How to Practice Self-Care: 31 Activities, Routines, and Tips

Practicing self-care? Taking care of myself? That’s something for egoists and selfish people!

Anyway, I don’t have time for that…

This is a common belief many people have. After all, self-care is often mistakenly used as a synonym for egoism and selfishness. But it is exactly the opposite. Only people who practice self-care and who make sure they are in balance are able to take care of others.

Regular self-care is the foundation for a healthy and fulfilled life, and ultimately genuine self-love. It goes far beyond the occasional weekend relaxation bath and should instead become an integral part of our everyday lives.


What Is Self-Care? (Definition)


Self-care means taking personal responsibility for doing justice to oneself in all aspects of life. It is about being aware and focusing on one’s needs, desires, traits, talents, and inclinations to maintain and improve mental and physical health.

Only then we are able to care for ourselves and be there for others.



Why is Self-Care important? It Helps to Keep Balance


It is way too easy to forget ourselves in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives. We often care more about all the responsibilities imposed on us and about other people. At the same time neglect our own well-being.

Imagine someone’s car broke down on the side of the road. Would you stop and empty your tank so that this person could continue driving?

Of course not, because as a result, you would have the problem of not being able to continue your journey. It is much better to help this person fill their tank themself.

You can only be there for other people when your own tank and energy reserves are full. Regular self-care is the fuel for your tank. A lack of self-care can result in stress, dissatisfaction, or even depression and anxiety.


How To Practice Self-Care If I Don’t Have Time For That?


Many people tell themselves that they don’t have time for self-care. They ignore and neglect their own needs and desires.

“After all, we have to please everyone and it would be completely selfish to make the well-being of ourselves the number one priority. A short relaxing bath on weekend and a 14-day vacation once a year should be enough to refill the empty tank.”

That’s the inner dialogue many people have. They take a short break and then continue to exploit their resources and energy relentlessly. True self-care means treating yourself well and listening to your own needs every day.




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3 Inspiring Quotes About Self-Care:


“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”— Anne Lamott


“Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself.”— Hermann Hesse


To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”— Oscar Wilde



Now it’s a matter of finding out how to make self-care an integral part of your daily life. It’s all about changing priorities and consciously deciding to do the things that are good for you. Here are 31 activities, routines, and tips to help learn and practice self-care.


How to Practice Self-Care: Activities, Routines, and Tips


Like everything in life, practicing self-care is very individual. What is beneficial and relaxing for one person, is stressful for another. An essential element in self-care is mindfulness. If we binge-eat our favorite food and play computer games for hours only to forget the world around us we are not practicing self-care. However, when we consciously prepare and enjoy a delicious dinner to calm our minds and give ourselves a break, we practice true self-care.


Self-Care Checklist With 17 Tips For Your Daily Life:


  1. Get enough and, most importantly, high-quality sleep.
  2. Drink at least 2-3 liters of water per day
  3. Avoid soft drinks and too many sweets. Drink tea instead.
  4. Maintain a balanced and healthy diet.
  5. Take enough time for your meals. Eat consciously.
  6. Allow yourself regular breaks to switch off completely.
  7. Meditate daily.
  8. Make sure you exercise regularly. Use the stairs and not the escalator.
  9. Consciously say “no” when you don’t want something.
  10. Consciously say “yes” and try new things regularly.
  11. Find affirmations that give you strength.
  12. Learn to set priorities.
  13. Set attainable and realistic goals (Use the SMART method).
  14. Listen to your favorite music regularly.
  15. Get some fresh air every day (walking, hiking, biking).
  16. Enjoy the sun for a few minutes with your eyes closed.
  17. Spend less time on social media.


1) Practice Self-Reflection and Introspection – The Basic Self-Care Routine


Self-reflection is the art of honestly and critically questioning one’s own thoughts, feelings, and actions and drawing the right conclusions from them. This will bring us valuable insights about ourselves. Self-reflection enables you to find out what is good for you and what is not. You will recognize where you exceed your limits, what gives you energy and what takes it. Regular self-reflection is one of the most important building blocks for learning and practicing self-care.


2) The Balance Of Life Wheel Assessment


The balance of life wheel (or Goal-Wheel) is a perfect way to identify which areas in your life are off balance. It usually consists of 6-8 categories that are important for a satisfying and successful life. It helps to identify how much time you spend on a certain category of your life and how satisfied you are with that area.

The wheel of life creates some sort of self-reflection that allows you to find out what to change in a certain part of your life in order to practice more self-care and become happier. It also helps with priority setting.


3) PIT-STOP: Listening to yourself – A Great Self-Care Exercise


Another essential part of self-care is to learn to listen to yourself. Set 3-4 alarms per day over the period of at least one week. Whenever it rings, pause for a moment and ask yourself these questions: How am I? What do I need right now? And what need or desire could be behind this craving? Fulfill the need if possible. For example, if you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed at this moment, allow yourself five minutes of rest to recharge your batteries.

After some training, you have built a new habit and you will no longer need the alarm. You will automatically ask yourself the above questions regularly and act accordingly.

Write down the answers in a way so that you can reflect on your collection of thoughts at any time later to recognize patterns and to get a deeper understanding. This works particularly well with the CleverMemo Coaching Stream.


4) Set Boundaries – For Yourself And Others


We respect the boundaries of others, but what about our own boundaries? Part of self-care is knowing and respecting your own boundaries and telling them to others.

