Are You Taking Care Of Yourself? A Woman’s Guide To Self-care

taking care of yourself

Are you taking care of yourself?

I’m not talking about ticking the superficial boxes like getting a spray tan or binge-watching your favorite TV show while guzzling a bottle of red. I mean, really taking care of yourself?

You see, there’s a subtle difference between self-care and self-indulgence.

Acts of self-care create long-lasting positive physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual effects on us by working their magic on the inside. On the other hand, acts of indulgence make us temporarily feel better, but that feeling never lasts.

So, if you want to take good care of yourself, you must focus on real self-care.

But it’s easier said than done.

Remember: Taking care of yourself is not selfish

So many of us as women learn that it’s selfish to put our needs before anyone else’s.

So what do we do?

We give and give and give to everyone around us until our cup is empty, and even then, we try and give some more.

But here’s the reality: you cannot give from an empty cup.

If you are undernourished, then you cannot nourish anyone or anything else.

This is why self-care is not selfish. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself and for the people and projects in your life that you want to devote your energy to.

You’ve got to take care of yourself first before you even think about taking care of others.

But here’s the second obstacle: we live in a masculine-driven society that values doing and achieving over being. This can leave many of us feeling guilty for devoting time in our hectic schedules to self-care.

I don’t have time to meditate.

I could be sending so many emails right now instead of sitting in this blissful bath of bubbles.

Is this even helping me because I don’t feel any different?!

I’m a self-confessed over-achiever who struggles to take time away from work for anything. On the rare occasions when I do, I pretty much feel guilty the entire time.

But what I’ve learned is that taking care of yourself is productive. It may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s essential to receive as much as we give. If this goes out of balance, then we do too.

What does taking care of yourself mean?

Taking care of yourself is about nourishing yourself on all levels of your being: physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.

It means doing something today that will benefit you now (even if you don’t immediately notice the effects) and in the future.

And it means showing yourself love and respect, the same way you would show your partner or your kids love.

In case you don’t realize it, you deserve love, and your love is the love that matters most of all.

Why is it so important to take good care of yourself?

Here are just a few of the benefits of taking good care of yourself:

  • Less stress and anxiety
  • Reduced risk of physical and mental health problems
  • Better self-esteem and self-confidence
  • More energy
  • Feeling in harmony with your mind, body & soul
  • A boost in happiness
  • Improved relationships

Maybe you’ll have to wake up 20 minutes earlier or get out of the office a little earlier or skip that hour of channel-hopping on the sofa to fit in self-care time. But it will definitely be worth it.

Gentle reminder: Some of the links below are affiliate links; and at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission. But we only ever recommend products and services that we have personally used and love, and think could be helpful/beneficial to you. If we don’t love it, we don’t share it ❤

57 simple yet wonderful ways to take better care of yourself

1. Journal

Care of self

When was the last time you picked up a pen and some paper and scribbled down your thoughts?

Mobile phones and computers are amazing, but they’re not good for our eyes, and writing just isn’t the same.

There’s something really vulnerable and satisfying about putting pen to paper. You can’t hit backspace or delete. You’re much more likely to let your thoughts flow freely and resist the urge to censor yourself.

And the act of writing can be incredibly liberating and healing—especially for us as women. I talk about this in more detail in The Writer’s Coven and Wild Women Writing.

Grab yourself some rough paper or treat yourself to a beautiful notebook. Create space to journal freely for just ten minutes. See how you get on. And if you need some help to get started, check out these journal prompts.

2. Taking care of yourself means setting boundaries

Have you ever stopped to think about what your personal boundaries are?

If we don’t know what our boundaries are before we enter relationships, we can quickly feel disrespected, unheard, unvalued, and unloved. This is why you must get clear on your boundaries sooner than later.

What are you willing to accept, and what are you not willing to accept?

What is and isn’t okay for you?

What would someone have to do or say for you to feel like they had crossed the line?

What are you willing to forgive, and what is unforgivable?

The answers to these questions will help you clarify what your boundaries are.

Once you’re clear on these, don’t be afraid to communicate them in your relationships—that includes romantic, family, and work relationships.

3. Be in nature

Human beings are not made to sit indoors, chained to their desk, staring into a screen for the entire day. But it’s easy to slip into this pattern, especially if you live somewhere where the weather is often wet or gloomy (like here in London!).

But being in nature feels really good, doesn’t it?

It gives your eyes a rest, helps wake up your entire body and allows you to drink in fresh air.

If you have a garden, get out there as much as you can. If you work from home, break up your day with a walk around your local park at lunchtime. You might even want to try working out outdoors (running, cycling, swimming, taking an outdoor yoga class, or PT session).

Go somewhere really green and leafy, or head to the beach if you’re lucky enough to live by the ocean.

Being in nature is great for your physical and mental health. The change in scenery will work wonders for your creativity.

4. Reconnect with yourself

We are continually changing and evolving as people on this planet. This is a wonderful thing—don’t resist growth even if it feels uncomfortable in the moment. Because this is how you know you’re growing.

