41 Self Care Ideas For Women Learning To Love Themselves

self care ideas for women
Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

The focus of this article is self care ideas for women who are learning to love themselves.

Because, as women, we often learn to take care of everyone’s needs around us. That becomes our priority, and what we need takes a backseat.

But this leads to our own well becoming depleted, which means not only do we suffer, but we also can’t give the best of ourselves to anyone else.

Never give from the depths of your well, but from your overflow.
Rumi

This is why self care is so important, and should be a priority in our lives.

The trouble is, the majority of us aren’t taught how to show ourselves care or love. So we have no idea where to begin.

And those of us who do know what we should be doing, struggle to devote time to it.

Because life often gets in the way. Commitments come up. And self care is usually the first thing to fly out the window.

Because we don’t see it as important.

But taking care of yourself is perhaps the most important thing you can do.

Self care is what nourishes you, and fills you up. It feeds you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

If there’s one thing you make time for in your life, this should be it. No ifs, buts, or maybes.

Make yourself a priority today. Because nobody else will do it for you.

I don’t let one day pass by without showing myself at least one act of self care.

It took me years to realise that I deserve it. So if you’re not quite there yet, I want you to hear me when I say, you deserve it. You do.

And the people in your life should recognise this too.

Self care ideas for women who don’t know where to begin with self care

Take yourself on a date

I think we often wait for a romantic relationship to take care of a lot of our desires and needs.

But by doing this, we place our happiness on someone outside of ourselves. We leave it up to chance.

But we don’t have to.

If no one has taken you on a date recently (or even if they have), I invite you to take yourself on a date.

Go for dinner, head to an art gallery, watch the sunset, go for a walk on the beach. Plan a beautiful date for yourself, and enjoy every moment of it.

Say something kind to yourself when you look in the mirror

We spend too much time criticising ourselves.  Next time you catch your reflection in the mirror, say something positive and empowering to yourself.

I love you.

You are a powerful woman

You are worthy of love.

Even if you feel silly or strange doing this at first, keep going. Eventually this will come naturally to you.

Write a celebration list

This can be a celebration list for today, the week, or even your entire life.

Think about all the reasons why you’re awesome, and all the things you’ve achieved so far.

Write them down. Read them back to yourself. Celebrate you.

We don’t do this enough.

Allow yourself to take a nap

Our cycle can really effect how much energy we have at different points in the month.

And some of the things we fill our days with can be exhausting. Like parenting, running a business, or in my case, writing a book.

Sometimes your body will tell you it needs some rest, and bed time will feel light years away.

So honour this. Take a twenty minute nap. Don’t feel guilty.

Do something you loved doing as a child – just for fun

There are so many things you probably loved doing as a child, but haven’t done in a long time.

Make a list of those things. Pick one to do today.

Enjoy being a child again. Play. Have fun.

Forgive yourself

When we hold on to guilt and judgement, it only weighs us down, and holds us back from living our fullest life.

There’s probably something you haven’t yet forgiven yourself for. So I invite you to forgive yourself today. Release whatever you’re holding onto. Let it go.

Because we all make mistakes, and we all fail sometimes. This is what it means to be human.

As long as you’ve learned and grown from those experiences, that’s what matters.

Connect with someone

I don’t mean one of those surface level chats that you have where someone asks you how you are and you say you’re good, or fine; or you talk about how nice the weather is.

When I say connection, I mean engaging in an authentic and real heart-to-heart with someone. Where you both speak from the depths of your soul, without censoring anything.

Find someone in person, or online, to connect with like this. It could be the person you live with, or even a total stranger you meet in the street.

It will require you both to be open and vulnerable, but human connection like this is food for your soul.

Self care ideas for women who are short on time

Plan short breaks into your diary

As a woman who runs her own business, I understand what it means to have a full-on schedule.

But no matter how much there is going on, I choose to make time for myself.

Even if it’s just ten minutes between tasks or meetings.

Because the reality is as your business grows, there will be more and more on your plate. This won’t slow down, so you need to.

Sit and do nothing, make yourself a cup of tea, or listen to some music. As long as it’s a proper break, that’s all that matters.

Plant your bare feet on the earth

Grass is preferable, but if you only have concrete, that’s okay too.

