100 Best Self-Care Ideas To Feel Better

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Self-care is a growing topic of interest, and for a good reason. With stress levels soaring for many people, finding time to maintain or improve one’s overall wellness is of utmost importance. Learning new ways to take care of yourself, including your physical health, emotional wellness, and mental well-being, can lead you down the path to happiness and a healthy lifestyle.

What is Self-Care?

In short, self-care is anything you do to improve your health and well-being. Your idea of me-time can look very different to others. For example, self-care can be anything from participating in physical activity or relaxation techniques to attending support groups or meeting one-on-one with a counselor. Any action you perform to nurture yourself can be considered self-care.

Why is Self-Care Important 

Self-care is important because it helps you feel good about yourself. But there are many more fantastic benefits of caring for yourself. Here are the most popular reasons to develop a self-care plan.

Cope With Stress

High-stress levels affect you mentally, physically, and emotionally. Many self-care activities make excellent stress-management techniques and help you to relax. Some people prefer calming activities for reducing stress, while others opt for blood-pumping activities, such as exercising, to manage stress. The key is to find the best stress-reduction techniques for you and do them consistently.

Avoid Burnout

Caring for others is a tough job. Whether you are a caregiver for a loved one with Alzheimer’s disease or other health problems or have babies or adolescents to care for, you are at risk of feeling burned out from putting others’ needs first. Incorporating self-care into your daily routine will help you recharge, be resilient, and avoid symptoms of burnout

Maintain Good Mental Health

Research suggests taking time out of your busy day for me-time helps fight depression and anxiety. Regularly practicing self-care enables you to relax and feel good about yourself. It can help you feel happier and reduce feelings of overwhelm. However, paying attention to your mental health and acknowledging when you need to talk to a mental health professional or counselor should not be overlooked.  

Boost Energy Levels

Exhaustion occurs when life pulls you in too many directions, and you don’t have time to nurture yourself. Chronic fatigue and feeling run down are detrimental to your well-being. Getting adequate rest and participating in the self-care activities you enjoy will allow you to be the best version of yourself.  

Physical Well-Being

Research has linked daily self-care to less illness by boosting your immune system and decreasing the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease. Excellent self-care activities to promote physical well-being include exercise, yoga, and pilates.  

Self-care ideas: woman relaxing in a hammock with a book

100 Self-Care Ideas to Start Your Self-Love Routine

If you are looking for some of the best self-care ideas, look no further. Here are 100 cheap or free ways to give yourself some love. A few of these are unusual self-care ideas, so read the entire list to find a new way to participate in self-love.

  1. Take a nap
  2. Read a book
  3. Exercise
  4. Meditate
  5. Give yourself a mani or pedi
  6. Daydream
  7. Make a cup of hot tea and relax
  8. Do a word search 
  9. Take a hot bubble bath
  10.  Play with your pet
  11. Hug your kids
  12. Chat with your partner
  13. Give yourself a foot massage (try a massage ball or roller)
  14. Stretch your tight muscles
  15. Dance like no one is watching
  16. Give yourself a facial
  17. Run your oil diffuser
  18. Clean and declutter one area of your home
  19. Watch your favorite movie
  20. Listen to your playlist
  21. Make your favorite coffee at home
  22. Sit in the sun for a couple of minutes to get your vitamin D
  23. Work in your garden
  24. Care for your house plants
  25. Color in an adult coloring book
  26. Progressive muscle relaxation
  27. Draw or paint
  28. Write in your journal
  29. Exchange massages with your partner
  30. Eat dinner by candlelight
  31. Turn off electronics 
  32. Play a board game with your family
  33. Try a new yoga pose
  34. Play solitaire
  35. Plan your next getaway or road trip
  36. Call a close family member to chat
  37. Take a walk
  38. Listen to your favorite podcast
  39. Window shop
  40. Jump rope
  41. Lounge in the shade 
  42. Star-gaze
  43. Bake your favorite treat
  44. Try aromatherapy with essential oils
  45. Use deep breathing techniques
  46. Browse your community library
  47. Attend a support group
  48. Find a free event in your community
  49. Review your finances and budget
  50. Pray
  51. Call a friend
  52. Develop a bedtime routine (and stick to it)
  53. Come up with a bucket list
  54. Watch your favorite comedian
  55. Go for a hike
  56. Swim at your community pool
  57. Look at old photos
  58. Create a photo book online
  59. Put together a jigsaw puzzle
  60. Binge-watch your favorite TV series
  61. Eat your favorite ice cream
  62. Have a bonfire with friends
  63. Go fishing
  64. Browse Pinterest and create a board for your next home project
  65. Head to your local museum
  66. Say daily affirmations to yourself
  67. Let go of things from the past that is weighing on your mind
  68. Pick up some fresh flowers for your home
  69. Cook a healthy dinner for you and your partner
  70. Drink enough water every day
  71. Participate in an activity you have wanted to try
  72. Light a candle 
  73. Stay off social media for a day or longer
  74. Find a new hobby
  75. Take a steamy shower (try a shower steamer)
  76. Make a healthy smoothie
  77. Get dressed up, even if you are working from home or running errands
  78. Listen to an audiobook during your commute
  79. Write personal or financial goals for yourself (and then crush them!)
  80. Start a gratitude journal (write something every day)
  81. Try a weighted blanket to help you relax
  82. Go on a picnic (don’t forget to take off your shoes!)
  83. Try manifesting
  84. Learn how to “dry brush” your skin before your shower
  85. Experiment with your makeup (and then take beautiful selfies!)
  86. Do a brain dump (write down everything on your mind)
  87. Write down and memorize your favorite motivational quotes
  88. Do a workout from the FitOn app (it’s free!)
  89. Read a self-help book
  90. Learn a new language
  91. Try out a new hairstyle
  92. Watch the sunrise or sunset
  93. Head to the beach with a friend for the day
  94. Head to a beautiful location for a photo shoot with your friends or family
  95. Go for a drive with the windows down and listen to your favorite song
  96. Spend time with your mom
  97. Volunteer at a charity
  98. Make a to-do list when you are feeling stressed
  99. Try a satin pillowcase and use a pillow spray
  100. Do something nice and unexpected for someone else