Much of the time, we think we know who we are and what we want, but this is an outdated dream from months or years ago that no longer fits us.

So take some time to check in with yourself now and then. Create plenty of quiet moments of alone time for you to simply be. This is the only way you’ll be able to hear yourself.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I love?
  • What are my deepest desires?
  • Am I living the life I want to live?
  • What does success look and feel like to me?
  • What’s working in my life, and what is no longer working?

Taking care of yourself can be as simple as finding ten minutes to reconnect with your heart and soul.

5. Taking care of yourself is spending time with people who make you feel good

When you’re a kid, you take making friends for granted. But the older we get, the harder it becomes to meet new people and create meaningful connections.

This is mostly because we have a stronger sense of who we are and what we want from a friendship, and we often lose touch with old friends who we no longer share common ground with.

But as difficult as it is to make new friends, it’s vital to our mental health. Human beings are meant to connect with one another—we aren’t meant to live solitary lives.

So if you have good friends in your life who you enjoy spending time with, make time to connect with them regularly.

And if you’re looking to make new connections, here are some things you can try:

  • Pick up the phone instead of sending a text or email
  • Head somewhere new (a new coffee shop, cafe, or bookstore)
  • Join a local club (e.g., a book club, a running club, a moon circle, etc.)
  • Give a coworker a lift to or home from work
  • Attend a networking event
  • Ask open-ended questions (questions that cannot be answered with a simple yes or no)

6. Laugh

Laughing feels really good, doesn’t it?

It’s a wonderful release, helps us connect with others, and encourages us to be present in the moment. Plus, it’s great for our health and wellbeing.

If you have a friend who always manages to make your belly ache from giggling, make time to see them. And if not, head to a live comedy show, or watch a funny movie at home.

Life is too short to have a day where you don’t laugh out loud at least once.

7. Declutter & reorganize

Taking care of yourself sometimes involves doing things that you don’t really want to do but know you should do. And one of those things is tidying up!

If you’re anything like me, decluttering and reorganizing my space (and my life) feels incredibly freeing. I can’t stand it when things are not organized because my head feels fuzzy, and I can’t think clearly.

But some people just aren’t wired this way. Being organized might be a struggle for you, which leads to corners or mountains of mess and chaos piling up around you.

Regardless of which one sounds most like you, the act of decluttering and reorganizing will help you clear out any stagnant energy and make space for the new to flow in.

Throw out any possessions that no longer bring you joy or serve a purpose. Clean up any areas that have become a little neglected. Find ways to help you stay more organized going forwards.

Remember: you don’t have to do it all in a day. Pick one area to tackle, like your work desk, and begin there.

8. Transform your relationship with your sacred cycle

Too many of us have a strained relationship with our menstrual cycle simply because we don’t understand it.

But I’m here to tell you that your cycle is sacred. It’s a gift.

The energy of your cycle follows that of the moon and has moments of light and darkness.

The more you tune in to your cycle and honor every phase of it (including the sometimes challenging premenstrual phase), the easier it will be to manage. You’ll begin to feel more in flow with your own internal rhythms, as well as the rhythm of the earth.

This is the magic of womanhood, and too many of us are missing out on it.

If you want to learn more about this, check out this article:

Understanding The 4 Menstrual Cycle Phases & Working With Them

Taking care of yourself begins with understanding yourself.

9. Do something that uplifts you

I don’t mean those things that you think uplift you, like emptying a tub of ice cream in one go or getting wasted on margaritas. Because although those things might feel good and satisfying in the moment, that feeling never lasts, and you usually end up feeling even worse afterward.

So think about what truly uplifts you in the long run.

Maybe it’s going for a swim, doing an hour of yoga, cooking a meal from scratch, volunteering somewhere, watching the sunrise, walking by the ocean, going for a hike, or spending quality time with your loved ones.

Make a list of things and pick one to do today.

10. Just breathe

The next time you find yourself overwhelmed with stress or anxiety, pause and just breathe.

Breathe deeply from your belly, up to your chest, into your throat, pause, and then slowly exhale through your mouth. Focus on repeating this action, filling your body with fresh air. Keep going until you feel your heart rate slow down.

Even if you’ve got a super hectic day at work or at home with your kids, I know you can find five minutes to take a time out and breathe. Do it while you wait for your tea to brew or while you’re in the car stopped at a red light.

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be complicated. Small acts of self-care like this can have a huge positive impact on your mental and physical health.

11. Make your home your sanctuary

taking care of yourself

Most of us spend a lot of our time at home, yet we don’t invest in making it a beautiful space.

This is particularly important for women because our home is a reflection of ourselves. It’s our space for nurturing. You might think of it as our external womb.

So what does your home look and feel like?

Is it somewhere you want to spend lots of time?

Does it make you feel relaxed and at peace, or does it stress you out or bring you down?

It doesn’t matter how much space you’re working with or what kind of budget you have. You can do so many small things to transform your home into a beautiful sanctuary that brings you joy every time you step through the front door.

Get some plants, have a tidy up, clear junk out, try out a new paint color or a feature wall, buy a new set of gorgeous bedding, add some soy candles, or print out some of your favorite photos and put them up on the walls.

