50 ways to take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is the foundation of a good relationship with yourself. When you break with self-destructive habits in favor of actively satisfying your needs, your self-worth grows and you start to feel better in your own skin. Check out 50 ideas – ways to take care of yourself – for a balanced approach to taking great care of yourself.
Lack of confidence and low self-esteem are the problems that I encounter most often in my coaching practice. It is astounding how many people have no idea how to take good care of themselves. These are usually people who treat themselves harshly, have high expectations and never even think of rewarding themselves for anything they get done.
I have discovered that such approach to oneself springs from, among others, highly destructive and most often unconscious belief:
According to this belief, people tend to be very self-oppressive and self-critical unless they make something really remarkable of their lives. And even then, a great percentage of people still won’t allow themselves for any self-reward. Only some of them will, at best, show themselves a little love and kindness and feel good about themselves. Still, it doesn’t last long. After all, the next ration of self-care has to be somehow deserved, too.
By such achievement-based attitude, people put conditions on their self-acceptance and self-love. This is where motivation doesn’t hold good. Self-criticism is supposed to motivate us to action, meanwhile, it deprives us of any energy to act.
It is difficult to get internally motivated when we don’t feel good about ourselves.
If you think “I will like myself when I pass the exam/get a raise/find a partner”, you send the following signal to your subconscious: “Unless I achieve this or that, I am not worthy of love.” And such thinking stands behind low self-esteem.
I am convinced that we all should appreciate, reward and take care of ourselves unconditionally, regardless of our success rate. We should treat ourselves with kindness, no matter if something came out well or not.
Because when you take care of yourself, you show yourself that you deserve your unconditional love, notwithstanding external factors. You let yourself know that you are alright as you are right now. This is the foundation of a good relationship with oneself.
And there is no need to be afraid that this will make you lazy or keep you away from carrying out your plans. Quite the opposite. A good relationship with oneself is the foundation of a healthy sense of self-worth and natural, inner motivation, which are the key factors in accomplishing any goals.
I hope that it is clear to you now that taking care of yourself should become an integral part of your everyday life.
At this stage, there’s usually another catch, namely the question “how can I take care of myself”. What I have encountered on numerous occasions is that even when people have motivation to introduce some self-care in their lives, they are out of ideas on how to do it and what kind of pleasure should that include. Unfortunately, nobody has taught us the ways to take care of ourselves, therefore, we find it difficult to choose something that would be right for us.
That’s why I decided to make a list of 50 ways to take care of yourself. Let it be an inspiration on a day-to-day basis. I suggest you print this list and block in the things you want to try out as your new rituals. Make sure to set a date for trying out each of the selected ideas, so that they are included in your schedule and really put into practice.
Many of the following suggestions were put forward by my readers (I posted an open call for ideas on some social networking site) – thank you all for your contribution!
Here are 50 ways to take care of yourself:
1. Plan ahead your favourite relaxing activity and add it as a task to your calendar.
2. Take a short walk at any time of your day.
3. Go for a long walk in the nature with your favorite music on your headphones.
4. Go hitchhiking. You do not have to go abroad, just a 2-day trip to another city will do.
5. See for yourself how couchsurfing really works. Invite someone over and visit someone else at their place. Meet new people and spend some time in a different way than usual.
6. Do a thorough cleaning of your home.
7. Have some “me” time – allow yourself for a moment of peace and quiet and ask yourself the following questions: “How are you?”, “What is that you need most right now?”, “What would you like to focus on today?”.
8. Call a friend to talk about everything and nothing.
9. Turn your favorite music on and read your favorite book.
10. Speak to yourself kindly and with love, as if you talked to your best friend.
11. Refuse to do what is not right with you. Don’t bend over backwards for the sake of others.
12. Make yourself the best tea you have at home and enjoy it without doing anything else in this moment of pleasure.
13. Put your favorite record on, play it at maximum volume and dance away.. spontaneously
14. Start a diary. Scribble loose thoughts about your everyday life. Describe your feelings and behaviors that you want to pay more attention to. Write daily about what fascinates you and what makes you happy today.
