This is a list of self-care ideas that will help you have peace of mind, and still get things done.
I’ve started with easy self-care ideas for your mind and your body.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be bringing you self-care for your spirit, your relationships, and your money!
Let’s dive in…
Self-Care for Your Mind
Start small. Pick one of the self-care ideas that appeals to you, and do it right now.
- Schedule some me-time. Find a couple of hours every week when your job is to do exactly what you feel like doing. The only rule: do nothing that resembles work or duty. Zero guilt or self-judgment allowed for “wasting” time.
- Eat the biggest frog first. Each day, decide one manageable task that would make today a success. Do this as your first task, before any other task (yes, really, before the emails). Do this every day.
- Be grateful. Take 1 minute to reflect on a few things you are grateful for…large and small…watermelon, the sun on leaves, health. I swear, this one tiny thing is the key to the universe.
- Try this morning self-care routine. 1) Name 3 things you are grateful for 2) Mentally wish someone well 3) Name 1 good thing about yesterday 4) Stretch 5) Ask: how can I make this an amazing day?
- Celebrate 3 wins. Every night, think of three things that went well that day. It can be anything, big or small: I ate spinach. I took a walk. I finished my article.
- Choose how to feel today. Decide how you want to feel today and then ask this — “How could I feel peaceful today?” or “How could I feel confident today?”
- Name 5 things that are good about you. Examples: I’m wonderful with animals, I’m good at traveling, I’m kind, I’m visionary, I learn from my mistakes.
- Work in short sets. Use a “tomato timer” to set yourself 25 minute work sessions, with 5 minute breaks. Keep the breaks sacred. Walk around for a minute or two. Get a cup of tea. Stay off your phone. You will have to tear yourself away from the work, but you will feel soooo much better.
- Create before you consume. (From Marie Forleo) Don’t start your day with social media or news. Instead, create a positive direction with a self-care routine (#2), then eat the biggest frog first (#3).
- Ask yourself a growth mindset question. What can I learn from this? What mistake did I make today that taught me something? What strategy will I try today? (From Carol Dweck)
- Visualize a great result. Spend a full minute imagining yourself achieving a result you want, and how it would feel to have that success: Grateful? Confident? Joyful? Purposeful?
- Be fair to the positive. Our brains tend to favor the negative. When you’re stuck in fear, try out an opposite thought, like “What if my offer does not fail?” “What if people love it?”
- Write down what your perfect day would be. Where would you be? Who with? What would you do? It can be a regular work day, a regular weekend day, or a holiday, or plan all three!
- Give your brain something new to learn. Learn how to make a new habit, a language, a new dance. Some places to take courses online: Khan Academy, Udemy, MindValley
- Trust your gut. Think up 3 times in your life that your intuition led you in the right direction. When you trusted your gut and it turned out well.
- Cut the cord. Detach from someone who consistently bums you out. Unfollow them on social media. Wish them well in your mind and don’t look back. Make new friends who support your growth.
- Remember your strengths. Think of three times you overcame adversity in the past. Reflect on how you did that.
- Dream. Make a list of 25 things you would like to be, to do and to have. Here’s one example of each: I want to be successful. I want to see the Northern Lights. I want to have a personal trainer.
- Practice good thoughts. Like this: I’m living a life of happy, useful purpose. I’m taking action even when I’m scared and confused. I’m always growing and learning. I’m getting better all the time.
- Give your brain a vacay. Go to a bookstore with a coffee shop and read a book with a cup of tea. Choose a book on a topic you find fascinating but haven’t had time for. Rest and relax.
If you like learning self-care for your brain, check out my self-care course. You can find it here.
So that’s it for self-care for your mind.
Self-Care for Your Body
I suggest baby steps here, and keeping it super-duper simple. Let self-care for your body feel easy and good. And let your inner critic — the one telling you that you need to work out 5x a week and eat only kale smoothies — that this is an experiment and it’s all cool.
- Try box breathing for stress relief and concentration. Used by Navy SEALs and athletes, it’s a simple way to calm yourself. Breathe in through your nose for a slow count of 4, hold the breath (lightly, not in a tight way) for 4 counts, breathe out through your nose for 4 counts, hold four counts. Repeat.
- Take a shower first thing in the morning. You’ll never regret making a shower a no-brainer morning habit the way that you will regret, if you’re like me, schlumping around in your PJ’s or dirty yoga pants all day, feeling like a slobby loser.
- Break up your work day with a mid-day walk break. I used to power through the morning, eat a late, stressed lunch, grind through the afternoon, then take an exhausted walk in the late afternoon. Walking after lunch instead gives a real body break, and makes the work times feel shorter and easier.
