Ideas for Self-Care

Ideas for Self-Care
Self care list

Mellow Jazz (Monoprint) by Polly Castor

If we are to “Love our neighbors as ourselves” we’d better give some thought to how we care for ourselves. Most people I know do a better job loving others than themselves. So in thinking about what ways we can better love ourselves, I’ve been led to offer the following list to encourage you to do more for yourself in some (large or small) ways in the New Year. I’ve even added a “print” button at the bottom, and encourage you to print it off and look at this list often for ideas to implement. So here it is in no particular order:

  • Expand your thought to include more good.
  • Drink more water.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Write in your journal.
  • Laugh uproariously.
  • Put together a puzzle.
  • Pray for yourself everyday.
  • Color.
  • Draw or doodle.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Go to the mountains.
  • Get outside.
  • Spread kindness.
  • Read a good book.
  • Use your hands to make something.
  • Watch cartoons or something funny.
  • Write poetry.
  • Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.
  • Eat some fruit.
  • Eat more green vegetables.
  • Get enough protein.
  • Learn something new that is creative.
  • Learn something new that you’ve always wondered about.
  • Have some really good chocolate.
  • Dress up.
  • Paint.
  • Brush your teeth and floss every day.
  • Declutter your home.
  • Enjoy nature.
  • Go to the library.
  • Have a positive outlook.
  • Be curious and interested.
  • Take a camera on a photo walk.
  • Experiment.
  • Write in a planner.
  • Be on time.
  • Get nagging things done.
  • Take a long hike.
  • Go camping.
  • Go kayaking or canoeing.
  • Go bike riding.
  • Play a game.
  • Read affirmations.
  • Clear off your desk.
  • Keep your house clean.
  • Fix broken things.
  • Dream big for the future.
  • Write thank you notes.
  • Clean out your purse or wallet.
  • Read inspirational literature.
  • Wash your sheets every week.
  • Go somewhere new.
  • Put fresh flowers on your table, desk, or next to your bed.
  • Listen to favorite music in the car.
  • Sit alone and people watch.
  • Help someone else (because it will make you feel better).
  • Stop reacting and respond instead.
  • Clear out your email inbox.
  • Browse in an independent bookstore.
  • Write with a nice pen.
  • Make cookies from scratch.
  • Sit on your porch.
  • Listen to audio books on longer car trips.
  • Use some perfume/cologne/after shave that makes you feel wonderful.
  • Dress in a way that makes you feel put together and happy.
  • Smile more often.
  • Take a class.
  • Deep condition your hair.
  • Get some fresh air.
  • Create something.
  • Cook real food.
  • Hug a tree.
  • Plant a garden (even indoors) and tend it.
  • Watch fish in an aquarium.
  • Initiate intimacy.
  • Knit, crochet, or cross stitch.
  • Do crossword puzzles, Words with Friends, or suduko.
  • Light a fire in the fireplace.
  • Drink herbal tea.
  • Drink protein smoothies.
  • Forgive people (it benefits you more than them).
  • Watch favorite movies.
  • Watch YouTube videos occasionally.
  • Be moderate.
  • Eat healthy snacks.
  • Pursue a hobby.
  • Visit somewhere you’ve never been.
  • Be patient.
  • Wear textures you find soothing.
  • Go out in the grass in your bare feet.
  • Discover new music.
  • Redecorate your space.
  • Try out a new restaurant.
  • Talk to a stranger.
  • Hula hoop.
  • Stretch.
  • Stop pressuring yourself.
  • Stop beating yourself up.
  • Learn some new jokes.
  • Make funny faces to yourself in the mirror.
  • Make travel plans.
  • Go window shopping.
  • Articulate your needs in relationships with others.
  • Say no when you need to.
  • Make conscious choices.
  • Apologize when you need to.
  • Clean out your closet keeping only what you love.
  • Regularly take walks.
  • Put helpful quotes where you see them all the time.
  • Go to a museum.
  • Improve your showering / toilette routine in some way.
  • Eat less processed food and fewer GMOs.
  • Do something you have been avoiding.
  • Have more candlelit meals – even breakfast.
  • Sit quietly in the forest.
  • Refuse to be intimidated.
  • Make a fancy dessert.
  • Put on face cream, body lotion, or peppermint foot rub.
  • Let yourself have a good cry when you need to.
  • Play with a child.
  • Write snail mail letters.
  • Breathe deeply.
  • Go swimming.
  • Play some loud music and dance.
  • Complain less.
  • Get a message (feet, face, back, shoulders, body)
  • Nap when you need it.
  • Be sincere.
  • Take a bubble bath or read in the tub if yours is big enough.
  • Improve your routines.
  • Donate your time to a cause you care about.
  • Wear cozy slippers.
  • Wear clothes that fit well.
  • Meditate on what matters.
  • Ponder the meaning of the universe.
  • Sing in a choir or while you wash dishes.
  • Go swing dancing.
  • Play a team sport and use an outdoor voice.
  • Cuddle with pets or people.
  • Be grateful for what you have.
  • Keep a gratitude journal.
  • Appreciate your excellent qualities and attributes.
  • Work on improving your attitude.
  • Focus on progress.
  • Go easy on yourself.
  • Be authentic.

If we love ourselves this much, how then would we love our neighbors?

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Ideas for self care

Shards of Fuchsia (monoprint) by Polly Castor

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Liz 8 years ago

    Polly, this is a great list. I had to share on FB and my Mom. Hugs to you!! Liz

  2. hallie 8 years ago

    Love your print – colors textures layers!


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