The Ultimate Self-Care Guide For A Calmer, Happier Life
You might be tempted to think that self-care isn't an issue for you. Do you really need self-care tips?
You get just enough sleep, you eat regularly, and you're on top of your basic hygiene requirements.
So, why do you still feel yourself fraying at the edges?
And what can you do to prevent burnout and live each day with more vitality and gratitude?
Self-care to the rescue!
But before you roll your eyes and tell me you don't have the budget for a weekly spa trip, read on to learn what taking care of yourself really means and how you can meet your legitimate self-care needs without straining your budget.
Once you know you have not only the right but the responsibility to give your mind, spirit, and body what they need, you'll get the most benefit from the self-care tips that follow.
So, get yourself a drink of something nice, and read on.
What is self-care?
Self-care is not the same thing as self-pampering or self-indulgence, and it doesn't have to cost anything. It's not about living like royalty or surrendering to every selfish impulse.
It's about knowing your worth and giving your mind, body, and spirit what they need in order to thrive. And it's about choosing to take action for your own good every day.
The purpose of self-care is to restore your energy — not take away from it. It's not meant to deplete your bank account or add debt to your list of things to stress about.
Self-care is about the bigger picture, which exists for your benefit.
Whether you're most interested in daily self-care practice or new self-care activities, the tips that follow will help you thrive throughout the day and inspire others to do the same.
Here are some quick examples of the actions you can take daily to treat yourself better:
- Practice good sleep hygiene.
- Hydrate throughout the day.
- Take time for meditation or prayer.
- Spend time in nature daily.
- Take a break from draining people.
- Incorporate fitness into your daily schedule.
The Ultimate List of 57 Self-Care Tips
Daily Self-Care Habits
Try one of these 18 self-care habits:
1. Morning Reflection
Start your morning with at least a few minutes reflection on your intentions for the day and on your gratitude for the good things in your life.
Write it out in your journal, if you can, to strengthen those feelings of gratitude and positive expectation.
2. Evening Reflection
Don't go to sleep before spending a few minutes to reflect on your day, on what you accomplished, on what you'd like to improve, and on what you'd like to leave behind.
Even if another day doesn't come, state or write your intentions for tomorrow and remind yourself of them before you fall asleep.
3. 10-Minute Exercise Daily
Taking at least a few minutes a day to get your blood pumping helps clear your head.
Also since there's a correlation between leg strength (in particular) and brain function, it makes sense to prioritize daily strength training.
You don't have to commit to twenty or even ten minutes a day of strength training. A five-minute routine that hits all your major muscle groups can make a big difference in your metabolism, your mental clarity, and your overall health.
Just make sure you choose an exercise that fits you, whether it's yoga at home, weight-training at a gym, or a small, local spin class. The more you enjoy it, the more likely you'll stick with it.
Did I forget to mention that slow, focused movement in strength training helps you calm down and boosts your mood — especially when you practice mindfulness throughout each movement?
Running isn't the only exercise that can help you de-stress. You may to have a look at rebounding (mini-trampoline) exercise.
4. Consistent Meditation
Whether or not you're into yoga, daily meditation is for everyone. You don't have to fold yourself into a sailor's knot, either.
Find a comfortable place to sit or even lie down (unless you'll fall asleep), and give yourself permission to be still and meditate on something — whether it's a passage from a book you're reading, a phrase that's full of meaning for you, or a question you're asking and want the answer to.
Maybe you'll just want to meditate on an affirmation that helps you visualize the life you want for yourself and for your family.
5. Frequent Good Chats (even if they're with yourself)
Grab a cuppa (or a glass) of something soothing and nourishing, and let yourself talk about whatever is on your mind. Really listen to yourself, too, and ask yourself thoughtful questions, as a good friend might.
Don't forget to pay yourself a compliment and allow yourself to recognize the things you're doing well and the progress you've made.
If you're fortunate enough to have a chat companion for at least some of those days, make the most of it — for both your sakes.
6. Time Out to Breathe
Take at least a minute, in the early morning and at certain times of the day, to take three (or more) deep, cleansing breaths.