12. Take one step towards a goal

I think so many of us give up on achieving our biggest goals in life because they seem too big.

For example, writing a book, starting a business, or losing 100 pounds are all BIG goals requiring huge amounts of energy and time to achieve. And that can be daunting for most of us.

So, to avoid overwhelm, start breaking down your big goals into smaller, achievable steps. Things that you can achieve in a day or a week.

Let’s say your goal is to write a book. Your first step might be to research the genre you’re thinking of writing in or to write down an overview of your idea.

Taking care of yourself means making yourself and your dreams a priority in your life. This is how we build our self-esteem and self-confidence and make sure we’re fulfilled.

So think about one step you can take today towards one of your big goals.

13. Taking care of yourself means saying no

I won’t generalize, but I’ve noticed that saying no is something women struggle with more often than men. It’s linked to what we learn as girls growing up from our parents, school, books, movies, and watching other people.

Saying no fills us with guilt because we believe we have to be able to do it all. We should be an amazing partner, a fantastic mum, a brilliant businesswoman, a best friend, and look fabulous 24/7. But the truth is, nobody can do it all. It’s just not possible.

And if we keep on saying yes when we want and need to say no, we end up feeling overworked, stressed, burnt out, and unappreciated.

Taking care of yourself means saying no without guilt. It might take a little practice to get used to it, but the more you do it, the easier it will become. And you’ll have lots more time to devote to even more self-care!

Say it with me: no no no no NO!

14. Create a morning ritual

Morning rituals are powerful, so if you haven’t yet got one, I invite you to create yours asap.

How you start your day matters so much more than you think it does.

So, how are you beginning your day?

In a fluster and panic, or grounded and centered within?

A morning ritual can be as short or as long as you like and include anything—the key is it must set you up in a positive way for the rest of your day.

Here are some ideas you may want to weave into your morning ritual:

  • Enjoy a cup of herbal tea
  • Mediate
  • Move your body (this could be as subtle as some gentle stretches or as vigorous as a run)
  • Journal
  • Breathe
  • Write a gratitude list
  • Connect with your higher self

If you want to find out more about creating a morning ritual, check out this article:

10 Empowering Morning Rituals That Will Transform Your Life

15. Create an evening ritual

Taking care of yourself is all about designing a day that nourishes you on all levels of your being. So, once you’ve got a morning ritual in place, the next step is to create an evening ritual.

Your evening ritual will look quite different and should be designed with relaxation and rest in mind.

Here are some ideas to help you build your evening ritual:

  • Make a to-do list for tomorrow
  • Switch off your phone and computer
  • Do some yin yoga
  • Take a shower or a bath
  • Slip into comfy, cozy clothes
  • Write a celebration list (everything you’re celebrating today)
  • Journal
  • Read

Remember, it’s okay if you don’t have a lot of spare time to play with. Even if you manage to do one or two of these things each night, that’s enough.

If you want to find out more about creating an evening ritual, check out this article:

How To Create A Blissful Evening Ritual Tonight

16. Garden

We’ve already talked about how beneficial being in nature is for your health, which is why gardening is a wonderful hobby to take up.

Think of all the fresh air and sunshine you’ll get. And planting something in the earth, tending to it, and watching it grow and bloom is so satisfying.

If you plant fruit and veg, you’ll be able to benefit from what your garden grows too! This is the best way to eat organic food for a fraction of the price in supermarkets.

Gardening is a therapeutic way to spend your free time, helps you stay active, and immerses you in the beauty of nature.

17. Sleep well

A restorative evening ritual can really help you sleep well each night, leaving you well-rested and ready to face the new day.

We all know how important a good night’s sleep is. Without it, you’re likely to feel fuzzy and irritable the next morning. You’re also prone to eating more to try and boost your energy levels.

So, take care of yourself by shutting down your laptop and switching your phone onto airplane mode at least a few hours before you plan on sleeping. Try to avoid watching TV or indulging in junk food or alcohol.

Instead, drink some herbal tea, eat a piece of fruit if you’re hungry, read a book, listen to an audiobook, meditate, and reflect.

These are all simple ways to help you get better sleep each night. And if you have a bad night (we all do), try and squeeze a 15-minute power nap into the day.

18. Taking care of yourself means moving your body

Exercise is another way of taking care of yourself and showing yourself love.

We all know it’s good for us, but we feel lazy to head to the gym or put on our trainers and hit the pavement. It’s easier to sit on the couch and eat pizza—I’m not gonna argue with that.

But as I’ve mentioned before, this might feel good in the moment, but that feeling will fade fast.

On the other hand, exercise requires some effort and motivation to push past any initial resistance you feel. But once you get going, the positive effects of your workout will last the entire day (hello, endorphins!) and leave you on a high in the days that follow.

It’s all about finding ways to move your body that feel good for you, then creating a plan to do more of those things.

19. Soak up the sunshine

When I lived in Bali and Sri Lanka, I spent most of the day indoors or trying to find some shade to cool down from the relentless heat.

