35 Tiny Things To Do For Yourself Today

things to do for yourself things to do for yourself

When I get out of here,” I wrote to the group chat during lockdown, “the first place I’m going is TJ Maxx.” And that’s just where I went when the world opened up again. I spent an hour roaming the aisles, touching things I had no intention of buying, nodding at strangers with a goofy grin under my mask. It was blissful. Clearly, we’re all starved for joy.

While there finally seems to be a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, we could all use a little jolt of joy. So here are some ideas for little things you can do for yourself. Some are big, some are small, some can take you to Drew Barrymore levels of happiness.


  1. Use your grandmother’s china. You don’t need to wait for a royal wedding or an Oprah interview to feel like a queen.
  2. Buy new underwear. You can always use new underwear. If you want to go wild, spring for a matching bra, too.
  3. Start planning a trip. They say that planning a trip often makes you happier than the trip itself. So pick a destination, break out the Excel sheet and start planning.
  4. Get a haircut. Even if you don’t think you need one, you do.
  5. Borrow a friend’s dog for the afternoon.
  6. Plant something. When I plant a single sprig of windowsill basil, I feel like the dad in Minari.
  7. Dig up your box of old love letters and browse through a couple. Sure, they can be from your partner. But, of course, it’s more fun if they’re not.
  8. Mute those crazy btchz. The ones you can’t unfriend because you actually see them IRL — but you’re pretty fed up with seeing their actual opinions. You know the ones.
  9. Track your horoscope. The Astro Twins are excellent guides for helping you find cosmic themes. Plus, their horoscopes are fun to read.
  10. Say no. If there’s a trivial social obligation that’s low stakes but stressing you out, tell them you can’t make it. Just say no.
  11. Say yes. Personally, I am so starved for human interaction, I have been saying yes to every single invitation that comes our way. It’s exhilarating.
  12. Take a 15-minute car nap. Better than your house because it’s quieter, plus you can lock the doors. Park under a peaceful tree between appointments, recline, and rest.
  13. Buy something that’s been sitting in your ‘saved for later’ cart since forever. A girlfriend recommended these after I had my first kid and, two kids later, I think I’m finally ready to pull the trigger.
  14. Do it yourself. How lucky are we to live in this golden age of vibrators? Seize the day, honeys. Here’s a recent roundup to get you started.
  15. Buy yourself some flowers. Or send some to your bestie. (Bonus points if you live with your bestie, if you catch my drift.)
  16. Actually schedule Me Time. Going to the dentist or the grocery store does not count. Going for a workout or reading a book does. Literally, schedule a block of time on your calendar and let your crew know you’ll be out of commission.
  17. Wear a smile. This sweet charm bracelet will bring out your inner teen, and a portion of the proceeds go to Send Chinatown Love and Stop AAPI Hate.
  18. Do an act of kindness. It can be as simple as a money donation, volunteering your time, or bringing your coworker a cup of coffee. Know a mom in the trenches? Of course you do. Offer to take her kids for an afternoon.
  19. Hire professionals to do a deep clean on your house. Maybe it’s your carpets, windows, or the whole dang thing.
  20. Scroll with purpose. Figure out what kind of pics make you happy, then feast your eyes on only those. For me, that means doing an image search for Gloria Vanderbilt. Other options might include frolicking pandas, fruit bouquets and Michael B. Jordan.
  21. Listen to music from high school; it’s as easy as adjusting your Spotify algo accordingly. Or do the legwork to find the contemporary equivalent to Rusted Root.
  22. Finally fix that annoying thing in your house or pay someone else to do it. The one drawer that never closes all the way? Get it done. Little nuisances add up and just tackling one will make a big difference in your day-to-day.
  23. Get together with your girlfriends. Sure you might still be confined to your lawn, but so what. Add a screen, your favorite bottle, and it’s a movie night.
  24. Love thy neighbor. Either invite them for a walk or drop off some baked goods.
  25. Dance. A Tina Turner playlist will do the trick. Kikos.kloset is definitely worth a follow if you need some buzzy inspiration.
  26. Make or order your favorite comfort food. Or try a dish you’ve never had before.
  27. Wear something from your closet that hasn’t seen the light of day in over a year. Sequins to soccer practice? Yes.
  28. Go outside. Never underestimate the power of sunshine.
  29. Put on your wrist watch that you haven’t worn in years. It’ll keep you from picking up your phone to check the time, which will keep you from checking your email, which will keep you from checking your texts, which will keep you from checking your social channels, etc.
  30. Drop the kids with the grandparents for an evening. Or seven.
  31. Get a headstart on Mother’s Day by pre-ordering Your Mama. NoNieqa Ramos wrote this fun twist on the age-old “yo mama” joke, celebrating moms everywhere with beautiful illustrations.
  32. Call an old friend. Meaning, pick up the phone and call. Not text. It doesn’t have to be an hour-long marathon chat. 10 minutes can brighten both your days.
  33. Pare down and stop feeling bad. Get rid of anything in your closet that you are waiting to lose 10 lbs for before wearing. Seriously, pass it on to someone else. Then buy something new to replace it. 🙂
  34. Laugh. When I need a good LOL, I search for Elaine May and Mike Nichols routines on YouTube. Or follow Leslie Jones for the funniest commentary ever.
  35. Give yourself permission to do nothing. Absolutely, positively nothing. Sit in the sun, listen to the rain, or stare at the blank wall if you want. You deserve it.

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Toby Lowenfels is a writer and mom of three in Nashville. Follow her daily musings at @tobyfels.