikes are a great way to enjoy some solitude in the great outdoors, without the commitment of traveling or spending the night in the woods. Many communities have a variety of hiking trails that are perfect for beginning to advanced hikers, so you’re sure to find one that suits your abilities as a solo hiker.

3. Meditate Outdoors

For some people, calming the mind enough to meditate effectively can be a real challenge. No matter how long you sit there and try to quiet your thoughts, they just keep crowding back in. Meditating in the outdoors can help you feel calmer and more grounded. Look for a quiet place in a local park or hike to a secret, out of the way place. It’s all about what works for you.

4. Take Your Workout Outside

If you normally work out at the gym, you might be surprised at how much more enjoyable your workout is when you take it outside. Take a walk or jog around the block, play volleyball on the beach, go for a bike ride, or do yoga in the park. Working out doesn’t have to feel like a chore!

5. Plant a Garden

Gardening is a wonderful way to reconnect with nature. It can be incredibly therapeutic, and you can do it just about anywhere. If you live in an apartment, grow some herbs on your windowsill or have a container garden on your porch. The important thing is that you’re nurturing yourself along with the plants.

6. Have a Picnic

This is one of the easiest ways to practice self-care in the outdoors. If you’re working, consider taking your lunch to a nearby park. If it’s your day off, spread a blanket out in your own backyard or hike to a beautiful spot. You might be surprised at how much more special a meal can be when you enjoy it in a beautiful outdoor location.

7. Go Swimming in a River, Lake, or at the Ocean

Swimming in a natural setting is a wonderful way to recharge and get some low-impact exercise. If you just want to chill out, bring along a floatie and just hang out on the water.

8. Plan a Solo Backpacking Trip

A solo backpacking trip gives you the opportunity to really unplug and do something that’s just for you. It’s a fantastic way to challenge yourself and step outside your comfort zone. You’ll recharge mentally and head back to your day-to-day life with a whole new mindset. You can even rent backpacking gear from Arrive, have it delivered right to your door, and send it back when you’re done.

9. Go Stargazing

Stargazing is a wonderful way to relieve stress and anxiety. The pure awe of a star-filled sky can put your own problems into perspective when you think about how big the universe really is. Best of all, all you need is a blanket to toss down in your own backyard.

10. Watch the Sunrise

When it comes to taking care of yourself, losing sleep probably isn’t the first thing that comes to mind- but getting up early to watch the sunrise can be a surreal experience. Simply sit back with your coffee and enjoy the view. It’s an amazing way to start the day with a fresh mindset.


Almost any activity is more special when you’re in the great outdoors. These creative ways to practice self-care in the outdoors will leave you feeling grounded and recharged. They’re the perfect way to nurture yourself- mentally, physically, and emotionally.

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