Self-Care Ideas for the Body, Mind, and Spirit

Do you ever feel like you have just reached the end of your rope?  Like you have forgotten how to live and are now just surviving?  Yes?  Me too. 

Enter Self-Care.  If you have been following me for long, you know self-care is an essential topic to me. 

small sign says self care isn't selfish against blue wall with white candles and vase around it

Today, I decided it was time to get down to business and get some specific self-care ideas going!

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Self-Care: The What and the Why

What is self-care?  It’s literally any and every action you take towards caring for yourself.  It should be all-encompassing to include body, mind, and spirit. 

We live in such a fast-paced world that it is easy to feel that you are running to and fro 90 miles an hour and getting nowhere.  We are bombarded by the message that we should always be multi-tasking, and if we are not, well, then we are failing.  What?!?

I used to buy into that.  I felt guilty if I wasn’t constantly accomplishing something.  Guess what that got me?  Exhausted.  Frustrated.  Beat up.  My self-care?  Non-existent.  Is this ringing any bells for you?

But here’s the thing:  When you are living life trying to dance to someone else’s tune, you lose yourself.  And after a while, you realize meeting everyone else’s expectations has left you used up with nothing left to give.

Geez, Teresa, could you be a little more depressing?  Well, I am going for stark honesty here.  You know me, I am going to call it like I see it.  No apologies. 

pink, purple, and blue background note with Take care of yourself written on it. A small heart colored in red next to words.

And the truth is, we as women have been sold a freaking bill of goods.  It’s all about taking care of the family, the house, the job, the neighbors, the church, the charity, etc.  By the time you do all that, do you have anything left for yourself?  Well?  Do you?

THAT is why self-care matters.  Eventually, when you give and give and give and don’t replenish yourself with some self-care, you find you have nothing left to give.

So, today let’s talk self-care ideas so you DON’T get to that point!!

Self-Care Ideas for the Body

This is probably the easiest category and the one that most people automatically default to.  I get it.  We understand that a massage feels good and that a pedicure can lift your spirits.  But let’s dive a little bit deeper than that, okay?  Trust me; massage IS making my list!!  But let’s don’t limit ourselves here.  Ready?  Let’s go!

Apply lotion when you get out of the bath/shower. 

Quit laughing.  ?  Seriously, when was the last time you really took your time and pampered yourself with lotion from head to toe.  Try it!  It’s actually a nice, calming moment to appreciate taking care of your skin. This is one that I really like by Shea Moisture that is super affordable. For a splurge, I love Josie Maran.

Go ahead, get the massage. 

self-care with massage: Woman lying on massage table getting shoulders massaged.

It’s a lovely way to relax and unwind.  ?

Make your favorite drink. 

It might be flavored water, tea, or even an adult beverage.  Remember, we are talking self-care here, so this should be special.

Practice some form of soothing exercise. 

Again, we are in self-care mode here, so this doesn’t have to be a full-on workout unless you want it to be.  Consider trying stretching, yoga, Tai Chi, or Qui Jong.  Anything that makes you feel good and allows you to focus on yourself is fantastic.

Take a bath. 

self-care spa bathtub with a tray across it holding a book, candle, soap and flowers. Candles lit on edges of tub.

This is a favorite of mine.  But don’t just plop in some water and call it good.  Make it an experience!  Turn out the lights and light some candles.  Turn on your favorite music.  Add bubbles, essential oils, or Epsom salts. RELAX!

Create a sleep routine. 

Caring for your body also means creating an environment where you can sleep and recharge.  Sleep is an issue I struggle with terribly due to some health issues.  I have a sleep disorder that has kept me from reaching stage 3 “restorative” sleep for years.  So, in the past few months, I have taken charge of this area of my life in a big way and started implementing some sleep changes, and it’s really starting to help!  Do NOT underestimate the need for a good sleep routine.

Try a spa day.

Maybe you like a manicure, a pedicure, or a facial.  If you are on a budget, then give yourself a spa day.  Give yourself a manicure or pedicure.  Try a new face mask or scrub.  Be creative!  It doesn’t have to cost a lot.  The point is to do something that makes you feel good.

Consider your nutrition.