You can tell yourself each time you inhale that you're taking in creative energy, personal power, and a renewed commitment to your goals and your intentions for that day. With every exhalation, you can imagine yourself getting rid of worries, nervous energy, and negative thoughts.
Whatever works, taking the time to breathe and to be conscious of your breaths lets more oxygen into your lungs and gives you a chance to practice mindfulness, which is an important part of effective self-care.
7. Playtime with Kids and/or Pets
Playtime is important, too. It may seem like an indulgence when you're tempted to think about all the things you still have to do, but your kids won't remember how much you got done that day or any other day.
What they'll remember is the time you took away from work just to play with them and listen to their stories and concerns.
Do it for yourself, too, because all work and no play will drive you to an early grave — with a really boring headstone.
8. Fifteen Minutes of Sunshine
Go outside and let the sunshine do its work on you and your immune system for at least 15 minutes. Wear sunscreen, if appropriate.
If you can walk barefoot in the grass while you're out there, even better. Just watch out for sharp objects and anything with stingers.
9. Regular Body Hydration
Keep a glass (or bottle) of fresh water close by to keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
You don't have to drink so much that your pee looks like what you just drank, but if you're feeling even a little dehydrated, drain a whole glass, refill it, and keep it handy.
Don't bother with more expensive water replacements that have synthetic vitamins and minerals.
Some of them contain as much sugar and artificial additives as carbonated soft drinks, and the lab-created nutrients haven't been proven to be as beneficial as naturally-occurring ones according to studies. You're better off with plain, old water.
10. Healthy Selective Eating
Feed yourself the way a caring health coach — who knows what you like as well as what food types you need — would feed you.
Maintaining blood sugar balance and avoiding foods that affect your hormone balance is essential to both your mental and physical health.
You as your own health coach know the importance of giving your body and your brain the nutrients they need in order to thrive.
Treating yourself like a responsible adult is also important to your spiritual health.
11. Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep should not be an afterthought. It doesn't belong at the bottom of your priority list unless you want the rest of your priorities to sink along with it. Every part of you needs adequate rest in order to thrive.
Research suggests most adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night, and as much as you may want to get more done with your day, it doesn't pay to short-change yourself by trying to get by on five or six hours.
That way leads to burnout and premature brain aging. Don't do that to yourself. You deserve better.
Sleep is foundational to effective self-care. Without adequate sleep, nothing else you do will be enough to make up for it.
12. Twenty Minute “Power Nap”
You probably know someone who swears by these. Power naps give your brain and body a chance to recover from the stress responses accumulated up to that point.
Twenty minutes of uninterrupted non-REM sleep is enough to revitalize you for the next several hours of your day — without making it hard to get to sleep later on.
A daily power nap can be the difference between a steady (or steep) decline in function and sustained or increased vitality and productivity. Say goodbye to the afternoon slump!
13. One Relaxing Thing
Whether it's taking a hot bubble bath or reading a good book, doing at least one relaxing thing each day (one that requires you to be awake) helps you calm down by giving you a break from work and everything that reminds you of what could go wrong with your day.
Think of daily relaxing activity as vitamins for your nervous system.
You can't be “on” all the time. Giving yourself the chance to just relax with something you enjoy lowers cortisol and adrenaline levels and increases serotonin and dopamine, helping you feel happier and more relaxed.
14. Complimentary Self-Talk
The next time you catch your reflection in the mirror, smile and take time to notice what you like about what you see.
When you've finished something before the deadline, and you know you've done good work, don't wait for someone else to tell you that you're killing it.
Before you can graciously accept someone else's compliment, you have to be able to compliment yourself. Paying yourself at least one daily compliment isn't weird at all. It's a good practice.
15. Moisturizing Your Skin
Find a lotion you like and use it every day to keep your skin hydrated, smooth, and healthy. Choose one that isn't full of chemicals that can irritate your skin or upset your hormone balance.
There are several good, unscented options, if you're sensitive to or would just rather avoid perfumes.
16. Relax Your Eyes With Palming
Rub your palms together until they generate heat and cup them over your closed eyes for a few minutes, with your fingers resting lightly on your forehead.
The goal is to exclude as much light as possible without putting any pressure on your eyeballs. Not only can this be relaxing; it also helps your eyes recover from eye strain.
