40 ways to practice self-care

40 Ways to Practice Self-Care

Self-care is a hot buzzword right now. It brings up images of trips to the spa, getting a pedicure and drinking champagne with your girlfriends. Or laying on a beach, soaking up the sun on vacation. While enjoying life is an important part of self-care, practices that support your emotional, mental, and physical health on an ongoing basis (not just a few times a year) have the biggest impact on overall well-being.

Too much to do, not enough time

If you’re always busy and under stress, as most people are, regular self-care can fall by the wayside. But the long-term effects of stress are serious. Chronic stress increases the risk of mental health problems like anxiety and depression, and physical health problems like heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke. Self-care isn’t optional, it’s necessary, and making the time to practice it while juggling real life can feel difficult. That’s why I created this list of 40 ways to start practicing self-care, and most can fit into your full schedule.

  1. Meditate. Not sure how? Try an app like Calm, Headspace or Breethe.
  2. Get 7-10 hours of sleep, whatever your body needs.
  3. Eat a nourishing, distraction-free meal.
  4. Get outside, because nature!
  5. Drink more water.
  6. Stretch.
  7. Find a hobby and schedule time to work on it.
  8. Connect. Schedule time with friends or family on a regular basis.
  9. Learn about healthy boundaries and start setting them.
  10. Say no to things you really don’t want to do. It will give you time to say yes to your priorities, like family, friends, and things you’re truly passionate about.
  11. Say no to opportunities that don’t allow you to use your unique talents or strengths,
  12. Move your body, however it feels good to you.
  13. Take a mental health day and don’t feel guilty about it.
  14. Take technology-free breaks every 60-90 minutes. Walk around, stretch, etc.
  15. Practice gratitude.
  16. Turn off your (or silence) your phone and devices in the evening.
  17. Take a day off to get important tasks done.
  18. Get your teeth cleaned and your annual exam.
  19. Do something special for a loved one.
  20. Eat dinner sitting down, at the table. Enjoy your food.
  21. Ask for and be open in receiving help.
  22. Schedule time to do nothing.
  23. Make time for yourself on a regular basis.
  24. Make time for your partner and children.
  25. Delegate a recurring task that causes you stress. Or SEVERAL.
  26. Delegate a task that you’re good at, but isn’t a good use of your time.
  27. Meet with a financial planner.
  28. Organize your home.
  29. Make your bedroom a relaxing sanctuary.
  30. Get a massage.
  31. Add more whole foods to your diet.
  32. Learn how to meal prep a few easy, healthy, go-to meals.
  33. Upgrade your wardrobe with items that make you look and feel great.
  34. Walk away from unhealthy relationships.
  35. Find a fulfilling job, where you are valued and respected.
  36. Or find ways to bring your unique talents and values into your current role.
  37. Do something special for yourself. Go to the conference. Plan the vacation. Take the class. Invest in your happiness.
  38. Heal from past trauma. Interview therapists and find one that feels like a good fit.
  39. Hire a coach to support you.
  40. Work toward a goal that’s important to you, one that’s always been put off. Now is a great time to start.

How can you make self-care part of your routine?

Schedule it on your calendar. Start small. Pick three to five things that stand out most to you and add them over the next few days or weeks, then add more over time. You’ll be surprised how much better you start to feel when you start making your self-care a priority.

How do you currently practice self-care? I’d love to hear in the comments. Feel like your self-care is non-existent and not sure where to start? Schedule a free discovery call with me here and I can support you in creating a plan that works for you.