80+ Self-Care Ideas

277221852_476e8916f0_zI just started a two-week online class on self-care. One of our first exercises was to brainstorm ideas for self-care. Here is an amazing list. Feel free to add any  other ideas in the comment section.

Maybe we can get the list up to 100!

going for a photo walk

going to the forest

a bath at the end of the day

going for bike rides

finding overgrown grass and putting my bare feet and it

lying in the grass on the hill and staring up at the sky

cooking a meal for myself and being really present

getting up early and reading inspirational books


walking with my dogs


going places–getting a change of scenery

trying new things in general

guided meditation

listening to books and music

face-to-face conversations with people

gratitude journal

better diet

trying to live more authentically

not skipping sleep to get things done

trying to multitask less

scheduling time to myself every day

reading blogs from people who are honest

reading for pleasure

resting with my cat a few feet away



getting my hair done

getting a manicure





online classes

just for fun novels


being able to set limits for myself

asking for what I need

taking time for slow contemplative morning coffee

cuddling with my cats

taking my vitamins

burning candles

waking up naturally–no alarm clock

eating when I feel like it–not by the clock

eating a fresh bagel at a local shop while doing a crossword puzzle


daily stretching

good movies

getting massages

working with a life coach


paying attention to my breathing

gathering flowers from my garden

planting flowers in my garden for later gathering

art journaling

stealing a few moments to lie on my bed when the afternoon sun is streaming in through the window

coffee at coffee shops

centering prayer


forgiveness of others so I don’t carry that stuff around


a glass of wine at the end of the day

fresh air

eclectic playlists

live music


support groups

creating a comfortable house that truly is my home

cuddling with my puppies

taking myself out to eat

move my body–dance, exercise, run

dress up in the way I want to feel

taking action



hot shower

giving back with my time

being a tourist in my own city

lunch dates with good friends

green smoothies

take painkillers when I need to instead of holding out and suffering

learn to be with and accept my feelings

have adventures and drive to new places

spend less time on the Internet

read the newspaper on Sundays at a café

read poetry or inspiring quotes


attending church

Don’t forget to add any other ideas in the comments.

If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you joined me on Facebook. Thanks!

Photo via Flickr, CC

29 thoughts on “80+ Self-Care Ideas

  1. Eating from the good china
    Creating an Art Weekend and painting for two days with my best friend
    Sitting outdoors by the firepit, watching the flames and listening to the night sounds
    Walking for an hour while talking on a headset with my favorite twin cousin
    Inviting friends to come for the weekend just so we can sit and talk

  2. Since social ties are often the best medicine, I wonder if you may also add these: treat yourself to the NVC (non violent communication) approach to relationships. Builds on compassion and empathy. Or the What’s Gone Well today upbeat approach to closer connections through better questions with folks? Both highly recommended!

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  4. As a chronic pain patient as well, I’ve been sitting here wondering how I’m going to manage a social engagement today when I feel so bad. For some reason, reading this list has given me a little more courage that I can do it. My only idea is to make a miniature or miniature fairy garden. It’s something on the level that I can accomplish, plus see from the front door plus because it’s at waist level, the rabbits won’t heat (like they have all of the annuals my hubs put in for me this year. Yes, and practice pay it forward.

  5. Looking at pictures of yourself when you were a child or baby. Focus on the innocent and beautiful smile and love you had then and is present now, it is quite exhilarating, and know you can re-kindle this self-love no matter what life situation you are in.

    • Hmmm…I will have to think about it. I am not good at taking pictures of myself. I have an idea of how I want them to turn out and then they don’t! I’m used to my husband taking pictures of me with his good camera. But I do adore Vivienne. I love her Montage Magic class but she’s not doing that anymore.

  6. I paint my toenails. This wouldn’t be surprising except that I am male and not gay. Work and father don’t know but everyone else sees when I wear sandals. Nobody needs to understand – I don’t.

  7. Pingback: Memo to Parents: Prepare A Self-Care List | OT Thrive

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