Computer screens are hard on your eyes, and so are fluorescent lights. Give them a break every twenty minutes or so by focusing on something much further away. If your eyes need more of a break, warm up those palms and give your eyes a minute or so of soothing “quiet” time.
17. Self-Soothing Practice
At some point in your life, you had to learn to dress your own wounds and soothe yourself after a nasty fall or a devastating loss. If, before that, someone else had modeled effective soothing for you, that probably made it easier.
Sometimes, though, we don't allow ourselves to acknowledge the pain we feel. Instead, we force ourselves to put it out of our heads and keep going. The problem? If we don't give ourselves permission to acknowledge that pain and dress the wound, the infection can go deep and become harder to deal with than the original wound.
So, give yourself the gift of naming those wounds, forgiving those who caused them (including yourself), and applying a soothing remedy. That might be helping someone else through the same pain, or it might be letting someone know you forgive him.
It might just be reminding yourself that you're human, that you (or someone else) messed up, and that everything will be okay.
18. Daily Journaling Routine
Take a few minutes every day to just write whatever is on your mind. Your daily journal entry may be just this, or it may be a chance to write your daily intentions, your daily gratitude statements, and other thoughts that cry out for expression.
Something happens when you allow yourself to write down those thoughts that keep clamoring for your attention. It can be a nagging fear that you have or something you're excited about. It can be an association you've formed in your mind between two things that aren't normally linked together. Whatever it is, write it down.
Add one of these 39 self-care activities to your daily routine:
19. Solving A Puzzle
Working your way through a puzzle that has nothing to do with work or your to-do list for the day allows you to tune out the anxious or irritating thoughts associated with the former and to take a mini brain vacation from everything that's stressing you out.
Solving the puzzle also gives you a sense of accomplishment for the day, even if you can't check it off your to-do list. Your brain knows it matters, anyway.
20. Slowing Down To Pay Attention
Besides daily exercise, this is another opportunity to practice mindfulness. Make yourself slow down and do things more consciously. Pay attention to what's going on around you and what other people are doing.
Pay attention to the feel of the wind or sun or rain on your skin. Take a moment to watch the wind play with the fallen leaves, watch the sun shining on water, or watch the rain falling.
Enjoy the sensation of sipping and swallowing a hot, soothing drink and the way it warms you as it goes down to your stomach.
Take a deep breath (or three) and remind yourself to be grateful for everything you see, hear, and feel that makes you smile.
21. Walking Barefoot To Ground Yourself
If you've never walked barefoot in the grass, in the soft dirt or sand, or in the mud, you need to give yourself this gift.
Winter can make this impossible, yes, but when the ground isn't frozen, walking barefoot on it (while watching out for sharp things) can make you feel more alive and more relaxed.
You might feel a warm, tingling sensation that invigorates you. Don't be surprised, either, if you feel the sudden urge to laugh or even cry. It's not weird.
What's happening to you when you walk barefoot on the ground has to do with the exchange of positive and negative ions. It's no more woo-woo than the way magnets and batteries work. There's an energy exchange going on, and your whole body benefits from it.
For the cold winter months, you can also buy an earthing mat to put in your home.
22. Seasonal Water Therapy
Whether you're walking along the shallow edge of a lake or on an ocean beach or you're soaking in a tub, spending some time in contact with water can restore calm and boost your mood.
Don't forget to pay attention to the sounds and smells of the water, the motion you can see, and the feel of it on your skin. Practice mindfulness in these moments to get the most benefit.
23. DIY Body Scrub and Soak
Why just soak in the tub when you can also exfoliate all over with a body scrub you made yourself to remove dead skin cells and improve circulation?
You can use sea salt or sugar, along with coconut oil and a drop or two of the essential oils of your choosing — lavender, rosemary and mint, grapefruit, rose, or whatever makes for a soothing scrub and soak.
24. Cleaning and Decluttering
Sometimes, rolling up your sleeves and cleaning up the kitchen (or your office, the bathroom, etc.) is the best way to push out that nervous energy and calm your mind and spirit. It's a huge bonus that the end result is a cleaner, less cluttered home.