Just take your shoes off, step outside, and plant your feet on the earth. If the sun is shining, even better.

This will ground you, and help you feel more connected to yourself, and to your world.

Remember to soak in the beauty of the scene in front of you. Trees, plants, flowers, birds singing, the scent of freshly mowed grass.

Enjoy it all for as little or as long as you like.

Listen to a self care podcast while on the go

There are so many podcasts to choose from, with new ones being released every day. So take some time to find one that helps you care for and love yourself.

That might be one that’s specifically related to self-care, or it might be one on mindfulness, or feeling happier, or releasing stress. Whatever you need to hear most.

Allow your intuition to guide you with this.

Set it up on your phone, bring some headphones, and listen to it the car or on the train while you’re commuting to work, or picking the kids up from school.

Try walking meditation

You can combine exercise with the act of mindfulness by listening to a walking meditation.

Calm is one of my favourites and has some great tracks.

Walking meditation can be just as beneficial as sitting down to meditate.

Gift yourself a gorgeous bunch of flowers

This is super simple, and can cost as little or as much as like.

I try and make sure I have at least one bunch of flowers in my house at all times. It makes me so happy every time I look up and see them blooming their beautiful colours at me.

No woman should have to wait for someone to buy her flowers. And they’re too pretty to save only for special occasions like birthdays or valentines day.

You could even invest in a small plant instead, or plant some flowers in your garden.

Make yourself a cup of herbal tea

For women short on time, the act of creating ten minutes of space to make a cup of tea is enough.

Herbal tea is great because it’s good for your body, and it’s soothing.

You could opt for green tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea – whatever you prefer.

If you can, let yourself sip on it in peace before getting back to whatever you were doing.

Self care ideas for women who want to show their body some love

Eat more plants

The more fruit and vegetables you can weave into your meals each day, the better.

If you’re not used to eating a lot of healthy food, start small.

Swap one sugary snack for a piece of fruit. Commit to eating a salad three times a week. Or go vegetarian once a week.

The more colourful your plate is, the more nutritious it is. So try and make every meal look like a beautiful rainbow!

Fruit and veg help boost your energy, your immune system, and make you feel lighter.

Find some quick, delicious new recipes to try

Google has made it so easy to find hundreds of new recipes in seconds.

Spend some time saving the ones you like down, and then pick a new one to try.

Put some music on, and enjoy cooking something from scratch.

Hydrate yourself

Drinking water helps flush out toxins from your body, boost your immune system, and keeps you hydrated of course.

I think one of the reasons why we don’t drink enough water is because it’s plain and boring.

But it doesn’t have to be!

There are so many delicious infused water recipes you can make in minutes, which will spice up your water. Plus, it’ll look really pretty too.

You can make a jug if you’re at home, or fill up a water bottle for when you’re on the go.

Masturbate

When you orgasm, you release hormones that make you feel relaxed and happier. This can be a much needed stress release in times of need.

Plus, playing with yourself is a great way to connect with your body, and embrace your sexual energy.

Light some candles, put some music on, slip into something that makes you feel sexy – whatever feels good for you.

Move your body in ways that feel good to you

Exercise is great, but I think it’s important that you enjoy the act of moving your body.

If you don’t know what you love yet, then try some new things out. Keep going until you find things you love, that are also good for your body.

My personal favourites are swimming and yoga. But you might enjoy running, dancing, spin, or even kickboxing.

Get a massage

This is a wonderful treat to indulge in every now and then, depending on your budget.

A good massage will help ease any tension in your muscles, and help you feel relaxed and pampered.

Don’t be afraid to splurge on things that feel frivolous from time to time.

Track your moon cycle

I started tracking my cycle two and a half years ago using Natural Cycles, and it’s amazing how much I’ve learned about my body in that time.

It really helps you understand what’s going on with you physically and emotionally, depending on what phase of your cycle you’re in.

It’ll show you when you need to show yourself a bit more love and care, and when you need to take more rest or cut yourself some slack.

And if you want to know more about different types of cycles, including red & white moon cycles, click here.

Self care ideas for women who are feeling brave

Break up with someone who doesn’t make you feel good

That might be a romantic partner, a friend, or even a family member.