Now that I’m back in the UK, I find myself longing for the sun to come out and play most days. And more often than not, it doesn’t. Instead, it rains.

But no matter where you live, make the most of the sunny spells when you can. Get outdoors and feel the sun dance on your skin. Your body will soak up the vitamin D, and you’ll get a lovely boost to your mood.

And if you live somewhere that gets a really small window of daylight hours, why not invest in a lightbox for your home? I’ve already got my eye on one for next winter.

20. Try period underwear for your next bleed

look after yourself

I tried out Thinx period underwear for the first time a few months ago, and I LOVE it. It’s so much easier and more comfortable than wearing pads or tampons, plus it’s better for your body too.

If you’ve already tried out period underwear and it doesn’t work for you, then I’d recommend opting for organic pads and tampons or even trying a moon cup.

But if you’ve not yet tried period underwear, give them a go! They might seem a little pricey, but they’ll last a long time, and the comfort level is worth every penny. We bleed every moon, which means we spend a significant amount of our life on our periods. Make this time as beautiful as you can for yourself.

21. Hire a coach

There are coaches now for anything you can think of: health, fitness, spirituality, writing, empowerment, money, business, etc.

If you feel like you need some extra support in one (or a few) areas of your life, have you considered working with a coach you admire and trust?

My advice would be, don’t work with anyone you wouldn’t want to trade places with. For example, don’t work with a finance coach if they’re not really wealthy, and don’t work with a business coach if they haven’t built a successful business. That might sound obvious, but there are plenty of wannabees out there who still manage to attract clients.

Remember, working with a coach is an investment in your growth. If you’ve always wanted to work with a coach but feel like you can’t afford it, think about where you’re currently spending your money and if you can cut down somewhere else.

empowerment planner

22. Get on your mat

Yoga is a powerful practice for us as women. There’s much evidence to suggest that women have been practicing yoga as long as (or longer) than men. Check out an awesome book called Yoni Shakti by Uma Dinsmore-Tuli if you want to know more about that.

What I love about yoga is it forces you to be present in the moment because you’re focusing so hard on trying to hold a posture. And it doesn’t matter how new or experienced you are in your practice—yoga is just as beneficial and enjoyable for beginners as it is for pros.

I’ve had an on and off practice for 13 years and did my RYT200 yoga teacher training out in Thailand. There’s something that continues to draw me back to the mat over and over again.

Some people teach yoga as no more than a physical practice, but I love teachers that weave in spiritual elements to it. Yoga is an immersive mind, body, and soul workout that lends itself well to taking care of yourself on all levels of your being (if we’re open to it), which I think is why it’s so addictive.

Even if you’re only there for the savasana right at the end, you’ll still reap all the benefits from the entire class!

I’ve enjoyed exploring Alo Moves for both yoga and meditation at home for the past few years. You can click here to start your free 30-day-trial and see if you enjoy it.

23. Meditate

Taking care of yourself centers on believing you deserve self-care, which you do. Unfortunately, too many people say (and believe) things like “I don’t have time to do that,” but that’s just code for “I don’t have time to invest in my wellbeing.”

You’re busy. I get it. I’ve got a lot going on too. But I make time to meditate for at least five minutes each morning before I do anything else.

No one should be so busy that they can’t give themselves five minutes. If you are, then it’s time to take a serious look at what’s going on in your life and reassess your priorities.

How you start your day matters. It sets the scene for the rest of your day, which is why I’m a big believer in having a morning ritual that grounds and nourishes you.

I understand that the idea of sitting alone in stillness with our thoughts can be intimidating for many of us. But if you do feel like that, there’s no better way to move through that discomfort than by giving meditation a go. This is how we grow as human beings.

Start with meditating for just one or two minutes, and build from there. It’s so good for your mind and body. It can help reduce stress and anxiety and improve your general mood.

Alo Moves is great again for guided meditations, and I’ve also used Calm in the past.

If you’re a beginner, check out this article to get started:

Our 12 Best Meditation Tips For Beginners

24. Take a blissful bath

I’ve only cottoned on to the indulgence of baths in the past few years, but I am a BIG fan. Sometimes I take a bath as part of my new or full moon ritual; other times, it’s because I just want to relax at the end of the day or feel pampered.

Being in water is so soothing and nourishing, particularly for us as women. That’s why I love swimming so much—and a bath is the next best thing.

You can combine bath time with reading a book, watching an episode of your favorite show, listening to a podcast, meditating, or doing a facial and body scrub. I always climb out of the tub feeling super chilled and nourished.

If you want to know more about creating a blissful bath ritual, check out this article:

Create A Soulful, Healing Bath Ritual That Nourishes You Inside & Out

25. Taking care of yourself means ending a toxic relationship

Taking care of yourself also extends to the people you’re spending time with and inviting into your life. So, take a look around you.

Who is there?

How do they make you feel?

Are they a positive influence on you?

Do they inspire you to be better each day?

Do they champion you and lift you up?

Although it can be challenging and painful to end a relationship—especially if it spans many years—you owe it to yourself to remove negative energy from your life and surround yourself with people who genuinely love and support you.

