Self-care is important. But, it can be difficult to start the routine without accountability or others who also want to take better care of themselves. That’s why self care group exercises can be so beneficial.
Self-care is inherently vulnerable and it helps you to foster strong relationships with people you may otherwise not know as well. Check out these 23 self care group exercises for ideas on how to involve a group in your next self-care activity.
This post is all about self care group exercises.
SELF CARE GROUP EXERCISES:
1. Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is the practice of inflating your chest and abdomen until the air reaches your diaphragm. You can place a hand on your stomach to feel your chest fully inflate. Then, you exhale completely.
The goal is to perform these actions slowly enough that you relax your body through the physiological response that slow, deep breathing causes. You create accountability by doin this as a group. It’s safe space for people to grow and develop a sense of community.
Self-care is a vulnerable act, so engaging in self-care group exercises can be scary and uncomfortable. That makes them all the more necessary and meaningful.
2. Try meditation and stay in the present moment
It’s strange to think of meditation around other people since we often think about it as a solitary activity. If you’ve never meditated before, it can be intimidating to close your eyes and not think of anything.
Most of us struggle to keep our minds blank at all, so we think that doing that for one, five, or even ten minutes is impossible. And, it is. You have to think of meditation as a skill that you improve over time.
The first time you meditate, keep the session short. What most people misunderstand about meditation as a form of self-care is that it helps you work on self-compassion.
It’s less about keeping your mind blank and more about learning to accept thoughts that enter your mind then letting them leave your mind just as easily. You’ll get better at avoiding immediate judgment.
Doing this in a group setting will help everyone involved to feel supported and you instantly gain a group of people who understand how difficult it is to learn self-compassion.
You work with this group to notice and challenge those negative thoughts until they lose their strength altogether.
3. Attend a tai chi class
Tai chi is a type of martial arts that focuses on slow, controlled movements. When you participate in tai chi, either through a class or with a group of friends, you develop a better self-awareness because of your strict focus on the way your body moves.
You also increase your strength because of how slow each of your movements is. Tai chi can help you meditate because you’re focusing on the way your body moves instead of your thoughts.
This can be an easier way to meditate since you’re giving yourself something to focus on in addition to your thoughts. So, you can still work on self-compassion and make it a little easier to stay in your meditative state.
4. Get some fresh air
Get out of the office or out of the home and breathe in some fresh air. Depending on where you live, the air may not be as refreshing as it should be. Consider planning an outing with a group of people and meet in a park or go for a hike.
Nature can be healing in any form and surrounding yourself with grass and trees can help you get out of your head. When you get out of buildings and go to a park or some type of open space, it’s a great way to hang out with team members from work and shake up the routine.
You all can reset your day and reset your energy levels. Plus, it’s nice to care for your emotional well-being while hanging out with people you know or would like to get to know.
5. Start a monthly book club
Identify a group of people who would be interested in reading a book and pick a book each month. You can have everyone vote on the book they want to read. Then, meet and talk about it over some hot cocoa or wine.
Remember that you can choose any type of book that interests everyone, from smutty novels to nonfiction about self-care. The sky is the limit.
The purpose of a book club is to reintroduce reading as a form of leisure into your life and to meet with a group of family members, friends, or coworkers once a month to talk about it.
6. Play board games
Bring out your competitive side with some good, old-fashioned board games. Bring them with you to a gathering or invite people over to your house. It may seem strange to think of board games as a form of self-care.
But, we live in a society that so rarely rewards us for play that, if for only that reason, board games are a form of self-care. We can play board games, knowing that we’re taking a break from the productive struggle and enjoying our time.
7. Engage in physical activity
Move your body and do it with people you trust. It can be intimidating to go for a run, work out, or dance with people you don’t know. While that shouldn’t hold you back from forming new friendships, it’s also scary and that’s understandable.
Find a group of like-minded people who could use a break from the daily routine. Remember that physical activity can look many different ways, so you can move your body in a fun way that also happens to benefit your physical health.
8. Start a daily gratitude practice
Gratitude practices are some of the best ways to improve your emotional health and think more positively. Our brains are incredible if we give them the chance to work their magic.
So, when we rely on neuroplasticity, we have the opportunity to train our brains to think more positively.
A gratitude practice can help us do exactly that by focusing on the positive stuff so that the positive stuff gradually becomes easier to focus on. Do this in a group by staying accountable to others and starting a conversation about three reasons everyone has had to be grateful today.
9. Write a self-love letter
Whenever you engage in self-care, it’s a vulnerable process. This is especially true when you’re trying to cultivate self-love. Writing a self-love letter is a great way to refocus on the reasons you can love yourself regardless of the progress you have or haven’t made.
By writing a self-love letter, you can slowly realize and believe that you are worthy of love regardless of how much personal growth you’ve achieved.
This is one of the most difficult self-care practices to do as a group activity, which also makes it one of the most powerful. Instead of giving in to fear, be brave and get a small group together who are interested in loving themselves more.
10. Put a puzzle together
There’s nothing more satisfying than solving a puzzle. The good news is that the more people you invite to help you, the faster you get it done.
Then, you’ll be able to say that you’re completing fun self care activities while talking to your group members and getting to know new people. Maybe you’ll even find your new best friend in the process of completing the puzzle.
One of the best reasons to start a puzzle is the promise that, while you complete work on the puzzle pieces, your brain can focus primarily on the task at hand and shut down any wandering thoughts.
