What is a self-care Saturday?
Self care weekend ideas to help you live your best life.
Self Care Weekend Ideas to Live Your Best Life
August 12, 2023
Alicia Butler is pretty much perfect when she isn’t procrastinating, dealing with crippling anxiety, or avoiding conflict. She drinks a bit too much, doesn’t buy into the hype of those green drinks, and has a chaotic sleep schedule.
And like most women with self-help blogs, she also doesn’t have any credentials in clinical therapy. That’s why she sticks to poking fun at the self-care industry with pithy posts about our society’s weird obsession with productivity.
According to the American Psychological Association, there are three different types of stress.
Which is a little suss, if you ask me. Because I’m pretty sure I’m struggling from at least seven at any given time. Simultaneously.
And I’m a childless woman-about-town who gives very few f*cks. (In fact, whenever someone tells me they’re unable to put their own needs first, my immediate thought is: I’m happy to volunteer as tribute in your place.)
For me, a self care Saturday isn’t a crazy concept. It’s just… every Saturday. And sometimes Sunday. And because I believe in, you know, balance, also the odd Friday, too.
If I can’t just take some time to turn it all off and — I don’t know — relax, who can?
This post may contain affiliate links, so if you buy something after clicking on a link, I might (fingers crossed!) just get a little commission. Good news: I only recommend products that I love! Which means you can feel good about all of my recs.
What is self care saturday?
As far as I can tell, self care Saturday is a day when you do all the stuff you’d rather be doing during the week but can’t because you’re so busy girl-bossing. Or boy-bossing.
Basically, we’re all working for the man all week long, so society deems it totes kewl to veg out at least one weekend day. And the odd holiday.
Do I wish I knew how to take care of myself all week long? Sure. Is it going to happen anytime soon while we’re all just trying to navigate the experiment called late stage capitalism?
In the words of my therapist Magic Eight Ball: not likely.
Tips for a Successful Self Care Weekend
If you’re a ‘lil unsure of how to actually relax when you’ve got downtime, you’re most certainly not alone.
Just the other day, after a two-hour flight in which the lady in the seat next to me (who was all elbows) proceeded to read an actual newspaper whilst looking over my shoulder to comment on my Instagram feed, I found myself doing some light internet searching:
“Do people know how to relax?”
Turns out, not only do we not know how to relax, but we also often stress about relaxing. Just a few related searches that the ether posited back included:
- why can’t i relax and enjoy life
- how to learn to relax and not worry
- learning to relax and enjoy life
- i can’t relax without feeling guilty
- why can’t i relax and stop thinking
Clearly, I am not the only one who needs a self care weekend, never mind a simple self care Saturday.
If you too are finding it difficult to slide effortlessly into your Fri-yay or self care Saturday, might I suggest the following tips for getting ready to unwind.
Make a List of Missed Needs During the Week
Self care weekends are all about reclaiming what is yours. Whenever you find yourself missing out on self-care during the week, write that sh*t down.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few of my faves:
- Crying for an hour
- Using the bathroom when you actually need to
- Downloading a Taylor Swift album (but for god sakes, make sure it’s “Taylor’s Version” because, Feminism)
- Brushing your hair
- Taking a shower long enough for your fingertips to get extra wrinkly*
- Screaming into a pillow
Don’t head into your self care Saturday totally unprepared.
A few days before the weekend, add a few essentials to your Target cart such as essential oils, Korean eye masks, and a foot bath, knowing full-well you probably will never remember to click “Purchase” before Friday.
You might as well order a vibrator, too. But none of the fancy ones on GOOP. The one for $30 on Amazon that will most definitely start itself up, as if possessed, in your nightstand drawer in the middle of the night.
I also can’t imagine a self care weekend without my maternity pillow. No, I’ve never been pregnant. It’s just the only consistent way I’ve found to be supported on all sides.
Don’t Set Any Plans in Stone
You’re probably going to cancel them.
Or, at the very least, find yourself texting the person you’re supposed to meet that you’re five minutes away, when you haven’t even left the house yet.
Do yourself a favor and just keep your expectations of yourself low.
To Indulge or Not to Indulge?
You almost definitely want to use your self care weekend as an excuse to indulge.
But before you order that trough of bang bang shrimp or big ole bottle of Kim Crawford sauvignon blanc (don’t judge me, it goes down real easy, OK?), you’re gonna wanna pump the brakes.
