41 Of The Best Inspirational Self-Care Quotes

Self-care gets a bad rap in some quarters, especially with its emphasis on the self and its needs. It’s too easy to write off self-care as a luxury enjoyed by the top 10%.

“Sure, you go enjoy that massage. I’ll just keep working like a regular person.”

What’s not often considered is whether self-care is attributed to affluence because wealthier people supposedly have more time for it, or whether financial well-being is associated with self-care because those who make time for self-care are better able to tend to their finances and do what they need to do to earn more.

Too often, we hear comments like the following:

“Self-care is for fluffy types.”

“Self-care is a fancy word for self-indulgence — massages, mani-pedis, facials… I don’t have the time or the money for that.”

“I don’t do self-care. I put others first!”

But self-care is not selfish. It’s not about self-indulgence for its own sake. And while sometimes, it’s actually necessary to look out for yourself first, self-care is not about neglecting others.

If you’ve flown on a plane, you probably remember when the flight attendants told you before take-off, “Please put on your own breathing mask before attempting to help anyone else.”

There’s a reason for this. If you try to help others first, and you lose consciousness, you can’t help anyone. But if you put your own mask on first, you’re better able to help others (including your own children) put theirs on.

Comments like “I don’t do self-care; I put others first” overlooks the fact that sometimes you have to take care of yourself before others if you want to be able to provide the help they need.

Sometimes, in response to an emergency, we bypass our own needs to tend to someone else’s. And sometimes, at least in the short-term, the results validate our decision to do so. But doing this long-term — as a normal day-to-day thing — will lead to exhaustion and burnout.

When your own tank is empty, you can’t fill anyone else’s.

Those who contributed self-care quotes like the ones in this article recognized this and made space in their lives for daily self-care. I hope they inspire you to do the same. Read on for some self-care inspiration . . .

41 Inspirational Self-Care Quotes

Taking Care of Yourself First Quotes

The sad truth is that if others get used to you putting their needs ahead of your own, they’re likely to object if they see you tending to your own needs before you tend to theirs.

But if you don’t learn to take care of yourself first, you won’t be able to tend to anyone else’s needs for long.

woman drinking tea Self-Care Quotes

Neglecting your own legitimate needs leads to illness and burnout. And it doesn’t take so long to restore yourself that you’ll be doing someone else harm by taking the time to practice reasonable self-care and do something that makes you feel like yourself again.

You’re not a machine. Take care of yourself the way you’d want someone else to take care of you if you weren’t able to. Treat yourself like a human being with a right to kindness and to tender, loving care. Only then will you have the energy to do the same for others.

1. “Self care is how you take your power back.” — Lalah Delia

2. “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” — Jean Shinoda Bolen

3. “Nourishing yourself in a way that helps you blossom in the direction you want to go is attainable, and you are worth the effort.” — Deborah Day

4. “Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” — Christopher Germer

Related: The Ultimate Self-Care Guide For A Happier Life

5. “People who love themselves come across as loving, generous, and kind; they express their self-confidence through humility, forgiveness, and inclusiveness.” — Sanaya Roman

6. “Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” — Lucille Ball

7. “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” — Brené Brown

8. “The love and attention you always wanted from someone else, is the love and attention you first need to give to yourself.” — Bryant McGill

9. “Self-care is so much more than a beauty regimen or an external thing you do. It has to start within your heart to know what you need to navigate your life. A pedicure doesn’t last, but meditating every day does.” — Carrie-Anne Moss

10. “It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” — Mandy Hale

11. “Put yourself at the top of your to-do list every single day, and the rest will fall into place.” — Unknown

Take Time for Yourself Quotes

As mentioned earlier, it doesn’t take a lot of time to give yourself what you need. Even a few minutes here and there of self-nurturing can make an otherwise exhausting day satisfying and more productive.

woman at beach with car Self-Care Quotes

So, take the time to do things for yourself that remind you of who you are. Take the time to show yourself the care and attention you’d like to receive from others.

And don’t let anyone tell you that if you take that time for yourself, “you’re being selfish.” You’re doing them a favor by not pushing yourself to the point of becoming desperate for relief and having nothing left to lose. Consider writing down 1 of the 11 take time for yourself quotes below and read it throughout the day.

