Tips for building your self-care routine:

  1. Do something nice for someone and make sure no one can trace it back to you—an incognito act of kindness.
  2. Go for a walk by yourself with headphones on, listening to music you love.
  3. Prepare a meal, no matter how simple.
  4. Create something for no practical purpose such as a song, a poem, an essay, a painting, a drawing, a comic strip, a collage, etc.
  5. Start a genuine conversation with someone you care about that covers the following: things that are going well, things you’re having a hard time with, and things you are grateful for.
  6. Lay on the floor on your back with your eyes closed for five minutes (or longer) and just breathe.
  7. Shower with all the lights off. It forces you to move incredibly slow and it’s so relaxing. Make sure to have safety mats in place so you don’t slip on your way out.
  8. Stare at your pet or another animal and seriously contemplate their existence. Do you think they believe they have a higher purpose?
  9. Rearrange all of your furniture in a way that makes you more comfortable or just to try something fresh in your living space.
  10. Check in with yourself a few times each day and take a moment to process your thoughts and emotions. Don’t let them build up.
  11. Swing on a swing set. Too many adults forget how much fun this is.
  12. Call your friend or sibling when you know they can’t answer and leave a ridiculously funny made up song as your voicemail. You’ll spread a little laughter while also laughing in the process.
  13. Make up a brand new dance move and teach it to someone.
  14. Do a five minute meditation on your feet.
  15. Carve a couple hours out of your schedule this weekend to enjoy the classic film You Can’t Take it With You.
  16. Go out to see a movie at your favorite theater all by yourself.
  17. Make brownies and give them away to a neighbor, family member, friend, or someone you know that could use a pick-me-up. Enjoy any leftover batter.
  18. Make a piece of artwork—draw, paint, cut and paste, whatever—that someone might interpret as ugly and tell it you love and accept it anyway.
  19. Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race and bask in the charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent of the contestants. Try to channel some of that in your own life when you find yourself needing it.
  20. Karaoke, but do it completely sober.
  21. Worry less about your bathroom scale or any other appliance that makes you feel bad about yourself.
  22. Go to a support group meeting and share.
  23. Go to a support group meeting and listen.
  24. Listen to a podcast about something that interests you that you haven’t yet explored.
  25. Tell your cat all of your darkest, most shameful secrets. His or her nonchalance and snuggles will remind you that you’re okay.
  26. Share dorky pictures of yourself from middle school and angsty teenage poetry and drawings with your friends. Ask for your friends to share theirs with you. This is a great way to let go of feelings of shame or any embarrassment you might be holding onto from those awkward years.
  27. Roll out a blanket and eat your dinner on the grass at home or in the park. Invite someone else if you’d like company.
  28. If you live near them, two words: hot springs. If you don’t live near hot springs, find the one nearest to you and start planning a vacation.
  29. Make yourself a gourmet grilled cheese and some tomato soup. Comfort food at the right time or during the right type of weather can be great for boosting your mood.
  30. Tell yourself something that resists self-criticism but feels encouraging like, “I’m doing the best that I can.”
  31. Taking care of yourself can start with something small! Maybe today you just need to lie down on the couch instead of on your bed for a change of scenery.
  32. Write a zine, or a mini-zine, about something you care about, or that you think is interesting. You can make a mini-zine with just one sheet of 8 1/2 x 11 paper!
  33. Write something encouraging on a post-it and put it where you will see it every day! Or write directly on your mirror: “I am beautiful and brave.”
  34. Say a magnificent affirmation out loud, like “I am a child of the universe, and I have been given endless talents and capabilities.”
  35. Commit to posting mostly or only positive things on your favored social media site for a while. For every sad news item, there’s a related (or unrelated) story of resilience, bravery, and triumph.
  36. Write a review of a business you like. Send that positive energy into the universe and share some love for your favorite local places!
  37. Do something you used to like to do, whether or not you were or are “good at it.” Remind yourself that you can do something just because you enjoy it, and the only way most people get better at something is practice.
  38. Read a book that’s easy and fun. You can give it away to a younger person in your life after if you feel like giving it up.
  39. Listen to an album you loved when you were younger but haven’t heard in a long time.
  40. Make a playlist or mixtape about your current mood. Give yourself permission to make one that expresses how you feel, or maybe even how you’d like to feel.
  41. Congratulate yourself for doing difficult things, even if they might not seem difficult to others. Depending on the individual, plenty of everyday things can be difficult, like riding the bus, standing in line, filing paperwork, going to the doctor, making food, doing chores, etc.
  42. Send a postcard to someone far away. Decorate it before sending it.
  43. Paint your nails a fun color. Use jewels, glitter, nail stickers, or false nails. If you don’t want to spend money, try to use something you have around the house and see where your creativity leads.
  44. Go to a store that sells crystals and buy one that speaks to you. Look up what it means or does. Sometimes they are $1 or less!
  45. Reflect on the struggles your ancestors endured so you could exist and remember that you have inherited their strength and resilience.
  46. Try to memorize one constellation you don’t already know and find it in the sky tonight.
  47. Set your camera to macro and take close-up pictures of bugs, flowers, and anything else that catches your eye outside your home or in a public space.
  48. Select a lesser-known book by one of your favorite writers and dive into the pages.
  49. Use a site like, find something you’re interested in, and commit to attending at least one meeting.
  50. Hand write a letter to a friend or relative and start a conversation the old-fashioned way.
  51. Learn a new board game you’ve never played such as chess, backgammon, or othello.
  52. If you play guitar, try learning a song from a genre you don’t typically listen to.
  53. Find a spot in a busy place such as downtown, a bus station, or a mall and sit in silence with nowhere to be.
  54. Read a religious text you aren’t familiar with.
  55. Build something spectacular with Legos, either from a kit or from your imagination.
  56. Dedicate a day to learning more about the local history where you live.
  57. Take an Epsom salt bath in total darkness and silence, or perhaps with just a candle or two.
  58. Bring a little cheer to your local animal shelter. Pet the kitties and walk a dog. You don’t necessarily have to take one home with you.
  59. Go for a walk around the neighborhood, or hike a local trail you’ve never been on.
  60. Cook a healthy and delicious meal using fresh ingredients you rarely splurge on.
  61. Plant something—a tree, a small vegetable garden, a flower.
  62. Sing! Turn up your favorite sing-along tunes and channel Etta James, Eminem, Eddie Vedder, or whoever moves you.
  63. If you live near a body of water and have access, go kayaking or canoeing. Bring a buddy, and wear a life vest.
  64. Go to a local gym or park and shoot some hoops, even if basketball isn’t really your thing; don’t worry about being “good” at it.
  65. Get that trendy or fashionable haircut you’ve been thinking about but always talk yourself out of.
  66. Finish this sentence: “I love myself because I ______________.” Do this once per day, with a new ending each time.
  67. Watch a couple episodes of a feel-good sitcom for a few giggles. Have an exit strategy so you don’t get sucked into an all-day marathon and feel guilty for it.
  68. When you wake up in the morning, get in the habit of making your first thought a positive one: “I am ready for today.” “Today is a new opportunity.” “I will do something I am proud of today.”
  69. Touch nature every single day. Hug a tree, pick a flower, or run your fingers through some grass.


Woman holding flower