It’s far better to have fewer friends or be single than to maintain relationships that are no longer serving you or helping you evolve into your highest self.

So, if you think it’s time to end a toxic relationship, find the courage to do it sooner rather than later.

26. Celebrate your wins

How many times have you gotten to the end of the day and focused on that one thing on your to-do list that you didn’t quite manage to get to while ignoring everything you did achieve?

I’m guilty of this, and it leaves you feeling like no matter how much you do, it’s never enough.

This is why I force myself to celebrate my wins, no matter how small they might be. Another thing I love to do is write a celebration list at the end of a day, week or month. I look back and think about all the things I’ve achieved and am proud of.

Sometimes I give myself a treat, but most of the time, I just enjoy reading that list back to myself and honoring my accomplishments. Because let’s be honest, we don’t do this enough.

Celebrate your wins. Celebrate yourself. Don’t wait for someone else to come along and do it for you.

27. Unplug

While living in Bali, I got a chance to experience Nyepi—a day of silence celebrated on their New Year’s Day. On this day, everything in Bali goes quiet. Everyone keeps the lights off, turns off their phones and TVs, the traffic stops, and there’s a peaceful silence and stillness in the air. Witnessing this tradition made me more aware of how on we all are all the time.

We’re increasingly reliant on technology today as a world, which has brought so many advantages. However, being constantly plugged in quickly leads to anxiety and overwhelm. Too much screen time increases our stress levels, strains our eyes, and messes with our sleeping patterns too.

Setting boundaries in your life and intentionally unplugging regularly is another wonderful way of taking care of yourself. For example, I keep my phone away from me and on silent when I’m working. I now take regular breaks from my computer to get up, walk around, and give my eyes a much-needed rest. After dinner, I shut down my laptop, put my phone on airplane mode, and try to minimize how often I watch TV before bed. And I only ever use social media for business and always set myself a time limit for being on there.

What you may not realize is you’re being bombarded with information and messages, and your attention and energy are being stolen while you’re plugged in. So give yourself some downtime to recharge. The world won’t end if you don’t check that Instagram notification or if you keep your phone off for the weekend.

28. Make something

Don’t tell me you’re not creative because that’s a lie. We all have creative energy running through us; it’s just a matter of tapping into that energy and giving yourself space to channel it into something.

And if you’ve not made anything since your school days, you need this more than everyone else does!

You can make anything you want:

  • A new recipe
  • Play an instrument and make music
  • Write a song
  • Paint something
  • Make a candle
  • Sing
  • Write a poem or an article
  • Knit or crochet something
  • Create a terrarium

The possibilities are endless. Don’t worry about the end goal. Focus on having fun and enjoying the process. See what unfolds.

This is a brilliant way to work a different part of your brain, get inspired, and play.

29. Taking care of yourself means eating nourishing foods

Carling Harps is one of my favorite yoga teachers. I always instantly feel energetically attracted to certain teachers when I take classes, and she has a really genuine, soulful vibe that I’m drawn to.

In one of her online classes, she mentioned how choosing to eat a nourishing meal is an act of self-love, and I had never thought about food that way before. This totally transformed how I feel about food today.

So I invite you to do the same. Taking care of yourself means fueling your body with fruits, veggies, and wholesome foods that will energize you and leave you feeling zesty and fresh.

Forget diets because they don’t work, they’re not sustainable, and they promote an unhealthy relationship with food. Just work on adding more fruits and veg to your plate each meal. Think more about what you’re consuming, how it makes you feel, and what you can do food-wise to show yourself more care each day.

30. Hydrate

taking care of yourself

People have often told me that I have really good skin. But until recently, my skincare routine consisted of no more than moisturizing in the morning and washing my face with water (I’m not kidding).

So, what’s my secret?

I drink a lot of water each day. This means I almost always have to pee, but it also means I’m hydrated, and my body is getting the water it needs each day to do its job. Almost 75% of the body is made of water—that’s a LOT of water! This helps power your brain, heart, lungs, kidneys, and muscles. So there’s no getting around it—you need it.

When I used to have an office job, I got into a great habit of filling a two-liter bottle with water first thing in the morning before I started work and forced myself to finish it before I left. Now that I work for myself from home, every time I take a break from my desk to stretch my legs and rest my eyes, I have a glass of water. In my yoga teacher training, I also learned the ayurvedic benefits of drinking a glass of water before each meal and avoiding drinking while eating and an hour afterward. This is optimal for digestion, and it also stops you from overeating.

The moral of the story?

Drink more water. FYI: fizzy drinks and caffeinated teas, and coffees don’t count!

31. Upgrade to something organic

Organic food and products are more expensive, and they should be. If you want higher-quality goods that have been made with more care for the people and environment involved in the process, then the production cost will naturally be higher. It makes sense.

This means that not everyone can afford to buy organic, even if they want to. When it comes to fruit and veg, growing your own in your back garden or in an allotment is one way to do it. Plus, gardening is a wonderful hobby, like I mentioned earlier.