If it helps, set a timer for fifteen minutes and see how much cleaning you can get done in that time. If the buzzer goes off, you can either stop or keep going.
25. Cooking a Tasty and Nourishing Meal
Cooking can also be a soothing exercise and another way to practice mindfulness. Listen to the sizzle of those sautéing onions or the bubble of the boiling water.
Smell the aromas coming together to create a meal that already has your mouth watering in anticipation.
Maximize the benefits by making a meal that will also help you reach your wellness goals.
26. Prioritizing Your Needs
Know what you need and order them in a way that makes sense. The consequences of missing a night's sleep are generally more severe than missing a day of exercise, to give one example.
Make sure you don't skip a higher priority to make room for a lower one. It doesn't make sense and will ultimately undermine your efforts.
27. Big Laughter
Laughter boosts the level of endorphins in your brain, boosting your mood and helping you focus on the good things. It's much easier to stay positive when you treat yourself each day to something that makes you laugh.
Forced laughter doesn't count, but it may lead to genuine laughter.
Maybe you have a favorite comedy series, and you indulge in an episode or two every evening. Or maybe spending some time with your best friend or spouse is enough to give you your daily vitamin L.
28. Enjoying Music
Don't forget vitamin M, though. Maybe you already listen to music while you work, but the kind of music that makes you feel like dancing or that energizes you for exercise or tidying up probably isn't the same music playing in the background while you work at your computer.
Go ahead and tell me if I'm wrong. I lean more toward instrumental music when I'm writing. Maybe you work better with lyrics or white noise, though.
In any case, taking the time to just enjoy the music rather than use it as the soundtrack for your creative work is good for your brain. You can even create a playlist of your own and start it up when you're done with work for the day or when you stop for a break.
29. Taking a Walk or Run
I know you can't always head to the beach for a long, leisurely walk in the sand, but most of us can find somewhere to walk or run even for a few minutes a day. The trick is making ourselves do it and maybe getting past our own self-consciousness.
If you live in an area where you can safely take walks in the neighborhood, try that. You can start small by walking a block and back, or you can drive to a park and walk across it. Take it slow, if it's a short one, and pay attention to what's going on around you. If it's safe to walk barefoot, do that.
For those days when outdoor walking or running is not an option (or a good idea), there's nothing wrong with using a treadmill or walking around a store.
30. Checking Items From To-Do List
If you have a list of home projects that need doing, or you keep forgetting to run to the hardware store to get that extra key made, do something that will allow you to check that item off your list. And enjoy that sense of accomplishment. You've earned it.
It's amazing how something so little as finally clearing off a cluttered ledge or tabletop or finally remembering to make an important (but dreaded) phone call can make you feel calmer and less cluttered on the inside.
31. Cloud-Watching Time
Take a break, and — weather permitting — go outside with a blanket and just lie down and watch the clouds move and change shape. Or do the same thing at night and gaze at the stars. See if you recognize any constellations, or just enjoy looking at them.
If it's a bit chilly out, take some hot chocolate (or tea) with you.
32. Happiness Promoting Activities
Maybe there's an alternate route that takes a bit longer than your usual one but that takes you through some beautiful scenery.
Or maybe instead of indulging yourself by buying that new seasonal coffee drink, you buy yourself and a friend or acquaintance a regular coffee and just sit down and talk.
Maybe it's as simple as wearing your favorite scarf or necklace to work or to run errands, even though you bought it for dressier occasions.
There are lots of little ways to put a smile on your face and calm down your nervous system.
33. Decluttering Your Closet
You know those pants that your mother-in-law gave you that you don't wear because they're about an inch too short? Or that blouse you bought on clearance only to try it on at home and think, “Maybe if I wear it when it's dark….”?
Go through your closet and find three items (or more) that have been sitting in there unused for at least a year or clothes that you honestly can't see yourself wearing in daylight. Your “Maybe if” pieces might be someone else's “Can you believe I got this for only $4.99” pieces. So, get them out of your closet and back on the market.
If you make a list of those items and keep your receipt, you can also get a tax deduction. Click here to download your free Home Organizing Decluttering Checklist.