Self care Saturdays aren’t “The Purge”. And the point isn’t to feel bloated or hung over the next day. Your operative is to numb out just enough to you have the brain space to do what you did last week (and the 52 weeks before the last one) over again this week.
Don’t forget: self care weekends are a coping tool, not a total copout.
Consider Both Your Mind and Your Body
Don’t just shut out the entire world to your mind on self care Saturday. Let your body in on a little bit of that bliss too.
Consider this your go ahead to order that sleep pod. Climb into that sensory deprivation tank. Wrap yourself in a weighted blanket that makes you forget the crushing responsibility of being an adult for an afternoon.
Download Some Adele
So you can drive around in the car while listening to “Hello” on repeat.
You really must do this alone, in the car (unless you live in a cabin in the woods) because you’re going to want to belt that sh*t out as loud as you can.
Rent a Cabin in the Woods
Or better yet, just rent a cabin in the woods. Really put some space between yourself and society.
You may not get great service out there, so don’t forget to download some entertainment beforehand. I’m talking, RHONY. I’m talking, old episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I’m even talking about Steel Magnolias, baby.
Bring all the books you tell yourself you’re going to read and then never do. Keep up that tradition during your self care weekend. Just set those books on the coffee table (or another highly visible spot) so you can really marinate in the shame you feel for never even cracking their covers.
Commune With Nature
Or, if you live in a city, buy a lot of houseplants. Refer to them as “your babies”. Name them.
Forget to water them. Or better yet, overwater them. That way when they die, you’ll be able to say it wasn’t for lack of trying.
Create Some Boundaries
It’s best to set up some rules before you start your self care Saturday because it’s really easy to just let the day get away from you.
Are you going to be “checking out” all day? Almost certainly. Just whatever you do, don’t forget to enjoy checking out. I mean, really savor it. Drink it in. What you don’t want to do is wake up the next day, completely overtaken by the Sunday Scaries because you can’t even remember how hard you relaxed the day before because you were relaxing so f*cking hard.
Don’t ask me how I know this.
Practice Your Affirmations
This is something a lot of women on Instagram recommend. And millions of influencers with no formal training in psychology or clinical therapy can’t be wrong.
Don’t Try to Burn Sage
And not just because most sage isn’t ethically sourced, either.
Because deep down you know you don’t need sage; you need an exorcism. As my astrologist always says, bringing sage to an exorcism is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.
Michelle Yeoh you are not.
As my astrologist always says, bringing sage to an exorcism is like bringing a knife to a gunfight.
25 Self Care Weekend Ideas
If you’re still unsure how to do a self care Saturday, try a few of these self care ideas. Or just read through this list while watching old episodes of Matlock.
1. Sit in a Cool Dark Room
The darker the better. The temperature should be around 68F. Not so cold that it’s unbearable. Just enough to numb your mind to the existential crisis of your life.
2. Binge Watch Your Favorite Show
If you don’t have a show to binge during your self care Saturday, ask a friend. Most people will happily offer up their favorites with the fervor of a Joe Rogan fan man-splaining the Carnivore Diet.
“Dude, you haven’t seen [INSERT SHOW HERE]? You’ve got to watch it. Actually, I’m jealous you haven’t seen it yet. I wish I could unwatch it so I could see it all over again.”
If someone demands you watch Game of Thrones, ghost them. They’ll never shut up about it.
3. Turn Off Your Phone
But if you must keep it on, make sure to follow lots of social media of couples “living that RV lifestyle” or stay-at-home moms restocking their kitchens and shopping at Costco.
Though you don’t have any intention of gutting an old camper or buying hotdogs in bulk, watching others do so will lull you into a trance of complacency that feels like sitting in a bathtub that’s just the right temperature to make you have to get out and pee.
If someone claims they are living their “best life” then unfollow them immediately.
Don’t forget to take breaks from social media to play a lot of solitaire under the screen name “Bobby Carlson89”.
4. Eat a Cannabis Gummy
Especially if you’re unable to turn off your brain. Or, if you need your mind to wander, to turn it back on again.
5. Search for a Therapist
Call the ones in your insurance company’s database of in-network providers who are listed as “accepting new patients” — only to get a prerecorded message that says they’re not taking new patients but to hang up and call 911 if you’re experiencing an emergency.
Google, “how do i know if i’m experiencing an emergency?”
6. Consider Taking Up Vaping
Decide vaping probably isn’t for you. Because your heart is already racing from the crippling anxiety. And probably the edible.
7. Drink Water
A lot of it. Because the influencer you follow on TikTok who stitches Notorious RBG sampler pillows says you’re not drinking enough if your pee isn’t clear.