If there’s someone in your life who doesn’t make you feel good, or bring you joy, it’s time to part ways.

Be honest with them, and prioritise your own happiness over theirs for a change.

The people we surround ourselves with have a huge influence on our lives, so it’s vital we surround ourselves with kind people who love and support us.

Remember, not all relationships are meant to last forever.

Dance naked

Put on an empowering playlist, shed your clothes, embrace your beautiful body, and dance.

Let the music move through you, and let your body be free.

This is a wonderful way to get more comfortable in your body, and feel at home with her.

It’s also a great way to move stuck energy through you, and release it; creating space for new energy to be welcomed in.

Do something that scares you

Self care ideas for women can include doing things that might make you feel temporarily uneasy.

When I say do something that scares you, I mean something that kind of excites you too, but you’re afraid of it. Because it means stepping off the safe path you’ve known all your life, and venturing out into the wild.

Like writing a book, asking someone out, or quitting your job.

Pick one thing you’ve always wanted to do, but have put off out of fear, and do it today.

Go on, I dare you.

Explore your deepest feelings

Some people confuse self care and self love with living in the clouds, and ignoring your reality. But this is not what real self care looks like.

Self care can be taking a bubble bath or getting a makeover, and it’s also about being really honest with yourself and exploring your deepest feelings. That means the things that give you anxiety or fear, too.

When you explore those feelings, you get to know them more intimately, and this helps them feel less powerful and daunting.

Try something new

Take an online course, or get a book and teach yourself something new. Head to a new exercise class, or a networking event. Try speed-dating.

Do something you’ve never done before. Invest in yourself, because this is never a waste.

Self care ideas for women who want to feel inner calm & peace

Journal

Get a new notebook or blank journal, a nice pen, and just write. First thing in the morning, last thing at night, or when you need answers to some questions that are playing on your mind.

Journaling can be a cathartic way of releasing any pent up emotions, and making sense of your feelings. It will leave you feeling lighter. And you might even find some answers to the questions you had.

If you have no idea what to write, use a list of journal prompts to get you started.

Curl up with a book

Your book of choice can be fiction, non-fiction or poetry. It’s up to you.

But as someone who reads a tonne of non-fiction, I would recommend you opt for fiction if possible, because it’s generally much more relaxing.

Pick a book, get cosy somewhere, and enjoy reading for however long you like without distractions.

Allow yourself to get lost in someone else’s world for a short while.

Meditate

I have been meditating on and off for 12 years. I’ve tried a range of different things including sitting in silence, listening to a meditation playlist, and using an app,

For anyone who is new to meditation, I’d recommend using an app like Calm or Insight Timer, because it’s less intimidating than doing it on your own. And you can check out our post on tips for beginners right here.

Pick your method of choice, find a comfortable position somewhere you won’t be disturbed, and bring your attention to your breath.

Listen to a calming playlist on Spotify (or create your own)

I can’t recommend Spotify enough – it’s brilliant.

You can create any number of playlists you like, and there are also so many ready-made ones to listen to, or use as inspiration.

Give yourself some time to create a soothing, calming playlist that makes you feel peaceful and centred. Listen to it anytime you need to.

Light a candle

I have so many candles, and I light them for anything and everything. When I’m reading a book, meditating, having a moon ritual, taking a bath, and having sex.

I only buy soy candles now, since learning how many toxic chemicals are packed into regular ones. They’re a little more expensive, but they last longer, and they’re much better for you.

Light a candle any time you need to re-centre, or weave ritual into your day. Just watch the flame flicker, and use this as an invite to connect with your soul.

Self care ideas for women who feel overwhelmed

Disconnect from social media

One of the big causes for overwhelm today is technology, and our addiction to it.

Social media in particular can be a really noisy, toxic place. And if you use it for your business like I do, it can be difficult to remove it from your life.

But that’s where setting boundaries becomes important.

Give yourself a time limit for using social media, if you have to use it. If you don’t, then allow yourself to completely disconnect from it whenever you desire.

See if you can notice any changes in how you feel.

Turn off your phone

I don’t turn my phone on until I’ve finished my writing each morning. It’s never with me when I’m eating a meal, or connecting with friends and family.