34. Unplugging From The Noise
Take an hour, three hours, a day, or even longer, and unplug yourself from the internet and all its attractions. If you've come to depend on your daily email, social media, and news checks, taking a long break from them will be hard.
Start small and do something you enjoy that doesn't require an internet connection. Maybe read a good book or flip through a printed magazine, or play some music and freshen up your space.
35. Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone
For introverts, it can be scary enough to say hello to a stranger waiting in the same grocery line. Listen to your intuition, but don't let habitual fears stop you from making eye contact and smiling, even when that little voice in your head is screaming, “What are you doing? What if they don't smile back? Quick, look down, before they notice!”
It'll get your blood pumping faster, but you probably won't end up dead because you smiled at someone. And even they don't smile back, maybe your smile made their day a teensy bit better.
In any case, the adrenaline rush you get is very real. Take that, roller coaster!
36. Cleaning Social Media Feed
You don't have room in your life for toxic people — any more than you have room in your diet for poison (even in trace amounts).
So, if you spend any part of your day combing through your social media feeds, take the time to mute, unfollow, or even (if necessary) block negative people sharing toxic content.
You don't need that in your life. Nobody does. And it's not being rude or uncharitable to distance yourself from it.
37. Narrowing Your Food Choices
Along with eating more whole foods, not only can this make it easier to isolate which foods make you feel unwell, it will also simplify grocery shopping.
Find recipes that use the same ingredients but in different ways, and avoid processed foods as much as possible.
38. Stretching All Your Muscles
Your body was not meant to stay in one position for hours. This is why we change positions even in our sleep. And this is why, when you've been sitting at your desk for an hour or so, you need to get up and give yourself an all-over stretch.
If you're at work, you can do this in the bathroom, if you'd rather not do this in front of your co-workers.
39. Being Very Still
Sometimes, you just need to go someplace and just be still and mindful of everything — inside and out. You're not being antisocial or (if you're with a friend) bad company.
You're allowing yourself to just be quiet and pay attention — whether it's to the snow falling, to the sound of the wind blowing in the trees, the sound of the water lapping up on its banks, or the sound of your own breathing. If only for a few minutes, just be quiet and listen.
40. Enjoying Aromatherapy
Sometimes, just inhaling the scent of peppermint tea is enough to make you feel calmer and less worried. And citrusy smells like lemongrass and grapefruit can make you feel more energetic.
Essential oils can be a great way to give yourself a mini spa moment –whether you're inhaling the scent from a bottle you keep on your person or enjoying the ambient effect of a candle or an essential oil diffuser in your home.
Don't overlook your nose when you're planning your self-care list for the week. What you smell does affect your mood. If you doubt that, try working within smelling distance of a garbage dump.
41. Change Your Morning Routine
Besides getting that first full glass of water to rehydrate yourself, you could add another small, morning routine habit like taking at least three deep breaths. Or after brushing your teeth in the morning, you could grab a washcloth or a Clorox wipe and wipe down the countertop, sink, and plumbing fixtures.
The more you link healthy habits together, the more likely you are to do them. When you drink a glass of water, you'll also take a few deep breaths. And when you brush your teeth or wash your face, you'll give the countertop a quick wipe-down to tidy up.
42. Telling Yourself What You Need to Hear
If you need a talking-to about something, but there's no one available to take you aside for a heart-to-heart, why not give yourself the talk you need. You can even buy yourself a coffee or a calming tea or even pour yourself a glass of wine.
Rather than talk to yourself at a restaurant table, you'll probably want to do this at home or in a quiet space where you won't be interrupted. Maybe that's your car, or maybe it's your grown-up kid's treehouse. Whatever works.
Go to your “conference room” then, and just get everything out into the open, so you can deal with it. Be your own devil's advocate, if necessary. And be the one who tells yourself what you need to hear.
You can't expect others to be there for you if you're not willing to be there for yourself.
43. Keep Helping Others
Something as small as opening a door for someone and giving them a smile can brighten their day more than you know. You can also give a charitable donation or pay someone a compliment (hopefully without making things weird).
Whether a friend gets a flat and needs a ride to work or your kid needs help with homework, taking the time to give that help and give it without resentment or reservations will help take your mind off your own problems and worries.