8. Add Items to Your Amazon and Target Carts
Then move everything to your “Save for Later” lists except for athletic socks, a gua sha, and sriracha sauce.
9. Google Your Exes
And wonder why they’re not on any social media sites except for LinkedIn. Notice how they’ve aged and wonder if they’d think you’ve aged when they search for you.
Discover one of them has a Pinterest page full of photos of dogs wearing UPS costumes.
10. Check Your Bumble Matches
And spend an hour aimlessly swiping with no intention of ever making the first move. Wonder why making the first move is considered “feminist”.
11. Make a Spotify Playlist
But only of songs you can never remember the lyrics to. Title the playlist, “There is a Bathroom on the Right”. Delete it because you think it makes you seem basic.
12. Take a Nap
But not one that’s so long you won’t be able to sleep later that night. Google how much sleep is too much sleep.
13. Consider Ordering Takeout
Then spend over an hour obsessing over what you want for lunch. Land on drunken noodles but order them “Thai spicy” just to feel something.
Regret this decision the next day since you’re sharing a bathroom with three other people. Before you go to the bathroom, make sure you run the water in the shower as a courtesy so no one else hears the carnage of yesterday’s lunch as it makes its exit.
Ignore your roommates’ stares when you walk out of the bathroom bone dry, clearly having not showered.
14. Google “What Are the Happiest Countries”?
And which ones have a four-day workweek. Download the book Four Hour Work Week only to discover it’s totally irrelevant.
15. Take a Cold Shower
Again, just to feel something.
16. Text a Friend
Then, an hour later, wonder why they haven’t texted you back. Log onto Instagram and notice that the same friend is online and posting memes on their stories. Feel the sting of rejection knowing they have time to post memes but not to respond to your texts.
Google anti-anxiety medications to find out which ones have the fewest side effects.
17. Consider Going for a Walk
But don’t actually leave the couch.
This is self-care Saturday for god sakes. And according to some sources, the pandemic is over, so there’s no need for your ‘lil mental health walks anymore.
You can just go to the gym on Monday and spend 20 minutes waiting for a treadmill, like a normal person.
18. Try to Meditate
But end up falling back asleep.
19. Download a Meditation App
When it prompts you to turn on notifications, click “Turn On Later” knowing you sure as hell won’t.
Google “Why is meditation so hard?“
20. Make a Self-Care Jar
But first, add a dozen Mason jars to your Amazon cart. Spend an inordinate amount of time figuring out what the hell a self care jar is and why you need to make one in the first place.
Realize you can just buy one instead. Spend 45 minutes researching the best self care jars on Etsy and end up buying commemorative JFK and Jackie O. salt and pepper shakers instead.
21. Make a Self-Care Vision Board
Because you still can’t figure out what a self car jar is, just make a vision board for self care.
You remember all those vision boards you made after watching the “documentary” The Secret, don’t you? It’s like that. But for all your self care Saturday goals instead of for cars, cash, and vacations.
22. Balance Your Budget
You’re really gonna need to figure out how to pay for that cabin in the woods, the Korean face masks, the salt and pepper shakers, and all of the sh*t you needed to buy to make this self care weekend happen.
23. Get a Massage
Just to feel human touch.
24. Order Supplements
That you’ll decide are too large to actually swallow. Remember that you read an article back in 2017 claiming that supplements aren’t the best way for your body to absorb vitamins and will probably just get peed out anyway.
25. Try Out Some COVID Coping Mechanisms
If the pandemic gave us anything, it was the ability to cope and “keep on truckin’” during a crisis.
Despite the fact that nearly 10% of the earth’s population died of a mysterious infectious disease, we somehow all seemed to manage to work, file our taxes, and watch a lot of YouTube videos on how sponges are farmed.
And we can’t give all the credit for our complacency to Bravo reunions, either. (Though Andy Cohen really should get some sort of national award for his contribution.)
Really, it was sourdough starters, sad-girl health walks, and to-go margaritas that got us through.
Just because we’re not in lockdown anymore doesn’t mean we can’t continue to keep a few of these COVID coping tools in our back pockets.
So go ahead. Take a wine tour of your own home. Wash that bag of Doritos in your kitchen sink. Unfollow people on Instagram who like Candace Owen’s posts. Really do your self care Saturday right.
*If you live in CA, don’t come at me, OK? I get it. There’s probably a drought down there. Just use your best judgment. And then ignore that