But if you know growing produce is not for you, but you want to buy more organic goods, then start with upgrading one thing you regularly buy. This might be fruit, veg, tea, pads or tampons, oats, chocolate, flour, butter, etc.

Buying organic is a beautiful way of taking care of yourself, supporting better brands, and protecting the planet.

32. Make a playlist and listen to it

Spotify is literally the best thing since sliced bread. I LOVE it. There are so many ready-made playlists to choose from, no matter what you’re looking for.

Mexican fiesta music to play in the background while you eat tacos. Quiet, concentration music to help you focus while writing an article (like this one). Or even non-stop up-tempo dance music to help motivate you while you’re pounding the pavement on your next run.

Set aside some time to create your own playlist. It can be themed around whatever you want. Maybe you need a playlist for the gym, or while you’re cooking dinner, or studying for that upcoming exam. Perhaps you just want to create a really fun going out playlist for next time you’re getting ready to go out with the girls. And if you’ve been feeling down lately, you may want to create a pick-me-up list.

Make your playlist, and then give yourself space to relax and enjoy listening to it.

33. Treat yourself to a beautiful bouquet

I didn’t have a boyfriend until I was 25. I’ve been with him for the past five years, and it always makes me sad that he hardly ever buys me flowers.

So, what do I do?

I buy myself flowers.

Because I love them. They make me feel so abundant every time I walk past them in the house. They bring color and life, and beauty into my world.

And I’m sure as hell not going to wait around for a man to do that for me when I can do it myself.

You don’t need a partner to take care of you and bring you extravagant bouquets. Treat yourself to them as often as your budget allows it.

34. Moon bathe

Men live by the sun, and women live by the moon.

What I mean by that is, men follow the sun’s 24-hour cycle, while women follow the moon’s 29.5-day cycle (i.e., our menstrual cycle).

So, have you ever thought of taking care of yourself by bathing in the moonlight? When was the last time you stopped to look upwards and enjoyed her glorious light?

The moon is inextricably linked to us as women, so moon bathing can be so nourishing for our mind, body, and soul.

If you have a garden, sit outdoors. Open your curtains and let the moon flow in. Take a walk one evening when the sky is clear, and the moon is full. This is also the perfect setting for a full moon ritual.

35. Take an online course

I am a self-confessed online course junkie.

I’ve taken courses on creating a freelance writing career, writing and publishing a book, sacred sexuality & tantra, money & abundance, productivity, feminine wisdom, moonifesting, and much more.

And I have learned so much from every one of those courses. It was absolutely money well spent.

I think what holds many women back from taking online courses is they’re not used to investing in themselves, and they don’t realize the benefit of doing so. I used to be the same, too.

But how lucky are we that we can learn online from some of the greatest minds and teachers on the planet, for just $15, $50, $500, or $5000?

I set aside 10% of my income each month for education into a separate bank account. I use this to buy books, courses and attend workshops and seminars that help me learn, boost my skills, and grow.

Sometimes, these are relevant to my work. Other times, they’re just areas I’m passionate about and curious to know more about.

Don’t limit your growth or your potential by telling yourself self-education is a waste of money. Because it’s not. It’s potentially the greatest thing you can do for yourself.

If you’re interested in taking an online course on writing, check out The Writer’s Coven.

36. Have a self-care day

If you haven’t been taking care of yourself recently and you need plenty of rejuvenation, why not plan a whole day or weekend dedicated to self-care?

You can work with whatever budget you need to. Just block out a day for yourself, and plan lots of relaxing activities for yourself. Take inspiration from the rest of this list. Transform your home into a self-care sanctuary. Put on some zen music, switch off your phone, and just enjoy yourself. Let go of any guilt.

Do something just for you and give yourself permission to receive.

37. Taking care of yourself means slowing down

We live in a very fast-paced world that only seems to be speeding up. But running at this pace 24/7 is not sustainable and will lead to you feeling burned out or overwhelmed.

It’s easy to get caught up in the chaos and rush from one thing to the next without even taking a breath. But this is not healthy.

So be sure to find time to slow everything down. Even if it’s just taking five minutes to just sit on your sofa. When life feels like it’s going too fast, take control and hit the brakes.

38. Go on a women’s retreat

This might be something you do once a year, or maybe once in a lifetime. But whatever you do, make sure you experience at least one retreat.

I host women’s soul retreats, and I have witnessed the magic that happens when women take themselves out of their everyday environment and come together in sacred sisterhood. There’s nothing else like it. I feel blessed to be a part of helping these women reflect, heal and create real transformation in their lives.

If you’re feeling a little lost, stuck or stagnant in your life, a women’s retreat might be exactly what you need to figure things out and start walking a new path.

39. Follow your intuition

Your intuition is a powerful gift. Too many of us don’t use it enough, either because we’re conditioned not to or don’t know how to.

Your intuition is always there; it’s just about tapping into it. You can do this through practices like meditation, oracle readings, and journaling. The more you tune into it, the easier it becomes to recognize the difference between your ego and your intuition.

Taking care of yourself means trusting yourself and making decisions that align with your heart and soul. And there’s no better way to do this than by following your intuition.