Helping others also gives you the satisfaction of stepping outside your normal to-do bubble and making someone else's day better.
44. Make a Mental Movie of Your Best Life
Take the time to write about the life you want to live. Create a mental movie of yourself mindfully living that life and write about it, taking care to include even small details that matter to you.
45. Quietly Paying Attention To Your Thoughts
Whether you do this in the morning, before bedtime, or during a work break, give yourself a mini-retreat and listen to what you're thinking and feeling right then. Don't judge or criticize or make light of your feelings, even if others have.
Remember, too, that you're not alone, though it may seem that way. Trust that your thoughts and feelings matter to someone other than yourself. But don't use that as an excuse to shelve those thoughts and feelings for when someone is in front of you, waiting for you to finally unburden yourself.
46. Spending Time with Supportive People
This person doesn't have to be your best friend, and the conversation doesn't have to last long. Even a brief chat with a positive and caring person can be enough to boost your mood and motivate you to do something good that you might otherwise not do.
Spend more time with the kind of people who live and speak and act in a way you admire.
47. Getting a Pet
As much as you may love horses, unless you have the time and money to devote to a horse and all its needs, it doesn't make sense to buy one. When it comes to pets, you want one whose needs won't conflict with your own.
In general, pets are more likely to enrich our lives than to chip away at them. But it makes sense to choose one that is a good fit for you and anyone else living with you.
48. Offering Compliments
It's not hard to find a reason to pay someone a compliment.
It can be as simple as remarking on a woman's necklace or a man's hat. At work, you could compliment someone on his attention to detail or someone else on her thoughtfulness in brewing a fresh pot of coffee.
At home, you could compliment your daughter on the dinner she made or your spouse for not interrupting and for being a good listener.
When it's harder than usual to think of a compliment that won't complicate your life, maybe just do something nice for someone else to show your appreciation.
49. Treating Yourself
I'm not saying you should break out the credit card and spend money you don't have to buy something you don't need — and that probably isn't worth the expense plus interest plus the stress of being in debt.
You don't have to wreck your budget or your credit rating to treat yourself now and then. It could be something as small as buying yourself your favorite coffee drink to celebrate a huge milestone. Or it could be taking a vacation day to sleep in and do whatever you want that day.
Maybe you'll walk into that new bookstore and, as a new and supportive patron, buy a book you actually look forward to reading. Or maybe you'll stop at the grocery store and pick up a single rose to keep in a bud vase on your desk.
It doesn't have to cost a lot. It doesn't have to cost anything, really. But if it does, keep it within your budget. Money stress isn't a treat for anyone.
50. Celebrating Your Wins
This is related to the previous tip, because while it's good to celebrate wins — from reaching a healthy weight goal to paying off a credit card — it doesn't make sense to then do something that works against those goals.
It makes more sense to celebrate by cementing those achievements and building on them.
51. Getting Positive Feedback
Ask supportive friends and family for their feedback on something you've created or done, and enjoy the positive reinforcement. Don't forget to return the favor when you get the chance.
52. Exercise Your Superpower
Whether it's writing, drawing characters for that story in your head, carving ornate chess pieces from pieces of scrap lumber, or something else, the exercise of one of your strengths can boost your self-esteem as well as your mood and mental clarity.
You might have a gift for cooking, or for fixing computers and feel more at peace when you're engaged in these activities. However long the results last, you can enjoy the process as much as or even more than the finished product.
As long as the results aren't something dangerous (like a bomb or a super virus), why not spend at least some time each week putting your gift to work?
53. Asking for Help
Remind yourself that you have a right to ask for help when you need it. And think of how you'd respond if someone asked you for help.
54. Fasting from the News
No one needs depressing headlines or updates on presidential tweets shoved in their faces or yelled into their ears throughout the day. No one.
And you're not being ignorant or a Luddite if you fast from the news to give yourself time to recover from the endless stream of negativity. Focus your attention on the information you need to live your day in the best way possible.The Ultimate List of 57 Self-Care Tips. Click To Tweet
55. Setting Clear and Firm Boundaries
Sometimes, for everyone's sake, you have to say “No.” Whether it's another family get-together or a parent-teacher conference on the evening of a very long day, you are allowed to say, “No, I'm not doing that.”
