Are you ready to take action that will mold you into the best version of yourself?
When was the last time you put yourself first in any given situation?
If you’re like most people, it’s probably been a while. We tend to get caught up in the rush of a busy life and leave very little time to focus on our own self-care.
Between work, family, and kids, it seems like there’s rarely a moment to breathe, let alone do anything to make ourselves feel good. When you make time for everything and everyone else but leave no time for yourself, it will eventually leave you feeling depleted and empty.
Self-care is essential to your overall mental and physical health, and you must find ways to make it a priority, no matter how busy you are.
The good news is there are several ways that you can adopt healthier habits and start putting yourself first for once (and it doesn’t have to take up a lot of your time).
Here are 27 simple ways to begin putting yourself first and making self-care a priority – let’s dig in! Choose one way that is easy for you to do and add more and watch your self-love, confidence, and inner peace grow.
- Getting in touch with who you are and what you want is a great way to begin making self-care a priority.
- Self-reflection allows you to evaluate your life – your thoughts, choices, attitudes, and behaviors that have brought you to your current situation.
- If you’ve been putting self-care on the back burner, you could ask yourself questions like, “What is a choice I can make this week based on my needs alone,” or “What can I do to make myself happy today? Take a walk, soak in a bath, listen to music, dance, garden, or do an intuitive painting.
- You don’t have to spend a lot of time on this – 5 to 10 minutes a day is all you need to start once you begin reflecting on what is important to you; making yourself a priority will be a much easier process.
- Setting boundaries and learning to say no more often is probably one of the best things you could ever do.
- It allows you to get back in the driver’s seat and have more control over your life.
- We often say we don’t have time for self-care because we are so busy; however, that’s only because we’ve said yes to everyone else’s demands.
- Instead of filling up your schedule in this way, start saying no to mundane tasks and leave more time for what you want to do.
- You’ll start to see that you have time to read that book, see that movie, or take a much-needed bubble bath.
- No is a full sentence, and it works wonders in helping you make self-care a priority in your life. No is enough – no explanation is needed.
Put Yourself in Time-Out
- One of the best things you can do when life gets overwhelming is to permit yourself to take a break.
- It’s necessary to allow yourself a breather to collect your thoughts and work through problems reasonably.
- Take 5 minutes to walk away from your desk.
- Step outside to breathe some fresh air. Lock yourself in the bathroom.
- Put your headphones on, blare your music, or find an empty room in the house and sit in silence.
- If you have problems making time for breaks, plenty of free apps help you schedule a “time out” session daily.
Creative Artist Dates
- Have fun with your inner child and take yourself on an artist date. As we become adults, we seem to stray away from what we loved most as a child.
- Think back to when you were little. What did you enjoy? Writing, painting, sketching, acting, reading?
- Get back some of that magic and make time to play and be messy.
- See a movie you’ve wanted to watch.
- Pick up a book and read.
- Try that new yoga class.
- Get yourself a canvas and some paint and create a masterpiece.
- Do what it takes to get your creative wheels spinning, and allow yourself time to reconnect with the things you love.
Take a Short Walk
- Making the time to take a walk every day is one of the simplest ways to prioritize self-care in your busy life.
- It’s a great way to reduce stress, lighten your mood and make you feel better.
- Plus, walking is a natural energy booster – no caffeine is needed.
- Take 10-15 minutes out of your day to breathe fresh air without your phone.
- Taking a digital time out during your daily walk allows you to be more in touch with your thoughts.
- You can be fully present and notice things you would have missed while mindlessly scrolling through your phone.
- How often do you neglect your needs because you’re too busy saying yes to everyone else?
- Probably too often. It’s time to start saying yes to a bit of indulgence once in a while just for fun.
- It doesn’t have to be anything that breaks the bank – take a little time out for YOU.
- Treat yourself to a good book or a relaxing massage.
- Buy yourself your favorite snack and eat it with zero guilt.