40. Get a subscription to something

Last year I started a subscription to Empress Mimi, which is a luxury lingerie subscription box. Each month, they send a beautiful set of handmade lingerie to my door, and it makes me feel oh-so-special. If you’re interested in checking them out, you can click here for $10 off your first order.

If you don’t already have a subscription to something that’s just for you, do a little bit of research and see what’s out there. There are subscriptions for everything now: makeup, hair products, fitness, chocolate, books, clothing, arts & crafts, stationery, etc.

41. Taking care of yourself means letting go

Taking care of yourself also means taking care of your mental health. One of the best ways to do this is to let go of something from the past that you’ve been holding onto.

That might be an old relationship that didn’t work out, a time when you failed at something, or even some kind of trauma.

Letting go isn’t about pretending it didn’t happen or repressing it from your mind. It’s about accepting what happened and forgiving yourself and anyone else involved so that you can finally move on.

Remember, forgiveness doesn’t mean you’re saying it’s okay that someone hurt you; neither does it mean that you have to welcome them back into your life. Forgiveness is for you. It’s so that you can be at peace and not carry that weight around with you anymore.

So whatever feels heavy in your life right now, let go.

42. Make a menu for the week

self care is not selfish

One of the easiest ways to stay organized and eat healthier food is to make a menu plan for the week. This makes doing your weekly grocery shop less stressful, and it helps you plan out more balanced meals.

I love hunting for new recipes (Cookie and Kate is one of my all-time favorite food blogs) and saving them down in Evernote, then browsing through them each week and cooking meals that excite me. I also use Evernote to plan my menu using a simple table, but you could use a physical piece of paper or a small whiteboard in your kitchen.

Taking care of yourself is about making your life as simple as stress-free as possible, and being organized helps immensely with this.

43. Try something new

When was the last time you got out of your routine and your comfort zone and tried something new?

A new hobby, cuisine, skill, restaurant, type of music, or even a new job.

Getting out of your comfort zone will be uncomfortable, but this is the only way to grow. And if you’re not growing, you’re only dying.

It doesn’t have to be something huge or life-altering—start small. Order a new dish at your favorite restaurant. Go to a different workout class. Walk a different way to work. Explore a new town. The possibilities are endless, and variety helps keep us inspired and stimulated.

44. Start your day with something for you

One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was to spend time working on your own dreams first before you work on someone else’s.

That means if you currently have a job and you’re working for someone else, that time is spent on their dreams. What you have is the time before and after work. We all know that at the end of the day, you’re tired, and your willpower is at its lowest. This is why making the most of your morning is essential if you want to progress on your own goals and dreams.

So whatever it is you want to do—start a business, work out more, write, spend time with your kids, learn a new skill, get a degree—take a step towards that first thing each day.

This will give you a great boost of accomplishment and fulfillment and help you progress towards your dreams no matter what other responsibilities you have.

45. Go on a dreaming date

Have you ever gone for a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and spent the entire time dreaming?

I do this with my partner sometimes. We think about the things we’d love to accomplish over the coming months and years, both individually and as a couple.

If you’re single, you can do this on your own or with friends.

Gaining clarity on your deepest desires is a great way of taking care of yourself and making sure you’re checking in with yourself regularly. We all change so much as people, and your dreams are likely to change too.

46. Taking care of yourself = Investing in something your future self will thank you for

I know I’ve written a lot about the importance of investing in yourself throughout this article, but that’s because it is that important.

So think about something you can invest in now that you’ll thank yourself for later. Maybe it’s more education, coaching, buying a home, opening a savings account, investing in shares, or purchasing some equipment you need to start that business you’ve always talked about.

Don’t spend money that you don’t have, but start managing your money, so you have some leftover after paying for your basic costs. Be really mindful about what you’re spending on and whether it’s nourishing you or not.

47. Give

Another way of boosting your own happiness and wellbeing is to give your time, money, or energy to those less fortunate.

Maybe that means supporting a charity with a monthly contribution, committing to a marathon and getting sponsored for it, volunteering in your local community or even abroad, or picking up an extra meal or coffee and offering it to someone homeless on the streets.

There are so many little things we can do that will mean so much to other people. And although you are technically giving, you will also receive the benefits of doing something kind and selfless.

48. Learn something new

The way I see it, if you’re still breathing, then you’ve still got things to learn. We’re never done.

And the beauty of life today is learning has never been more accessible. If you’re reading this, chances are you’re living a privileged life that others are not so fortunate to have. You have access to books, the internet, podcasts, documentaries, and education.

Learning new things is a way of taking care of yourself because it boosts your knowledge and confidence, increases your earning potential, and helps you live a more diverse life.

Take a new class, read a book on a topic that interests you, do a crossword puzzle, learn a new word, or research something.

49. Sometimes taking care of yourself means doing nothing

There’s too much pressure on us today to always be doing something that brings us tangible results. And if we don’t get the results we’re hoping for, it feels like a waste of time. But it’s not.

And it’s okay to not be productive every hour of the day. In fact, it’s pretty challenging to do that because human beings are not wired that way.