- Do 10 minutes of simple exercises while you watch Netflix. It’s surprisingly painless to do a few minutes of stretches or weights or crunches while you’ve got your show on. It helps to promise yourself that 10 minutes is plenty good enough, and stop at that point.
- Hydrate your poor body. Why is it so hard for some of us to drink water? If it’s a struggle, get a pretty Hydro flask (or similar) and plan to drink 4 of them a day. It’s great to just gulp down the first one first thing. Keep track on a kitchen whiteboard or notepad. Just mark up to 4. Feel proud.
- Do a few squats while your coffee is heating. Try building some simple movement into those moments when you might otherwise have your head stuck in your phone. Don’t beat yourself up if you find yourself with your head stuck in your phone 5 minutes later. It’s all baby steps.
- Stop and stretch for 1 minute right now. Stop whatever you’re doing for literally 1 minute, and slowly walk around the room, doing some gentle neck and arm stretches.
- Set out a bowl of colorful fruits you love on your kitchen table and bury your pretzels in the cabinet. Just make it a teeny tiny bit easier to nurture your body with a Satsuma mandarin rather than reaching for a carby, fatty, sugary thing when you’re tired and your brain sucks at choices.
- Make or order a special healthy meal just for fun. Who cares if it’s an ordinary Wednesday? What is the one healthiest meal that you really love? Treat yourself with that. Today, mine would be Lobsang’s dahl and rice, with Patak’s lime pickles, cucumbers, and watermelon.
- Watch a vegan documentary on Netflix. I’m a life-long lover of fried chicken, Polish sausages and eggs, but watching The Game Changers a year or so ago made becoming a vegetarian pretty painless. Now my husband and I are experimenting with going all plant-based, and it’s pretty soul satisfying.
- Give your body the greatest love you can give it. Not to come off as a vegan weirdo, but this evidence-based book How Not to Die by Michael Greger will blow your mind. I can’t think of any single greater thing to love your body than following Greger’s suggestions.
- Track your food and exercise. It’s so easy now to track good habits, with mega-popular apps like Streaks. Keep it simple. Maybe track something like these: ate a vegetable, ate a fruit, walked 10 minutes, drank 4 waters.
- Make one medical appointment. Okay, no one wants to go to the doc or dentist, but taking one tiny baby step to self-loving health care can look like this. Look up your dentist’s phone, call, schedule an appointment for a month from now. No pain, lots of gain. (Options: eyes, cholesterol, mammogram, pap smear, colonoscopy, dermatologist) 💕
- Try experiencing emotions in your body. In moments of stress or anger or sadness, try noticing where and how you feel it in your body. Is it a buzzing in your chest? A tightening of your shoulders? Simply observing the feeling in your body for 2 minutes can help you move through it.
- Calm your body through your nose. It’s weird how much just lighting a luxurious-smelling candle or some lemongrass or lavender essential oils can take your mind to a different place and give you joy.
- Take a hot bath. You know what to do.
- Treat yourself at the local farmers market. Okay, buying the beautiful fruits and veggies at your local farmers market is like investing in gold — pricey! 🤣 But all you need for a treat is one or two single items, and there’s no better thing to invest your money in than your physical and mental health.
- Dance to one of your happy songs. I love dancing but rarely do it. Note to you and to me to embrace our inner nerdy weirdo, and put on a song that makes us want to move. I love Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off — I know that cements me in the uncoolest of the uncool category forever. Amen!
- Get your hands in some dirt. If you don’t have a garden to play in, get a house plant or two, or give some love to the houseplants you have. This can be a 5 minute thing — it doesn’t have to be a major production.
- Make a sinfully delicious plant-based dessert. OMG have you ever had a vegan brownie? Grind up pecans (any nut), dates, unsweetened cacao (pronounced kuh cow) powder, a little peanut butter, a little oil, salt, vanilla. A little goes a loooong way. You’re welcome!
If you would love more self-care tools to put the stress behind you and truly enjoy time off with family and friends, check out my self-care course. You can find it here.
So that’s it for self-care for your body.
Coming Soon: Self-Care for your Spirit
Now it’s Your Turn
I hope you enjoyed this second installment of the Top 100 Self-Care Ideas for Stressed Out Women.
Now I’d like to hear from you: have you already tried any of these tips? Which one has worked best for you?
Let me know by writing a quick comment below.
These simple self-care tools (and others) helped me to calm my anxiety, lose weight, stop working every night and weekend, ease up on the self trash talk, appreciate my life, retire early and grow my bank accounts.
For sure, it’s not all rainbows and sparkles 24-7. I still have plenty of crap-tastic moments, but now I have incredible tools that make a world of difference in my daily life.
I would love to help you too! If you’d like to get my regular self-care tips for women, join my email list (and get my personal top ten self-care ideas, with a checklist).