- Take a short road trip and explore someplace you’ve always wanted to go.
- Try a bold new lipstick.
- Blast your favorite music and have a dance party in the kitchen.
- Put your needs first for once, and make treating yourself a priority.
Learn Something New
- You should never get to a point where you stop learning, especially with the unlimited amount of resources at our fingertips today.
- Giving yourself the gift of knowledge is one of the best things you can do.
- What is something you’d like to learn
- Write out a list of things that interest you and research online courses, books, videos, etc. It will allow you to expand your knowledge on that given topic.
- Maybe you want to learn more about your intuition or begin hand-lettering items for an Etsy shop.
- Whatever it is, you can find a course out there and start learning something new today.
Social Media Detox
- Technology has become our lifeline to the world.
- We rarely spend moments without our phones or scrolling social media to find the latest news.
- We tend to spend more time scrolling through the highlights of other people’s lives than on our self-care.
- It’s time to put down your phone for once.
- Take a break from social media and allow yourself to be fully present.
- Take note of how much time you spend on social media each day. Set boundaries – only allow yourself to check social media at certain times of the day. Turn off your notifications.
- Schedule downtime on your phone so you won’t be tempted to peek.
- Social media addiction is a genuine thing and can negatively affect your mental and physical well-being.
Make Time for Connection
- Allow yourself to connect with people but not on Instagram or Facebook – live, in the flesh, with real people.
- As human beings, we need connection in our lives; sometimes, that takes being intentional with our time.
- Challenge yourself to reach out to others, even if it feels difficult.
- Make an effort to get out of the house and do something that makes you feel good.
- Allow yourself the time to laugh, explore and have fun with others outside of daily life.
- Try volunteering at an animal shelter or soup kitchen or re-connect with someone you haven’t talked to.
- Go on a much-needed date night with your spouse or get together for a girl’s night out (or in) and catch up with old friends.
- Give yourself time away from your routine, connect with others, and recharge your batteries.
Spend Time Alone
- Spending time alone is essential when prioritizing self-care in your life.
- We all need it. Life is hectic, and we rarely give ourselves a moment to slow down and recharge, let alone be by ourselves when doing so.
- When you feel overwhelmed, on edge, and anxious, you must reflect on what your body may tell you.
- Spending even a small amount of time alone daily can help clear your head and relax your mind. It allows you to be present with your thoughts to tune in to what you truly want and need.
Journal For Peace and Clarity
- Pick up a notebook and pen and start getting real with your thoughts.
- We don’t spend nearly enough time doing this. Our minds become cluttered with the chaos of daily life, and we lose touch with ourselves in the process.
- Start your day with a quick journal entry. Let your random thoughts fly on the pages and let go of the idea that it has to be perfect.
- Write down your wins, worries, mess-ups, and everything in between.
- Start each day with a clear head – you’ll feel so much better when you do.
Plan Healthy Meals
- Meal planning is a great way to have healthy food available, especially when you want to snack.
- A healthy meal plan takes the stress from wondering what’s for dinner.
- You can save money at the grocery store when you have a plan and a list that meets your healthy food needs.
- Pick one day a week to plan your meals, make a grocery list and go shopping.
- When you already have a list, you won’t be tempted to throw random things in the cart as you walk the aisles.
- You’ll also be more likely to make healthier choices when you plan and know what you’re going for.
- It takes the guesswork out of mealtime and snacktime and gives you much more control over your health and nutrition.
De-clutter and Organize
- Organizing your mental and physical space is a great way to immerse yourself in the self-care zone fully.
- Tidying up and organizing is a form of self-care because it gives you peace of mind, decreases stress, and allows you to spend time on things OTHER than more organizing.
- Start by prioritizing what deserves a place on your comprehensive to-do list.
- Do a mental brain dump. Write down what stresses you and decide how important it is.