Sometimes taking care of yourself means giving yourself permission to do nothing. My inner achiever still struggles with this and tells me that I’m wasting time, but I need this space to decompress and zone out now and then.

50. Appreciate all that’s good

taking care of yourself

No matter how tough life is right now, I guarantee you good things are happening that you might not be appreciating.

And I know it’s hard to step into gratitude mode when it feels like your world is crumbling around you. But this is one of the best ways to pick yourself back up and step into a more positive mindset.

Think about everything that is going well for you. Think about all you have to be grateful for in all areas of your life: your health, your body, food, money, a job, clothes, people who love you.

What you appreciate, appreciates. This is the path to true abundance.

51. Start a new project

Is there something you’ve wanted to do or create for a long time, but you haven’t gotten around to doing it yet?

Taking care of yourself is all about prioritizing yourself and your desires. There’s no better way to do that than by getting to work on a project that you’ve held in your heart for a while.

Start writing that book, make a business plan, redecorate your home, plant a garden, start knitting a jumper, design a dress, and start making patterns for it.

Whatever it is, make sure it’s coming from your heart and that it lights you up inside.

52. Taking care of yourself might involve a self-pleasure sesh

You’ve probably heard by now that good sex (not that fake, porn-star-style sex) is great for your physical and mental health. But not all of us are in relationships.

So, what’s a girl to do?

Hello, self-pleasure.

I’ve been using a new app called Dipsea recently. They have some self-pleasure explorations on there that really help me get into the mood and touch myself in a way that feels really sensual and sexy.

But you don’t need an app to do this. Set the mood in your bedroom. Light some candles. Put on a sexy playlist. Wear something that feels good on your body (satin and silk are great options). Close the door and make sure you’ve got some privacy. Play. Explore. Have fun.

Taking care of yourself means you’re getting yours, regardless of your relationship status.

53. Read

Did you know that reading is great for your health?

Yes!

It keeps your mind sharp, helps creativity flow, and is a brilliant way to wind down and relax any time you need to.

I’ve always got about 400 books on my to-read list and have loved reading since I can remember. In the evening, I have to read before going to sleep; otherwise, I’ll usually struggle to doze off.

If you commute to work on public transport, this is the perfect time to get lost in a good book.

If you need some inspiration, check out these articles:

50 Best Feminist Books Every Woman Should Read (At Least Once)

66 Best Business Books For Women

54. Cook something nourishing from scratch

Food is a big part of my life. I’m a massive foodie, and I tend to plan my days (and vacations) around food! So for me, finding exciting new recipes and cooking delicious meals from fresh produce is one of the ways I take care of myself.

I believe that cooking is rooted in witchey traditions. The pot on the stove is like my cauldron, and I mix herbs and spices together to create something magical. And the best part is you know exactly what has gone into the meal you sit down to eat.

55. Pamper yourself

self care is not selfish

I’m pretty simple and natural when it comes to my beauty routine. I love painting my nails and doing a facial or a body scrub once a week or putting a hair mask on. But I don’t make enough time to do these simple things that make me feel so good.

Maybe you enjoy getting a massage or having a spa day with friends, or enjoying a champagne brunch just because. Whatever it is that makes you feel pampered, be sure to do something indulgent at least once a week. This is a beautiful way to show yourself love.

56. Cuddle someone

Taking care of yourself can be incredibly simple. Studies have shown that the physical act of hugging someone can reduce stress and release oxytocin in the body, which boosts our happiness.

Some of us live alone, so cuddling isn’t always an option. But if you have a pet, cuddling them counts too. And if you’re out of options, there’s no reason why you can’t hug yourself! I love doing this in yoga when I’m lying on my back at the end of a session.

57. Take a break

When was the last time you took a real break from your work, your kids, or your day-to-day life?

Taking time out can do us a world of good. I remember taking a solo vacation at the end of 2015 when I felt really lost in my life and unsure which way to go next. Taking myself out of my usual environment and giving myself space to think helped push me in the direction of writing.

By the time I got home, everything felt different. I knew I was done with my job, and although I didn’t have any concrete answers to my questions yet, I knew what I didn’t want. And if it wasn’t for that, I may not have ended up here writing this.

So whether it’s taking a day, a week, or a month off, going on a retreat or solo vacation, taking a gap year after school or uni, or taking a sabbatical—make sure you take regular breaks. Use this time to check in with yourself, reflect, and make conscious decisions that align with the woman you are and the woman you’re striving to be.

Are you taking care of yourself enough?

I hope this list has inspired you with countless ways to take care of yourself and helped you recognize that taking care of yourself is productive in the long run.

Like all things, self-care is a practice. The more you do it, the more you’ll get used to doing it, and eventually, taking care of yourself will naturally be woven into all of your days.

Remember what I said at the beginning:

You cannot give from an empty cup.

Taking care of you is not selfish.

And you deserve your love.

Written By
More from Shani Jay
What Is Toxic Femininity, And How Does It Hold Us Back?
Toxic femininity is another term for the shadow side of the Divine...
Read More
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *