We are fast approaching the holiday of love and I thought it would be a good time to revisit the subject of self care. Honouring your own needs is the ultimate act of love- self love is as important as loving others.
Take care of yourself and make time to pursue your interests, do things that make you feel good, spend time with people who bring you joy.
Self care is not about spa days (although that is a form of self care for some). Self care simply means making yourself a priority and doing whatever it is YOU need for a happy and healthy life. One day it might be about spiritual connection and the next about eating well, still other days might be about taking time for your creative pursuits or physical activity.
There are no right or wrong answers to the question of self care.
It need not cost money or take a lot of time. Some days it may be simply breathing deeply, standing on grass and being alone with your thoughts.
Other times you clear your schedule for some deep diving into what you need or invest some cash in your wellbeing.
It may mean saying no and setting boundaries or saying yes and going on an adventure.
If you rarely take time for self care or feel unfulfilled I hope one (or more) of these ideas will light a self love and self care fire in you. No pressure and know that I do not imagine all of these ideas are right for one person. Listen to your heart as you read them. Do any get you excited or thinking about taking action? Find a way to bring them in your life.
111 creative self care ideas
1. Go “unplugged” for a day, a weekend, or a week. See how much you gain in terms of time and energy. After your technology diet you can decide new limits for yourself when you return.
2. Pick up a book on a subject you’ve always been interested in.
3. Find a class where you can learn a new skill or improve on one you already have (cooking, crafting, car maintenance, etc).
4. Have a DVD or Netflix marathon and indulge in all your favourite movies and TV shows. Popcorn is an acceptable dinner!
5. Take a bubble bath and use a fresh and fluffy towel. Don’t save the nice towels for guests – you are worthy of quality towels.
6. Use your driving time to listen to podcasts or books.
7. Buy yourself that special dress you’ve been wanting – you deserve to feel hot and beautiful!
8. Eat well and nourish your body.
9. Enjoy a lie in or an afternoon nap. Rest and recharge when you feel you need it (and are home obviously) rather than when the clock says to do so.
10. Go to a store and find some scented candles or oils that you love. Burn one when you need a lift, another when you need to chill out.
11. Meet your spouse at their office and whisk them away for a lunch for two, even if it is just the coffee shop or cafe across the road. Bonus points if they can take the rest of the afternoon off.
12. Go to the gym and try a class you’ve been too intimidated of in the past. Let yourself just be a beginner and see how it goes.
13. Pick out a new magazine – something that speaks to you from the newstand – foreign, glossy, an unusual subject or just featuring a yummy recipe on the cover. Or go online- digital and free magazines offer endless possibilities.
14. Select one spot in your house that is driving you crazy and clear it out. Notice how the emptier space makes you feel.
15. Try out meditation- no pressure.
16. Say no to requests that don’t feel right, take you off your own path or simply drain you of too much time and energy.
17. Go to the gym and skip the workout – head straight to the steam room and unwind. Enjoy having a hot shower where no one comes in to ask you a question. Take more than 5 minutes to get dressed and maybe even put on some make up if you want. The hour is yours to spend!
18. Get a change of scenery – book a night away, a holiday or simply get in the car and head out on an adventure.
19. Take music lessons just because you’ve always wanted to. Who says a 40 year old cannot learn the cello or flute?
20. Pick up the phone and call someone and let them know you are thinking of them. Make sure they know you care – don’t leave it unsaid.
21. Start a blog and meet like-minded people and share ideas with your people.
22. Be a tourist in your own town – check out an art exhibit, market, festival, cafe, street art or new playground.
23. If you hate cleaning, hire someone to come in. Weekly, monthly, with the change of seasons. When we eat out we are outsourcing cooking and no one blinks an eye. If cleaning is the bane of your existence, give up something else if needed to find the funds even if it is just occasionally.
24. Call a bunch of friends and go to a small music gig or a new movie that’s just opened.
25. Wear what feels comfortable for you whether it is a fab dress and boots or a tracksuit and flip flops. What makes you feel like you?
26. Make a list of books you want to read this year and follow through – even if it is done 10 minutes at a time.
27. Sign up for a 5k walk/run and start training now.
28. Start a journal – gratitude, your personal story, an art journal, use prompts, whatever works for you – get writing and creating.
29. Plan a regular date night and organise a babysitter to take care of the kids. No babysitter or grandparents around? Arrange to swap services with a friend and you both win!
30. Make something new for dinner- maybe try your luck and open a cookbook to a random page.
31. Treat yourself to new sheets or towels. Go for the softest ones or the colours that will make you smile.
32. Start saving for your dream overseas holiday- in the meantime get travel brochures, start learning the language, cook some local dishes and enjoy touches of that culture until the day arrives for your trip.
33. Volunteer and help someone else.
34. Find a place of worship that lifts you up and inspires you.
35. Create something with your hands.
36. Write a letter or email to someone you admire / are a fan of. You never know where it may lead. Just because someone is a star at what they do does not mean they won’t be happy to connect with you.
37. Go through all the projects and ideas you have been hoarding and pick five to actually work on. Stop dreaming and start doing.