- Clean out junk drawers. Purge your closets. Toss out broken toys or donate unused household items.
- Unsubscribe from email lists.
- Start a budget.
- Make your bed.
- Set out clothing the night before.
- By getting organized now, you allow yourself more time for self-care and less time to get distracted by random clutter.
Create a Playlist
- Music greatly impacts our emotional, mental and physical health and is a valuable form of self-care.
- Have you ever heard a song that makes you feel better after a rough day? The lyrics, the sound, and the tempo affect you deeply and melt the stress away, even if it’s just for a brief moment.
- Find the type of music that speaks to you and create a playlist that inspires you to press play.
- It doesn’t have to be a long music fest, but just 5-10 minutes of music each morning can get you pumped and ready to start the day.
Create a Vision Board
- There is nothing more therapeutic than taking time to envision all the fantastic things you want out of life – and then putting it on paper where you can reflect on it daily.
- Creating a vision board is a great way to get more in touch with the things that are truly important to you.
- It gets your wheels spinning about improving yourself, inside and out.
- A vision board helps you envision your future in a more positive light.
- It’s about bringing those wants, needs, hopes, and dreams to the surface and affirming that you believe in yourself enough to achieve them.
Take a Short Road Trip
- When was the last time you offered yourself a short break from reality to get away from the familiar and see some new sights?
- Some days, you need to get in the car and go with nothing but an open road and a playlist of your favorite songs to keep you company.
- A road trip can be just the thing you need to relax, unwind and escape life's daily stressors.
- It gives you a chance to be alone with your thoughts and reflect on who you are and what you want – something we lose sight of in the chaos of daily life.
Let Go of Perfection
- We are bombarded by fake perfection everywhere we turn – social media, movies, magazines, commercials, etc.
- It’s hard to get away from it and even harder to measure up to something unattainable.
- There is no perfect, so it’s essential to let go of the idea that you need to be perfect.
- When you get caught up in this perfect game, your mental, physical and emotional health can suffer.
- Take care of yourself, do what is right, and be intentional about your choices.
- Life is a unique journey for everyone – stop trying to measure up to something that isn’t even part of your story.
Have a “Get Your Stuff Together” Day
- It’s easy to get overwhelmed and frustrated when you have a list of tedious to-dos.
- A “Get Your Stuff Together” day allows you to take care of all those things in one swoop to be more focused and organized for the coming week.
- Pick a day that works with your schedule and do everything that makes you feel better about your life.
- Maybe you need to pamper yourself more, so take time for a face mask and a relaxing bubble bath.
- Maybe you need a day to clean and organize your space or pay some nagging bills.
- Setting aside a dedicated day to get your life together (or at least feel like it) will give you the boost you need to get through the rest of the week.
Get Enough Sleep
- Prioritizing sleep is so essential for your overall health and wellness.
- Studies have shown that sleep deprivation impacts physical, mental, and emotional health.
- It is linked to depression, anxiety, weight gain, and many more negative side effects.
- It’s much harder to cope with the daily stress of life when you’re walking around in a groggy daze, and you can’t possibly operate at 100%.
- Start a bedtime routine. Give your brain some downtime an hour before you go to bed. You sleep better when your brain has time to unplug from technology.
- Make an effort to go to bed at the same time every night.
- Sleep is vital and a great place to begin your self-care journey.
Ask for Help
- When you need help, ask for it. It’s as simple as that.
- Too often, we don’t want to burden anyone with our problems, so we attempt to handle everything 100% on our own.
- This is a lonely path to take and will only lead to feelings of overwhelm and unhappiness.
- You’ll waste so much of your time and energy trying to find the solutions that you could easily reach out to someone else for assistance.
- As humans, we need connection. We desire to contribute and make a difference in someone else’s life. So, with that being said, let go of your pride and open yourself up to a bit of help now and then.
Eliminate Toxic People
- If you want to put yourself first, it’s crucial to eliminate anyone who brings you down.
