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50 Ways to Start Practicing Self-Care

When life gets busy it’s easy to forget to take care of yourself. But practicing self-care can have great benefits for your mental health. 

Don’t feel guilty about taking time to care for yourself. It’s not selfish to make your health a priority. You will be better able to help others when you are your healthiest. 

How to practice self-care is different for each person and can be different from day to day. An act of self-care for one person could actually be triggering for someone else, such as visiting with family. The important part is to find a balance of activities that work for you.

Here are some ideas on ways to get started, and don’t forget that you can also combine these activities. For example, eating your favorite desert at the park or going to the beach and reading with a friend. 

Build a Healthy Foundation

1. Get enough sleep and do your best to keep a consistent sleep schedule

2. Eat a balanced diet and include fruits and vegetables

3. Remember to drink enough water

“Self-care means to me: making sleep a top priority, always staying on-top of refilling my prescription medications, spending time to cook meals I enjoy and setting aside time each week to do things I love like read, yoga and walk my dogs!”  - Shannon Y.

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 Avoid Stress

4. Avoid triggers

5. Take breaks from your computer, phone, or social media

6. Learn to say no – it’s ok to say no if you don’t want or aren’t able to do something at the moment. Taking on too many commitments can put extra pressure on yourself and cause more stress.

“I try to avoid triggers/people or situations that set me off when I am in a vulnerable state. It's important to take a step back and realize what your limitations are and to remember that self-care is important for your health and is not selfish.” – Melanie Luxenberg

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 Feeling Low on Energy? Even Small Steps Matter

7. Wash your face, take a shower if you can

8. Put on clean, comfortable clothes

9. Eat something and drink water — if you’re able to make your favorite snack or order takeout

10. Read, watch your favorite shows or movies, and try not to feel guilty about not being productive


11. Play video games

12. Watch your favorite tv show

13. Rent a movie

14. Play Sudoku or other puzzle games

15. Listen to music

16. Use scented candles or diffuse essential oils

17. Meditate

18. Take a bubble bath or shower and use your favorite shampoo/conditioner, body wash, and lotion

19. Read a book

“Reading in particular is helpful. I'm able to leave my own thoughts and feelings behind and enter an entirely new world.” – Kaitlin D.

reading self care










Get Active

20. Do some simple stretches to get your blood moving

21. Go for a walk

22. Go to a yoga class or try yoga videos at home

23. Try other fitness classes like water aerobics or kickboxing, many gyms offer classes for a wide range of athletic abilities

24. Dance

25. Join a community sports team like softball or kickball

Get Outside

26. Go for a short walk

27. Ride your bike, skateboard, or rollerblade

28. Have lunch in the park

29. Go to the beach

30. Go for a hike

"Being in nature reminds me how calm life can be when we seek stillness. When I want to practice self care I seek the beauty around me in nature on long walks, hikes near the beaches and feel reminded of how naturally beautiful life is." - Kristin Green

beauty in nature










Social Activities

31. Have dinner or coffee with friends

32. Text, call, or Skype with a friend

33. Join an online community to connect with others

34. Go to a movie with a friend

35. Visit with your family

36. Play board games with friends or family

37. Plan a trip with friends

Creative Outlets

38. Drawing

39. Writing

40. Adult coloring books

41. Painting

42. Try a DIY (Do It Yourself) project

43. Cooking

44. Baking

45. Work on anything that inspires you

“I try various methods to practice self-care. I enjoy painting, writing, dancing, yoga, reading, meditating. Of course some of these become a little harder when I am manic, so I go for walks rather than meditate, and try and focus on the moment, hold on to reality.” – Nanieve Groenewald

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Treat Yourself

46. Get a manicure or pedicure

47. Give yourself a manicure or have your friend give you one

48. Get a massage

49. Buy something small for yourself

50. Eat your favorite meal or dessert

Do you have any other suggestions? Tell us in the comments below. 


Very good article

Very good articlre

Whoa! This blog looks just like my old one! It's on a completely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Wonderful choice of colors!

These are actually great ideas in about
blogging. You have touched some good things here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Great article, I will share with the CISM team

Keep on working, great job!

Hello, I enjoy reading through your article. I like to write
a little comment to support you.

Excellent list of ways to start self-care. Not too intense and simple enough to make some really good changes in your life.

Great recommendations. I'm actually starting to schedule some of them on my own. Im sure any improvement in my wellbeing will show and perhaps my efforts and results will be viewed positively by my husband battling with Bi-polar.

I enjoyed reading these ideas for self-care. It is ironic, knowing about them isn't the answer, doing them is. ❤️

I never go outside I don't like being around anyone I have no energy I can't handle certain things I get frustrated and angry. My mother is bipolar and I just deny it on other things but I can't anymore I don't know who to talk to or what I've been on medicine before for post partum and it made me worse I tried to hurt someone really bad I just don't understand I'm scared to take medication cuz of the past so if anymore can help me I have no idea where to even start.a lot of days I just sit and rock in one spot all day everyday till bed time that's everyday if I get up please I need help

I just wanted to ask you if you are okay? I wish all the best for you, please take care and know you are loved.

I found it apt as I m also trying. I hate commands. It makes me angry. I block people on networking sites whom I feel r negative. It gives me happiness.when I change my bed sheet. That also helps.when i buy new clothes. I feel so happy although temporary. I hate being compared to others.but I love myself. I m a doctor but I don't feel I m a doctor. I feel wothless &m not able to plan further. Eating medicine on time ,reaching my consultant on time gives me a sense of achievment.but I can't do anything about midnight awakenings &panic attacks.i sometimes definitely need support which doesn't imply that I m not independent. & Please b careful on whom u share your problem with.

This is some great advice. I try to relax more and more the older I get. Believe it or not, I've actually downloaded a couple of cheesy little game apps on my phone that I like to play to "escape" it all for a few minutes at a time. Crazy to think, but I really feel like it helps me relax from the hectic schedule of life.

very cool Kanye, these things have never worked for me!

It also helps to have a pet who will give you unconditional love.

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