15. Enjoy your morning routine. It won’t cost you much to get up 10 or 15 minutes earlier so that you don’t need to hurry. Give yourself as much time in the morning as you need and start the day with ease.
16. Practice yoga. It’s a great way to feel more connected and grounded in your body and release stress or any unnecessary tension.
17. Smile to yourself.
18. Schedule a massage appointment.
19. Go to a nice swimming pool or sauna.
20. Take a different route on your way to work, look around you and spot places that are new to you, just as if you were somewhere in a strange land.
21. Be understanding and forgive yourself for any mistakes.
22. Accept your flaws. We all have them.
23. Pack a blanket, some fruit and a notebook and go to a park. Find a nice spot on the grass and make notes about your goals, challenges, problems and obstacles.
24. Take a long candle lit bubble bath with some relaxing music playing.
25. Go for a walk to the forest without any electronic communication devices on you. Take a slow pace and enjoy the sounds and smells of nature.
26. Practice morning meditation. Allow some time (even 5 minutes) to do this before you get down to work.
27. Have a night movie marathon.
28. Find a recipe for your favourite dessert, do the necessary groceries, prepare this delicacy on your own and eat it all by yourself (if you like to share food, enjoy it with your favourite people).
29. Go to a good bookstore and spend an hour there browsing through books and magazines. Buy yourself the ones you like (one shouldn’t cut back on books!).
30. Have a spa day at home. Choose the most pleasant products and rituals for your body and treat yourself with a mini pamper session.
31. Go to a restaurant all by yourself and pick the best dish from the menu (even if it’s the most expensive one!).
32. Pack some snacks, a good book and healthy drinks and set off on a one-day trip into the wild.
33. If your thoughts revolve around work in your free time, schedule the time when you want to be 100% “off duty”. Take it down and stick to it.
34. Have a good night’s sleep. It is scientifically confirmed that a right amount of sleep is healthy for our brain. It’s no good to cut sleep time.
35. Let yourself try something new and do it at your own pace (don’t set the bar too high). I am currently learning to play the piano and this is one of the highlights of my day.
36. Take down self-compliments on post-its. Save them, keep in one place and browse through them once a week.
37. Cleanse and detox your body by eating only fruit and vegetables for one day. Drink large amounts of water.
38. Watch comedies, stand-up shows, favorite TV series – give yourself plenty of opportunities to laugh.
39. Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support if you need it.
40. Remember to munch on the so-called “brain foods”, or the foods boosting your brainpower. Get yourself a supply of nuts and seeds and mix them all in a bowl. Pay attention to healthy eating.
41. Take a 20-minute nap during the day.
42. Buy yourself some nice fresh cut flowers and put them in the most visible place of your home.
43. If you are a woman, visit a beauty and hair salon and go for a “full package” experience.
44. Do breathing exercises. For example: take a deep breath, hold it for a few seconds, breathe out slowly and pause for a few seconds. Repeat the whole sequence several times.
45. Sign up for therapy or coaching sessions. It will help you better understand yourself and deal with any obstacles that you encounter in the process towards achieving your goals.
46. Get a large sheet of white paper and crayons and create a vision board for yourself. Hang it on the wall and look at it for a few moments each day.
47. Go shopping and buy yourself something you don’t need but simply would like to have.
48. See a dietitian and discuss with him/her your eating habits.
49. Get yourself a full set of blood tests and study the results. Learn about the significance and consequences of any deficiencies in your body.
50. Arrange for a session with a personal trainer who will help you find the type of physical activity most suitable for you.
You probably think that all of those ways to take care of yourself are selfish. As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing selfish about it. If you take good care of yourself, you will be able to look after others. If you “empty”, or neglect, yourself for the sake of others, sooner or later you would unconsciously take your growing frustration out on others. Tend to your needs first and you can be sure that this way you will have much more energy to spend on other people.
Keep in mind that you needn’t do all the things from the list, all 50 ways to take care of yourself. For starters, select only a few and plan them for the next few days. Then try different ones. As you learn which are your favourite ones, you can turn them into your new habits so that they become an inseparable part of your life.
So, it’s your turn now. Write in the comments section which of the ideas you will put on your to-do list. Should you come up with some more ways to take care of yourself, be sure to share with us!