Self-Care Quotes and Affirmations

Participating in self-care activities takes some initiative on your part. If you don’t proactively set aside time for self-love, days or months can pass by, and before you know it, you aren’t feeling your best.  

Even though it’s best to take time every day to participate in self-care, we all know life happens. But having a list of affirmations or quotes to think or say to yourself can be enough to get you through a rough day, even when you don’t have time for yourself. Below is a list of self-care quotes and affirmations to keep a positive mindset between your favorite self-care activities.  

Self-Care Quotes: "An empty lantern provides no light.  Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly." -unknown

25 Self-Care Quotes for Self-Reassurance

Don’t let others judge you or make you feel guilty for taking the time to focus on yourself. Self-care is necessary for happiness and being the best version of yourself. These self-care quotes will help you understand the importance of taking care of yourself first.  

“Every one of us needs to show how much we care for each other, and in the process, care for ourselves.” –Princess Diana

“An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” –Unknown

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” –Anna Quindlen

“If you don’t love yourself, nobody will. Not only that, you won’t be good at loving anyone else. Loving starts with the self.” –Wayne Dyer

“People who love themselves don’t hurt other people. The more we hate ourselves, the more we want others to suffer.” –Dan Pearce

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.” –Sir Edmund Hillary

“To accept ourselves as we are means to value our imperfections as much as our perfections.” –Sandra Bierig

“Loving yourself isn’t vanity. It’s sanity.” –Katrina Mayer

“Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself.” –Coco Chanel

“You have to believe in yourself when no one else does—that makes you a winner right there.” –Venus Williams

“Nothing external to you has any power over you.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Be who you are and say how you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” –Dr. Seuss

“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.” –Phyllis Diller

“Happiness doesn’t depend on outward conditions. It depends on inner conditions.” –Dale Carnegie

“By making time for self-care, you prepare yourself to be your best so you can share your gifts with the world. Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. Self-care isn’t selfish. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” –Eleanor Brownn

 “Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s self-esteem.” –Ashley Judd

“Selfishness at the expense of others is bad. Self-care for the betterment of others is good.” –Richie Norton

“Self-care is how you take your power back.” –Lalah Delia

“Carve out and claim the time to care for yourself and kindle your own fire.” –Amy Ippoliti

 “Self-care is your fuel … Whatever the road ahead or the path you’ve taken, self-care is what keeps your motor running and your wheels turning.” –Melissa Steginus

“One person’s self-care isn’t necessarily another’s—there is going to be a lot of individuality.” –Gail Saltz, M.D.

“Love yourself first, and everything else falls in line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” –Lucille Ball

“If you have the ability to love, love yourself first.” –Charles Bukwoski

“It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.” –Mandy Hale

“It is so important to take time for yourself and find clarity. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.” –Diane Von Furstenberg

25 Self-Care Affirmations for When You Need a Boost

Sometimes there isn’t enough time in the day to participate in an entire self-care activity. But there is always time to say a few motivating one-liners to yourself to feel better. The trick is to find a few affirmations that resonate with you. Then, memorize them and repeat them when you need an instant boost.  

“I love myself.”

“I am loved.”

“I am proud of myself.”

“I am intelligent.”

“I am honest.”

“I am grateful for the life I have.”

“I matter.”

“I am in charge of myself.”

“I love my body.”

“My work matters.”

“I am successful.”

“I am an amazing mother.”

“I am a loving wife/partner.”

“I make a difference in the world.”

“I am perfect just the way I am.”

“I have done the best I can.”

“I will be happy today.”

“I won’t give in to negativity.”

“I forgive myself for my mistakes.”

“I have so much to look forward to.”

“Times are tough, but it is only temporary.”

“I can and will do this.”

“I am proud of myself for my accomplishment.”

“I am worthy of any compliments I receive.”

“I can do anything I set my mind to do.”

Self-Care Matters for Your Wellness

Taking time every day to participate in a self-care activity is just as crucial for your wellness as getting enough sleep or eating healthy foods. Whether you have a day to spend on self-love or only a few moments to say your daily affirmations, self-care is vital for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Use these lists of self-care ideas, quotes, and affirmations to get started on your self-care routine.  

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