My Top Tips for Self-Care

Self-care is a concept which has come on to my radar in a very big way over the last few months as I’ve journeyed through a mental health minefield.

Following a series of stressful events, I found myself burned out and completely depleted. I felt permanently exhausted, continuously anxious, regularly ill with a variety of cold and flu viruses and like I just couldn’t cope with ‘normal’ day-to-day activities anymore.



People kept telling me ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’. And I knew they were right.

So I decided to find out how to refill my cup. Right to the brim. And how to keep it that way moving forward.

I had just started working with a wonderfully inspiring, kick-ass life-coach and burnout mentor at the time, and it was her who first introduced me to the idea of self-care.

I quickly realised that I had been putting very little effort in to caring for myself.

I was a perpetual people pleaser, always wanting to be seen by others as ‘the good girl’, I was a round-the-clock perfectionist who would never feel ‘enough’. I was my own worst enemy.

During one of my 1:1 sessions with my mentor, she pushed me to analyse why I hadn’t been caring for myself. Cue life changing revelation…

It all boiled down to the fact that I just didn’t think I was important enough to dedicate time to.

‘WELL, THIS HAS GOT TO CHANGE ONCE AND FOR ALL!’ screamed a voice inside. And I knew it was right.

It’s taken me some time to get to grips with my own self-care; learning what soothes me, what energises me, what inspires me. It’s an evolving project, one that will be a life’s work. But I can tell you now: it’s really worth dedicating time to.




So, in homage to ‘Self-Care Sunday’ (a day duly renamed by Kick-ass Mentor in order to remind the ladies in her community to put themselves first for once), here is my own list of self-care activities. This is a list that I’ve added to over time, and that I’ve subsequently divided into four categories for my own easy-reference guide to giving myself what I need to feel good.

Quick-fix Self-Care:

  • Enjoy a good cup of tea.
  • Get comfy. For me, this usually involves a cosy blanket and slouchy clothes.
  • Deep breathing exercises. This can help to relieve tension and can provide a ‘pause’ during chaotic moments. 
  • Time alone. It’s okay to give yourself a break from other people!
  • Enjoy a cuddle. A good hug releases oxytocin (the connection hormone) and dopamine (the feel-good hormone) as well as lowering cortisol (the stress hormone).
  • Fresh air and daylight. We all need daylight to help us with Vitamin D production. 
  • Listening to music. I choose music according to what I need in the moment- upbeat for energy and something soft for relaxation. 
  • Food. I make sure that I eat regular, nourishing food that is pleasurable for me. Take care to avoid comfort eating which only serves as a way to ‘stuff down’ our emotions. 
  • Positive thinking & affirmations. When things get tough, when you find yourself in a bit of a negative spiral, taking a step back and listing the positives can really help. I like to use affirmations too, for example ‘I release all restrictions and I’m free to be me.’

Easy-peasy Self-Care:

  • Reading. For me, there’s nothing more soothing than getting lost in a good book.
  • Creative activities. This is a BIG thing for me. Being creative helps relaxation, and lets you see progress and results in a  relatively short space of time. My personal choices for getting creative include- cooking/ drawing/ colouring/ cleaning (yes, you have read this right, I said cleaning!)
  • Enjoy a bath. I mean the truly indulgent kind, with lots of bubbles, candles, soft music, perhaps a face mask and maybe even a glass of wine!
  • Exercise. What better way to get the feel-good hormones flowing? Personally, I love walking, running and yoga. Choose something that you enjoy and that leaves you feeling energised.
  • Watching TV. Go on, treat yourself to your guilty-pleasure-trashy-TV, if that’s what makes you feel good.
  • Meditation. Find your inner bliss. You can find endless lists of guided meditations online to get you started. 
  • Self-development. Get to know yourself, learn something new, gain new skills. Whatever it is, feed your inner drive for self-actualisation. 
  • Pampering. Our bodies deserve some TLC too you know. Easy-peasy pampering at home, for me, includes: painting my nails, moisturising, plucking my eyebrows, spending time on my hair and make-up, face masks, hair masks etc.  
  • Journalling. This is something that has become second nature for me now. Before bed is a great time to write and to clear your head of all of your thoughts, ready for a peaceful night’s sleep. 

Self-Care with a Little More Time & Planning:

  • Phone a friend. Whether it’s catching up with that friend that lives at the other end of the country, or calling your best friend for a vent about something stressful, having a real conversation with another human can make you feel connected again. 
  • Go out for a coffee. With a friend, or alone, get out of the house and spend some time just ‘being’ rather than ‘doing’. 
  • Creative activities. Some creative activities take a little more time, planning or equipment. I enjoy getting into a project like baking, sewing, photography, decorating and gardening.
  • A trip to the cinema. With treats like ice cream or popcorn. Obviously. 
  • Pampering. Some pampering is just better when it’s done by someone else. Go for a massage, a spa day, get a manicure, a hair cut. Remember, you deserve  it. 

Self-Care for the Diary:

  • Time with friends and family. Schedule in some regular fun! Keep connected to those who are most precious to you. Make memories. 
  • Live music & theatre. For me, there’s something so inspiring about watching other people show off their talents.
  • Travel. Whether it’s near or far, plan it, get out and explore the world. It’s food for the soul. 
  • Take a class. As I said earlier, we all have a natural, innate drive to develop and reach our full potential. So why not develop your skills as part of your self-care? 



I dare you… choose to do something to care for yourself today. It doesn’t matter whether it’s big or small, just keep topping up your cup!




27 thoughts on “My Top Tips for Self-Care

    1. Thanks for taking the time to read it- I hope it helps! I’m a total self-care convert (as you may be able to tell!!!) and would completely encourage anyone to get on board with the idea, a little bit of live goes a long way! X


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s