If you don’t have the healthiest diet, consider just doing one thing that would improve that.  Add a smoothie to your day, or increase your water intake.  It can be small.  But self-care is not just about pampering.  It’s about the day to day caring for yourself.  If your nutrition is not on your radar, it’s time you put it there!

Drink water.

woman of color drinking water from a mason jar

Okay, confession time.  Drinking water seems obvious and maybe even stupid to add to the list.  However, there was a time that I RARELY drank water.  Ahem.  Yeah, no bueno.  It is incredible how much better I feel now that I drink LOTS of water every day.  Again, maybe not sexy-sounding, but we are talking about TRUE self-care here, right?  Right.  Drink the damn water.  ?

Self-Care Ideas for the Mind

Equally crucial to physical self-care is mental self-care.  We live in an often-stressful world, and as wonderful as a spa day is, it is not always sufficient to rejuvenate the mind.  Finding ways to calm the mind is critical.  Allowing a constant state of stress or anxiety to fester in your mind has consequences.  Hopefully, the strategies below will inspire you to find ways to calm mental clutter.

Start a gratitude journal. 

Self-care journal: Pink background with open journal with the words "Today I'm grateful for:" at the top. Small pink flowers on right side page.

Just make it a point to write at least one thing you are grateful for every day.  It is amazing how much gratitude can affect your frame of mind.  It’s such an easy thing to do, but in the rush of life can be so easily overlooked.

Positive Affirmations. 

If you are not familiar with positive affirmations, spend some time learning about them.  It’s a kind, gentle way to retrain your inner voice.  If you have the consummate “mean girl” playing in your head, you REALLY need to look into affirmations.

Create a vision board. 

I am a massive fan of this technique.  It allows you to really focus on areas that matter to you and helps you define goals.  As a very visual person, I find this to be inspirational and helpful to have my goals VISIBLE on a daily basis.

Find a personal development book that appeals to you and dive in.

Challenging yourself to learn and grow as a person is a really great way to foster mental stimulation and clarity.  Learning about many of the new things I have talked about in this article has really improved my general outlook on life. 

Read a book

close up view of a book in a woman's hands.

Sometimes just getting lost in a great book is all you need.  If you haven’t read a book in a while, maybe give it another go and see what happens.

Watch a funny movie.  

Sometimes just getting outside of ourselves and indulging in laughter can be very helpful to relieve stress or tension.

Listen to a new, or favorite, podcast. 

There are tons of awesome podcasts out there on just about every topic under the sun.  Find one that speaks to you and listen away.

Consider taking a digital pause. 

Take even one hour away from your phone, computer, tablet, television, etc.  Spend some quiet time letting your mind just rest from the constant inundation of information.  I have recently become aware of how often I am looking at my phone or some other electronic.  I have been challenging myself to leave the phone in my bedroom more and more often.  It has been so nice to have a reprieve!  (Sometimes I miss the pre-cell phone days!)

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT or Tapping)

You may not be familiar with this particular concept, but it is an absolute favorite of mine.  Using this technique has been a stunning game changer in my life.  In fact, it has been so huge that I plan to devote an entire article to it soon!  (Stay tuned!)  I struggled with where to put this one because, honestly, it has super positive effects on the body, mind, and the spirit, so I just placed it here.  But know that this one is truly a triple whammy of self-care!  ?

Self-Care Ideas for the Spirit

I have mentioned before that I kind of roll spirit, soul, and emotions all into one category.  Spirit and soul I tend to use interchangeably, and I would argue that you can’t talk about either without involving the emotions.  So, it’s kind of a package deal in my mind. 

I think people tend to shy away from this one more than the other two because it can be the most uncomfortable for many people.  If your self-care practice does not include the spirit, you are missing a vital anchor in your practice. 

Finding ways to refresh your soul and encourage your spirit is non-optional.  Life can beat us up sometimes.  Being able to process through the emotions that come with that is absolutely imperative.  If you don’t currently spend enough time caring for your spirit, please give it a try.  I honestly believe you will be surprised at the results it brings.


Yes, I am serious.  When was the last time you just sat down, took some deep breaths, and calmed your body, mind, and spirit?  Slowing down and just “being” can be a serious self-care moment.

Try meditation. 

Self-care with meditation: woman on mat sitting cross legged for meditation.