You can even create a “no” list of things you won't do or that you'd rather not do. Don't be afraid to tell your spouse or anyone else that, to you, certain activities cost you more than they're worth.
56. Finding a Good Counselor
Good counselors are out there. They're not always easy to find, so when you do find one, if you can afford to, go ahead and book bi-weekly or even weekly appointments.
A good counselor will tell you what you need to hear — not what he thinks you want to hear — and can help you work through negative baggage that is holding you back.
A good personal coach can provide the same service.
57. Writing a Letter
This doesn't have to be a letter you send out in the mail, but it should be one that helps you unburden yourself in some way.
Write to yourself, to God, to your future spouse, to your children or grandchildren, or to the universe. Just let yourself write things you'll want someone to know about you, things you want to change about your life or things for which you want to be able to forgive yourself.
The goal here is to get the words out, and you don't have to show the letter to anyone. You can even burn the letter after you've written it to symbolically offer the words as a prayer or as a sacrifice. Write it your way, and keep, deliver, or dispose of it your way.
Now that you've gotten to this point, here's where I ask you to do some homework, jot down the self-care tips that appeal to you most (they shouldn't make you feel overwhelmed), and create your own self-care checklist.
Once you've done that, post your self-care list where you can see it every day:
- In your kitchen
- In your bathroom
- In your bedroom
- In your office
- Wherever you spend a lot of time
And remember how you've committed to taking better care of yourself — and not just for your sake.
If you take the time each day to restore, renew, and recharge yourself, you won't be the only one who'll find it easier to be around you. Do this for them, too.
This is where it's useful to remember the flight attendant's instructions to put your own oxygen mask on (if you experience a loss of cabin pressure) before helping others — including your children — with theirs. You can't help your kids or anyone else if you're unconscious.
Fun Self-Care Ideas
Self-care can be something you do alone or with the people you love. Here are some other fun ways to take better care of yourself and those you love:
- Plan a weekend holiday for yourself (alone or with loved ones), unplug, and do something new and fun in your own neighborhood.
- Take yourself out on a date (shopping, eating at your favorite restaurant, seeing a movie, etc.).
- Set the stage for a relaxing conversation with your spouse, your kids, or another close friend (candles lit, good dishes brought out, clean tablecloth, etc.) — with drinks and a tray of cookies or a platter full of appetizers to share.
Need a little more inspiration to practice taking better care of yourself? Here are 13 self-care quotes you'll enjoy:
1. “When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings you joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life.” — Jean Shinoda Bolen
2. “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
3. “Be patient with yourself. Self-growth is tender; it’s holy ground. There’s no greater investment.” — Stephen Covey
4. “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
5. “There is enough time for self-care. There is not enough time to make up for the life you’ll miss by not filling yourself up.” — Jennifer Williamson
6. “Choose, every day, to forgive yourself. You are human, flawed, and most of all worthy of love.” — Alison Malee
7. “Instead of indulging in ‘comfort food,’ indulge in comfort meditation, comfort journaling, comfort walking, comfort talking, comfort manicures, comfort reading, comfort yoga, comfort hugging.” — Karen Salmansohn
8. “The best day of your life is the one on which you decide your life is your own. No apologies or excuses. No one to lean on, rely on, or blame. The gift is yours — it is an amazing journey — and you alone are responsible for the quality of it. This is the day your life really begins.” —Bob Moawad
9. “By taking care of myself I have so much more to offer the world than I do when I am running on empty.” – Ali Washington
10. “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
11. “Self-care is never a selfish act—it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others.” – Parker Palmer
12. “There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” – Brian Andreas
13. “When you say ‘yes’ to others make sure you are not saying ‘no’ to yourself.” — Paulo Coelho
Did you find value in these self-care tips?
Are you better off now than before you read these self-care tips? Did you find something that will help you live a happier and calmer life?
If you've found value in these tips for self-care, I hope you'll share this article with others and encourage them to take better care of themselves, too. May you make the best possible use of this list of self-care tips and inspire others to do the same.