And all of the notifications from all of the apps are switched off. So if I get a message or an email, I don’t hear about it, which means I can stay fully focused on what I’m doing.

This allows me to be in control of when, and if, I pick up my phone. If you struggle to do this, then just switch it off when you don’t need it.

For example, you might decide to switch it off as soon as you get home for work, or give yourself a limit to how long you can spend on it.

De-clutter your house and/or office space

One of the reasons for feeling overwhelmed might be due to the environment you’re living in.

Is it messy or cluttered? Are there lots of things that are taking up space that don’t bring you any joy?

If so, try and have a clear out of your home or office space, or both. Start with one cupboard, or one room, and go from there. You don’t need to do it all in one go.

Organise your finances

Self care ideas for women include doing things you don’t really want to do in the moment, but you know your future self will thank you for.

And one of these things is getting clear on your finances.

Do you know how much you have coming in, and what’s going out?

And if you feel like there’s never enough, are there some areas where you can cut back?

Or is it more a case of you not recognising that you always have enough, and you’re always taken care of by money?

Swap to-do lists for done lists

I have the achiever gene in me, which means when I check something off my to-do list, I’m right on to the next thing.

And in our current society, this idea of doing more, more, more, is celebrated; which leaves many of us believing this is the way it’s supposed to be.

But it’s not.

Swap your to-do list for a done list today. That means you write a list of all the things you’ve done, no matter how small they might seem.

When you’re done, stop and celebrate. Recognise how much you’re actually doing.

Ask for help

As women, we often take on too much responsibility, and find it difficult to delegate or ask for help. This might be the case in a relationship, a family, or even at work.

If you feel overwhelmed, then that’s a sign that it’s time to ask for help.

Maybe you need to take a night off, and ask your partner to put the kids to bed. Maybe you need to speak up and tell your manager you’ve got too much on your plate to handle. Or maybe you just need to share how you’re feeling with a friend over coffee.

Don’t try and mask how you’re feeling, because it will only linger. Let it out. And don’t be afraid to ask for support in times of need.

Self care ideas for women at night

Run yourself a beautiful bath

I love having a bath on the day of the new moon, because it’s a wonderful way of washing away the old, and welcoming in the new. But baths are great any time – especially in the evening before going to sleep.

Pour in some bath salts and essential oils, light some candles, scatter some flower petals, put on some relaxing music, and lie back and enjoy.

Sit out under the moon & stars

Just sitting outside under the night sky, and drinking in the stars and the moonlight can be such a beautiful experience.

You might want to light a candle, bring a journal, or just lie back and get lost in wonder. Take a few breaths. Think about what you’re grateful for today.

Invest in some silky soft bed sheets

We spend most our nights sleeping in our own bed, but so many of us don’t invest in making our bed feel as luxurious or comfy as we deserve.

Mattresses are pricey, so if you need a new one, save up until you can invest in a great one.

But until then, investing in some new silky soft bed sheets will be a wonderful gift to yourself. I love these bamboo sheets because they are the softest material ever, and feel so good against my skin!

Do some yin yoga

Yin yoga is a restorative type of yoga that focuses on the connective tissues in the body, instead of the muscles. It helps you release any stress or tension you’re holding onto; physically and emotionally.

Yin means the feminine, so this practice is also a great way of embracing your inner feminine.

There are plenty of classes you can find online, or you can head to a local studio.

I love to light some candles, and wear something comfy while I practice yin.

Listen to a sleep story

I’ve mentioned Calm a lot already as a meditation app, but my favourite part of Calm is actually the sleep stories.

They range between 15 and 40 minutes, and a mix of fiction and non-fiction stories. They’ve been designed specifically to help you drift off to sleep – so you’re not supposed to know how any of the stories end, because you’re meant to be asleep by then!

And for me, it always works. It helps me relax, drift off, and get to sleep – even when I’m feeling energetic or restless.

Choose one of these acts of self care, and gift it to yourself today.

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I read Bloom in one night. I started feeling hopeless and pushed down. Shani picked me up, dusted me off, and guided me to self-love in a few short hours with only print. Truly inspiring - Rebecca Barnoff

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