Many people are afraid to say “no” or come off as selfish in front of others. Let people around you know when you feel overwhelmed or simply don’t want to do something they ask you for. At the same time, learn to recognize and respect your own boundaries. The Self-Love Toolkit includes a great boundary-setting exercise.


5) Eliminating Toxic Relationships Is True Self-Care


While some relationships enrich our lives and bring us joy there are also those that take energy and cause a lot of stress. Make a list of all the people in your life and evaluate who is good for you and who tends to have a negative effect on your well-being. Then you can think about how you would like to deal with these people in the future.

Here are some invaluable resources on relationships:


6) Start A Self-Care Journal – Gain Clarity Through Journaling


A self-care journal helps to foster creativity for new solutions, turn words into actions, and to gain clarity. Take the time and write down every evening whether you took care of your needs or if you’ve set your priorities wrong and everything else seemed to be more important than your self-care.

By writing down thoughts, feelings, and even experiences, you recap your day and determine what you could do better tomorrow. You also find out what keeps you busy, what makes you feel good, and what may cause stress or discomfort. Journaling provides valuable insights into your self-care practice.


7) Self-Care Routine: Eliminate Negative And Limiting Beliefs


Most of us carry around unconscious beliefs that come from past experiences and that affect our thoughts, feelings, and behavior. They have often been developed over years and some even come from our childhood. Many of these limiting or negative beliefs are so deeply anchored in our mindset that we don’t even realize them.

Eliminating these belief patterns is tremendously liberating and often opens up completely new perspectives on our lives. Here are some exercises and worksheets on mindset change and thought control.


8) Take Regular Breaks – Easy Self-Care Tip For Every Day


Especially during work days, we should make time for regular breaks. If possible, take a short 5-minute break after every 30-60 minutes of concentrated work. Take an extended break every three hours if possible. Avoid using your smartphone and have a short walk instead to get your blood flow. Get some fresh air and have a cup of tea or coffee.


9) Train Self-Acceptance


Self-acceptance is the ability to accept ourselves as we are. It is a very integral part of true self-care.
We all know this inner dialogue that is criticizing us and telling us we are not good enough. We curse ourselves for not being able to do certain things or criticize how we look. Self-acceptance means making peace with who we are and the things we can’t change.

Nobody is perfect and if we learn to accept ourselves as we are, we have taken a huge step on our path to more self-love and better self-care.


10) Living Your True Self – Becoming Aware of Your Values And Living By Them


Our personal values and our core of being are the things that define us, that are important to us and that we truly believe in. Living according to our values means that our actions are in line with our beliefs and thoughts.

Expressing and living our true selves is the foundation for genuine satisfaction and authentic life. It’s worth exploring these values in depth. The better we know them, the more likely we are to live according to these values and make our everyday life more satisfying. Living your true self is the ultimate way of true self-care. The Self-Love Toolkit includes an eye-opening exercise on this topic.


11) Healthy food! Cooking As A Self-Care Ritual


Our diet impacts our physical and mental health. Remove the eating restrictions, stop dieting, and eat natural foods that you enjoy to practice self-care. Your mind and body will appreciate it.

A wonderful self-care ritual is cooking and then enjoying your favorite meal. A real stressor by the way is the guilt many people feel after binge eating, so try to avoid that. Your mental health is impacted by what you put into your body.


12) Find Self-Care Activities Like Regular Exercising


Physical activities are the foundation of physical and mental health and an essential element of self-care. Regular exercise has been shown to reduce stress and increase cognitive abilities. For example, take the stairs instead of the elevator, have regular walks, or try a new sport. The possibilities are endless: Yoga, Dancing, Running, Swimming, Tennis, Gym, or simply having a walk.


13) Practicing Self-Care By Building Your Resilience


Resilience is our ability to respond well to challenges and setbacks, persist in the face of failure rather than give up, cope effectively with stress, and recover from difficult experiences.

Read more about building Resilience:

Factors of Resilience – 7 Skills to Master the Art of Resilience
Building and Training Resilience: 13 Tips and Exercises You Need to Know
15 Powerful Resilience Building Worksheets & Exercises


Keep in mind! All these self-care exercises and tips won’t do you any good if you don’t make the time to do them.


14) Review Your Time Management And Priorities


Many people think that there is no room for self-care in their stressful daily lives. After all, there are so many tasks to do and people to please that it would be selfish and egoistic to dedicate time to oneself.

But the opposite is true: Only if you put yourself first and make self-care a priority, you’ll be able to be there for others. If you are dissatisfied, stressed, burnt out, and unhappy, you won’t be productive at work and you won’t have the energy to support people around you.

Self-care is a matter of setting priorities and it has to be practiced daily. If you feel like you need to optimize your work-life balance and your time management skills take a look at these exercises.


15) How to Practice Self-Care: Create a Self-Care Plan


Regular self-care is the foundation for a healthy and fulfilled life, and ultimately genuine self-love. It goes far beyond the occasional weekend relaxation bath and should instead become an integral part of our everyday lives.

True self-care means being good to yourself every day. It includes listening to your needs and desires. Create a self-care action plan and think about how you could practice self-care on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. The Self-Love Toolkit includes a self-care plan that will help you actually implement all the tips included here. Make Self-Care your #1 priority!



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