Related: 101 Life-Changing Positive Affirmations

12. “Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept.” — Anna Taylor

13. “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” — Bell Hooks

14. “Carve out and claim the time to care for yourself and kindle your own fire.” — Amy Ippoliti

15. “Self-care is not a waste of time; self-care makes your use of time more sustainable.” — Jackie Viramontez

16. “It’s very important to take care of yourself. Everyone’s lives are so busy. Take at least an hour a day to recharge and do whatever makes you better. For grown-ups, whether it’s a spa, sitting in a park with a book, or coffee, take time for yourself.” — Ana Ivanovic

17. “Women in particular need to keep an eye on their physical and mental health, because if we’re scurrying to and from appointments and errands, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves. We need to do a better job of putting ourselves higher on our own ‘to do’ list.” — Michelle Obama

18. “Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patterns for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options.” — Sharon Salzberg

19. “It’s okay to take time for yourself. We give so much of ourselves to others, and we need to be fueled both physically and mentally. If we are in balance, it helps us in all our interactions.” — Faith Hill

20. “Jail was a result of me not taking time for myself. So, I was forced to take some time for myself.” — Christian Slater

21. “There are certain ways in which I cultivate awareness, both through mindful yoga and taking care of my body and taking time to actually drop as deeply as possible into stillness, into whatever is unfolding in the present moment.” — Jon Kabat-Zinn

22. “When you get into your car, shut the door and be there for just half a minute. Breathe, feel the energy inside your body, look around at the sky, the trees. The mind might tell you, ‘I don’t have time.’ But that’s the mind talking to you. Even the busiest person has time for 30 seconds of space.” — Eckhart Tolle

Take Care of Your Body Quotes

This doesn’t have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to involve weekly facials or mani-pedis. What you do to take care of your own body is up to you, and it makes sense to take your budget into account.

Related: The Best Inspirational Quotes And Sayings Of All Time

It costs little to carve some time out of your busy day for a shower and to apply moisturizer to protect and nourish your clean skin. An extra half hour or hour of sleep can be the difference between a half-assed morning ritual and one that sets you up for the day.

man running on hillside Self-Care Quotes

If you don’t take care of your body, you won’t have the energy to take care of anything else — including your mind and spirit. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs makes this clear. Neglect your body, and everything else suffers.

Give your body what it needs, and you can work up from there to create a life that brings joy to you and to those you love.

23. “When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” — Benjamin Franklin

24. “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” — Anne Lamott

25. “Those who have not time for bodily exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.” — Edward Stanley

26. “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn

27. “I believe that fitness needs to come from within you. You need to respect your body. Only then will you have the zeal to maintain it.” — Arjun Rampal

28. “To me, self-care isn’t really shallow. Showing up for yourself, putting on a little moisturizer, can inspire so many different parts of your life.” — Jonathan Van Ness

29. “Rest when you are weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work.” — Ralph Marston

30. “Tell me, when do you become a respectable person in society? When you start respecting yourself. That is when you take care of yourself, that is when you comb your hair, groom yourself, and cleanse your body. You do all this because you respect yourself.” — Kamal Haasan

31. “You can’t afford to get sick, and you can’t depend on the present health care system to keep you well. It’s up to you to protect and maintain your body’s innate capacity for health and healing by making the right choices in how you live.” — Andrew Weil

32. “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. When you feed yourself what your body needs when it needs it, that’s love. So, give your bod some TLC and sit down and enjoy a good, substantial breakfast.” — Kathy Freston

Quotes about Caring for Others

As a caregiver (a parent, teacher, coach, nurse, etc.), it’s too easy to cheat yourself into thinking that if the people you serve aren’t completely satisfied with everything you do for them, how dare you take time out for yourself.

You catch yourself thinking, “While I’m here doing this for myself, what could I be doing for someone else, instead?” or “What must they think of me — taking this time for myself while they need (or want) me to do things for them?”

But if you don’t take the time to nurture yourself, you won’t have the energy or the will to be and to do what you want to be and do for others.

You deserve that tender loving care just as much as the people you serve. So, make time to remind yourself of that.

33. “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” — Eleanor Brown

34. “In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.” — Dalai Lama

41 Of The Best Inspirational Self-Care Quotes. Click To Tweet

35. “When you take care of yourself, you’re a better person for others. When you feel good about yourself, you treat others better.” — Solange Knowles

36. “Any time we listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.” — Parker L. Palmer

37. “It is not how much you do, but how much love you put in the doing.” — Mother Teresa

38. “Self-care is the number one solution to helping somebody else. If you are being good to yourself and your body and your psyche, that serves other people better, because you will grow strong enough to lift someone else up.” — Mary Lambert

39. “After enlightenment, the laundry.” — Buddha

40. “It is not the load that breaks you down. It’s the way you carry it.” — Lena Horne

41. “Self-care is a deliberate choice to gift yourself with people, places, things, events, and opportunities that recharge our personal battery and promote whole health — body, mind, and spirit.” — Laurie Buchanan, PhD

Did you find value in this article? Spread the love.

If you’ve discovered any quotes that you’ll want to keep handy as motivation to take care of yourself, please pass it on to help others find theirs, too.

The better care you take of yourself, the better able you are to care for others and to give them what they need. By investing that time and energy in yourself, you’re doing it for them, too.

I hope these quotes about self-care gave you the push you needed to take better care of yourself today. And I hope they drove home the fact that making time for yourself is essential to becoming the person you want to be.

May your wisdom and thoughtfulness influence everything else you do today.

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