- Take a look at the people in your life – friends, family, co-workers.
- Do they support you and push you to be the best version of yourself?
- Or do they discourage you from success and drain you with negativity?
- Let go of anyone spending more time putting you down than building you up.
- Establish firm boundaries or cut ties with any relationship that makes you feel less than 100% worthy.
- You don’t need people who distract or direct you from who you are truly meant to be.
Watch Your Words
- Pay attention to the words you use when you speak to yourself. Are those words encouraging and positive or negative and spiteful?
- When your inner voice constantly criticizes your flaws and makes you feel unworthy, it’s time to take charge of your thoughts.
- Negative self-talk is damaging to your overall health and self-esteem long before you even realize what’s happening. It adds to stress, overwhelm, and depression.
- Awareness is the first step to flipping the switch and putting yourself back in the driver’s seat.
- Start by challenging your negative thoughts anytime you notice one.
- Use this time to reflect on where the thoughts are coming from and how you can turn them around to support a more positive way of thinking.
- Talk in possibilities, what you want to happen rather than what won't work.
Feed Your Mind
- One of the most important things you can do for your mental health is to feed your mind inspiration and positivity daily.
- With all the resources at your fingertips, the options are limitless when choosing a medium.
- Find a favorite podcast or choose an uplifting Ted Talk.
- Read (or listen to) a book, seek out inspirational YouTube Videos, or watch a documentary.
- Set aside a little time each day to give yourself a boost of positivity.
- Not only will you feel better, but it will open your mind to all the possibilities life offers and inspire you to become an even better version of yourself.
De-stress with Meditation
- Meditation is soothing to the mind and body.
- It is a natural de-stresser.
- Meditation is cumulative. The more regularly you do it, the more benefits you receive.
- Regular meditation helps keep stressful situations from bothering you so much. You are calmer during stress and chaos.
- Select a quiet place where you will not be disturbed to meditate. Let yourself melt into meditation.
- This is time self-care time.
- There is something powerful about appreciating what you already have.
- When you actively choose to love your life and everything in it, the result is a life-changing shift in perspective about what is truly important.
- Practicing gratitude is one of the most basic forms of self-care you can adopt into your daily routine.
- It costs nothing, and you can quickly get started with a journal and a pen.
- Take time to write down a few things you’re thankful for daily. Do this as often as you need to until it becomes like second nature.
- As gratitude becomes more of a habit, you’ll start to notice more – the joy, the beauty, and all the miracles surrounding you.
- It is another way to focus on the positive.
Let Go of Guilt
- Putting yourself first is 100% necessary if you want to show up in the world as the best possible version of YOU.
- It’s not selfish, contrary to what we’ve told ourselves, yet there is so much guilt surrounding the idea of routine self-care.
- The first step to letting go of this guilt is understanding what it means (or doesn’t) to put yourself first.
- This doesn’t mean you disregard everyone else and only care about yourself from this moment on. It doesn’t mean that you need to stop helping others.
- It only means you prioritize your needs and then move down the line in order of importance.
- You can’t be of service to others when you are depleted and empty.
- The whole world benefits when you set aside your guilt and begin making yourself a priority.
Add Beauty to Your Surroundings
- Beauty nurtures your well-being when you incorporate it into your surroundings.
- Add a fresh flower or healthy plant to your space.
- Display art that has a positive feeling.
- Use colors you love and incorporate them into your space to give it a pop.
- When you feel good in your surroundings, your body relaxes and rejuvenates.
There are so many ways to incorporate self-care into your life, and it’s one of the best things you can do for your overall health and happiness.
It doesn’t take much time or effort, just a commitment to show yourself more love simply because you deserve it.
Be patient with yourself through the process. Through small, simple steps each day, you can transform into the best possible version of yourself and begin changing the course of your life.
Take the free Self-Care Quiz here and discover where your strengths are and where you need some improvement.