38. Start a top 10 journal and set out to discover your favourite books, restaurants, songs, movies, etc
39. Join your partner in pursuit of one of their hobbies – even just once – see why they love sailing, playing poker, taking salsa classes, swimming in the ocean…
40. Reach out to a new neighbour and drop off dinner or afternoon tea. Connect with your local community.
41. Order groceries online and use that hour or two (normally spent at the shops) on yourself!
42. Join in a regeneration project and help save a local natural resource in your area.
43. Get involved in a political campaign and support ideas you want to see happen in your community – local, state or federal.
44. Go to a farmer’s market and buy your favourite flowers to fill up your home.
45. Get out your kids art supplies and let yourself go.
46. Go to the park with your kids and see how high you can swing – I dare you to jump off mid air just like when you were 8!
47. Go to the nearest beach or green space and walk barefoot to get grounded in nature.
48. Sign up for a class and learn for the pure pleasure of it.
49. Rearrange furniture, art or knick-knacks in your home. Change is as good as a holiday.
50. Light a candle, make a cup of tea and pull some oracle cards for guidance or connection.
51. Grab some magazines, scissors, glue and a blank notebook or art journal. Snip and glue and create a collage or ten. This is such a free and easy way to create and play. Look for colours, textures, words and images and bring them together in new ways.
52. Join a sports team- revisit an old passion from school days or take up a new activity. Get fit, meet people, have fun.
53. Blast music in your house (or car) and have a dance party for one! Or grab the hand of someone else and invite them into your party.
54. Have sex
55. Jump on a trampoline
56. Try to hula hoop
57. Watch a comedy routine and laugh until your stomach hurts
58 paint your nails a fun colour
59. Book a therapy appointment and let it all out.
60. Give to others via random acts of kindness. This need not cost a lot (or anything) and lifts up both yourself and the other person
61. Go outside and blow bubbles. Even better go to a park and blow them and watch how much the little kids love it.
62. Grab an adult colouring book and some pencils or markers and chill out.
63. Get your coffee NOT to go and enjoy the cafe atmosphere
64. Get a massage- head, back, even a simple hand or neck massage for 10 minutes can ease stress and make you feel good.
65. Take a daily vitamin
66. Watch a fun make up tutorial and experiment like you are 16 again
67. Go for a photo walk
68. Spend 10 minutes stretching your body
69. Browse in an antiques store
70. Head to a farmer’s market and shop slowly- talk to the sellers, try new foods, get a recipe or suggestion for how to use things.
71. Facetime/skype with someone far away
72. Put on some music, grab a glass of wine and just enjoy the moment.
73. Use the good dishes, wear the fancy shoes, light the expensive candle you received as a gift
74. Lay in a hammock and be swung to sleep in the middle of the day
75. Create a terrarium if a garden is not on your agenda
76. Have a go at skateboarding, rollerblading, or surfing even though you think you are too old now
77. Take a mindful shower and use all your senses- the water alone can hit all 5.
78. Get a new hairstyle. The one you dream about but worry if you can carry it off
79. Get cozy under a blanket with loved ones and/or pets and have a movie marathon- add snacks you love
80. Enjoy chocolate- fancy ones or favourite bars from childhood
81. Hug someone
82. Download an app or attend classes and learn another language
83. Take $10 and hit the op shop or flea market to go on the hunt – either find the best thing you can or the craziest /funniest etc. do this with a friend and make it a game.
84. Celebrate your half birthday
85. Go to a museum or art exhibition.
86. Do garden work and/or mow the lawn
88. Lay on your back and watch the clouds
89. Finish up open loops- unfinished projects, overdue email replies, home repairs, returns and exchanges
90. Sit and breathe- take 3-5 deep breaths and re-centre yourself
91. Moisturise from head to toe
92. Volunteer at an animal shelter
93. Create a morning ritual that will start your day on a positive note. A ritual need not be elaborate to be effective. Wake up 15 minutes early so you can savour your coffee or step outside or write in a journal. What would help YOU? Create one for night as well or instead
94. Change one thing you keep complaining about. Free up that energy.
95. Go through old photo albums or make a photo book (or 20) with all the photos locked away on your computer.
96. Order your groceries online and skip the shops.
97. Hydrate. If you struggle to drink enough water try adding fresh cucumber slices or fruit.
99. Watch the sunrise or sunset
100. Turn off all devices early and unwind before bed
101 learn to manage your money, do your taxes, create a budget or invest for your future
103. Speak up and be heard, set boundaries, have an opinion
104 organise a fun night out with friends instead of waiting for an invitation
105 make your bed – or don’t. Which one makes you feel better? That is the best choice for you
106 focus on gratitude- list 5 things you are grateful for, write a thank you note, say thank you to those who serve/help you
107 trust your gut
108 call a friend and talk or ask for help when you feel down or stuck
109 take one step toward a goal
110 celebrate often- people, occasions, fun holidays, your accomplishments (even if you think they pale in comparison to others- stop comparing and start celebrating)
111 find whatever works best for you. This is the ultimate self care approach
Do you have a favourite way to nurture your soul or your body? Is there one thing on this list you are going to try out?
Love and light,