11. Go for a bike ride
Go for a group bike ride. Bike rides are so diverse in their difficulty and beauty. That’s why they’re the perfect activity to do with others. No matter what the fitness level of each of your group members is, you can put together a bike ride that will make everyone happy.
Hopefully, you can find a nice location that will be visually appealing while also choosing a level of difficulty that aligns with everyone’s preference. If you’re lucky and it goes well the first time, you can make this a recurring group meeting.
12. Attend yoga classes
There’s no shortage of online yoga videos that walk through a routine. However, when you’re at home, you can get distracted, give up, and avoid finishing your self-care activity.
It’s understandable because you have a never-ending to-do list that keeps making you feel guilty for doing self-care. So, get out of the house and attend a live yoga class.
If you feel nervous, remember that yoga classes are some of the welcoming places because, above all else, yoga is meditation. You move your body in ways that feel good, if not challenging sometimes, while focusing on clearing your mind and developing self-compassion.
13. Try new recipes together
Nothing is more chaotically fun than trying to cook with a group of people. It may not be on your list of self-care activities because of how chaotic it is. So, if that’s the case, you can opt for video chatting with people in your group so that everyone has their own kitchen to work with.
You can also attend a live cooking class where you can get to know the other attendees. Regardless of how you cook in a group setting, be adventurous and try something new. Make sure it sounds good so you have the motivation to cook through the hurdles you experience.
14. Invite people over for a home spa day
Design the ultimate home spa day with face masks, music, low lighting, pillows to sit on, and guided meditations. This may sound intimidating and expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Plus, whatever is not used on the day of your spa you can keep it for future self-care days.
You can cut up cucumber slices, make some at-home facial remedies, and find music and meditations on YouTube.
The most important part is that you allow yourself to relax as much as your guests. Consider sending them a list of activities or a schedule so you can enjoy the spa day along with the rest of your friends.
15. Learn a new skill
When you learn a new skill with someone, you automatically become closer to them if you two are compatible. You two share an experience of failure and success. This brings you closer together and gives you something to talk about that’s personal to both of you.
Plus, it’s fun to learn something new. It’s a good idea to try a new skill you’ve been wanting to learn for a while anyway. That way you’re more receptive to the trial and error and talking about it when you’re not participating in it.
16. Host a dance party
The best part about dance parties is they can last as long or as short as you want. There is no requirement that you have to go all out for a dance party to be a form of self-care. An important part of self-care is being able to practice your routine or activities routinely.
In other words, they don’t take a lot of stress or preparation. So, when you need to get up and dance out the stress and negative emotions for five minutes, you can go to the break room, put some music on your phone, and start dancing.
The best part is it’s easy to involve other people in this. While they’ll probably be scared to do it, it will turn into one of the most beautiful, freeing ways of spending time with others.
17. Plan a happy hour
You can always plan a get-together with coworkers, friends, or family. Happy hours are simple, fun, and great ways to socialize with you people you like. It’s often hard to find downtime with coworkers to enjoy conversation.
So, plan a get-together at a local restaurant or host at your home. Make sure to have nonalcoholic options available in case people would prefer that type of happy hour and talk to people.
This is one of the simple self-care activities you can do. But, it’s still just as powerful so long as you surround yourself with the right people.
18. Paint something without judgment
Go for it. If you don’t have paint supplies, start with a trip to your local crafts store to pick up a canvas or thick paper, paint brushes, and colors. Then, paint.
Skip the judgment because, unless you choose to show someone else, this is for your eyes only. Consider it an exercise in developing self-compassion.
19. Attend a group therapy session
Never underestimate the power of therapy. For a lot of reasons, support groups and group therapy are typically considered “as needed.” In other words, you think of them in the context of needing to have presenting mental health issues to participate.
However, we need to pivot our thinking to understanding therapy like the gym. We go to strengthen our mental health and develop coping mechanisms before we need them. In this case, you get to do all of that and relate to other people with similar experiences or feelings as you.
20. Try progressive muscle relaxation
Progressive muscle relaxation is a powerful tool. You can use it as a type of meditation. You focus on one muscle or body part at a time and physically relax that part of your body.
You move up your body, starting with your toes, as a form of relaxation and meditation. In conjunction with others, you can walk them through it as you do it or use online resources to guide everyone through it at the same time.
21. Play video games
Video games have the power to take your mind off where you are and transport you somewhere else. You have to be careful when using this as a self-care activity because you can accidentally end up distracting yourself instead of truly relaxing.
While it can be hard to know the difference, you’ll feel it in the way you react to your activity. You either notice negative thoughts and let them pass, or you ruminate on them while simultaneously trying to ignore them.
22. Volunteer or visit a local animal shelter
Find yourself a furry friend at the local animal shelter. Not only will you give a shelter animal love and attention, but you feel the healing effects of being around animals.
Bonus points if you bring others who also appreciate animals. You can socialize the pets at the animal shelter so that the workers can focus on getting them adopted.
23. Start writing in a self-care journal
Start your self-care journal by writing about your day. You can start your gratitude practice and write three things you’re grateful for in detail. Or you can set a timer and keep writing until the timer runs out.
An excellent way of involving other people in this activity is to come together to talk about the activity. Talk about how it’s helping you, what you wrote about, or even if you did it.