There are numerous forms of meditation, and you might find one you love.  There are a lot of studies that prove the benefit that meditation can have.  Read The Truth About Meditation: It’s Not Woo-Woo for more details.

Try a date night. 

This could be with your besties, partner, mom, daughter, son, etc.  Anyone that you enjoy spending time with is the key.  Connecting with others is a beautiful way to lift your spirit.

Dress up.

Seriously, sometimes I look in the mirror and think, “whoa!”.  I work from home four days a week, and I have noticed that I tend to feel better about myself on the days I go into the office.  It occurred to me that it is likely because I actually get dressed and put some effort into my appearance.  I wear a dash of makeup (only a dash, I am just not a full face of makeup kind of gal), fix my hair, and even throw in some earrings.  It’s amazing what that does for my spirit.  In fact, it has made me realize that I need to put in a smidge more effort on my work-from-home days.  It truly does make a positive difference.

Set boundaries.

Realize that self-care includes guarding yourself against energy vampires, time thieves, and peace of mind ruiners.  Okay, maybe that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.  Some people will either knowingly or unknowingly rob you of all those things.  However, I fervently believe all those things are essential for self-care.  If you lose time, energy, or peace of mind, it will dramatically shift your ability to have self-care into very low gear.  Learn how to say no.  It doesn’t make you selfish.  It means your value yourself too. 

Spend some time in nature. 

beautiful pond with stones and a lily. Bamboo spout with stream of water pouring into pond.

Even if all you can do is get into your backyard, do that.  Get some sunshine, feel the grass, and enjoy the breeze.  If you can get to a park, a trail, a lake, etc., even better!  We were not designed to be indoors with artificial light all the time.  Allow yourself to soak in some outdoors.

Diffuse essential oils.

Essential oils are amazing.  I love them and diffuse them often.  It’s incredible the impact they can have on your sense of wellbeing. 

Practice Kindness

Do something nice for someone.  Have you ever bought the meal/coffee for the person behind you in line at the drive-through?  I have.  It was fun.  Once, I gathered all my kids in the van and went to Krispy Crème for a dozen donuts.  We took them to my sister-in-law just to say hi.  It can be big or small.  Remember the old saying, “It’s the thought that counts”?  It’s true.  It doesn’t have to cost money.  Compliment someone.  Smile at someone.  Tell someone to have a good day and MEAN it.  It’s amazing what sharing kindness with others does for our spirit.

Consider practicing visualizations.

This is another practice that has been instrumental in changing my outlook.  I use it, and it is very compatible with both meditation and tapping.  This is yet another topic that will be getting its own article soon.  (Stay tuned for this one too!)

Final Thoughts on Self-Care Ideas

Self-Care Venn Diagram on Chalkboard with Healthy in the center and the words Spirit Body Mind on the top and bottom

Don’t worry if you don’t like all my ideas.  That’s okay.  My goal is always to offer ideas to hopefully spark you to examine what would work for YOU. 

We are all unique, so our approach to self-care will be unique as well, as it should be.  So, use these ideas as a jump-off point.  If you like a few of them, that’s great. 

But really put the time and effort into discovering what self-care ideas resonate with you and will make a meaningful impact on your life.

If you need help creating a self-care checklist to help you keep focused, you may want to read my article How to Create a Self-Care Checklist that is Tailored to YOU!

If you are looking for a great self-care gift guide, check out my article Thoughtful Self-Care Gifts for Women.

“Self-care is not a waste of time.  Self-care makes your use of time more sustainable.” – Jackie Viramontez

I genuinely hope you have found some inspiration in these ideas.  More than anything, I hope you have come away with a promise to yourself to practice self-care in a comprehensive way. 

Please comment below and let me know your favorite ways to practice self-care!  I’m always up to learning new things!

With Love and Acceptance,


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    1. Tammy, I’m so glad you found a few ideas that excited you. That’s awesome! And it is totally okay to take time to process. You don’t have to do everything…. just find one thing that works for you and feels right. Focus on that. As you build your self-care practice you will expand and do other things all in due time. The most important thing is that you pick something and just start. 🙂 I’m totally rooting for you! Please let me know how your self-care journey is progressing. I truly believe connecting with each other is such an encouragement.

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