I felt called to write this article on self-care ideas for women because, as women, we often learn to take care of everyone’s needs around us. Everything and everyone in the outside world becomes our priority, and what we need takes a backseat. But this leads to a depletion of our resources, which means not only do we suffer, but we also can’t give the best of ourselves to anyone else.
This is why self-care is so important and should be a priority in our lives.
The trouble is, the majority of us aren’t taught how to show ourselves care or love. So we have no idea where to begin.
Those who know what we should be doing struggle to devote time to it. Because life often gets in the way. Commitments come up. And self-care is usually the first thing to fly out the window. Because we can’t immediately see the results. There’s no tangible indication that we’ve done something productive.
But taking care of yourself is perhaps the most important thing you can do. Self-care nourishes you and fills you up. It feeds you physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
If there’s one thing you make time for in your life, this should be it. No ifs, buts, or maybes.
Make yourself a priority today. Because nobody else will do it for you.
I try not to let one day pass by without showing myself at least one act of self-care. It took me years to realize that I deserve this. So if you’re not quite there yet, I want you to hear me when I say you deserve it. You do.
Self-care ideas for women who don’t know where to begin with self-care
1. Take yourself on a date
I think we often wait for a romantic relationship to take care of many of our desires and needs. But by doing this, we place our happiness on someone outside of ourselves. We leave it up to chance.
But we don’t have to.
If no one has taken you on a date recently (or even if they have), I invite you to take yourself on a date.
Go for dinner, head to an art gallery, watch the sunset, go for a walk on the beach. Plan a beautiful date for yourself, and enjoy every moment of it.
Since reaching my thirties, I started taking myself out for a sumptuous dinner (no scrimping), just because, and it is one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done!
2. Say something kind to yourself when you look in the mirror
We spend far too much time criticizing and judging ourselves. Next time you catch your reflection in the mirror, say something positive and empowering to yourself.
I love you.
You are a powerful woman
You are worthy of love.
Even if you feel silly or strange doing this at first, keep going. Eventually, this will come naturally to you.
Check out this article for affirmation inspo: 95 Magic Morning Affirmations That Will Ignite Your Soul.
3. Write a celebration list
This can be a celebration list for today, the week, or even your entire life.
Think about all the reasons why you’re awesome and all the things you’ve achieved so far.
Write them down. Read them back to yourself. Celebrate you.
We don’t do this enough.
I’ve achieved so many milestones both personally and in my business that I’ve flown right past and on to the next thing without acknowledging them. Don’t short-change yourself this way.
4. Allow yourself to take a nap
Our menstrual cycle can deeply affect how much energy we have at different points in the month. And some of the things we fill our days with can be exhausting. Like parenting, running a business, or trying to do it all (even though you can’t).
Sometimes your body will tell you it needs some rest, and bedtime will feel light-years away.
So honor this. Take a fifteen-minute power nap. Throw on a yoga nidra if you need some help drifting off. Don’t feel guilty.
5. Do something you loved doing as a child just for fun
There are so many things you probably loved doing as a child but haven’t done in decades.
Make a list of those things. Pick one to do today.
Enjoy being a child again. Play. Have fun.
I’m guilty of taking life way too seriously and not allowing myself to let my hair down and enjoy this crazy thing called life.
6. Forgive yourself
When we hold on to guilt and judgment, it only weighs us down and holds us back from living our fullest life.
There’s probably something you haven’t yet forgiven yourself for. So I invite you to forgive yourself today. Release whatever you’re holding onto. Let it go.
Because we all make mistakes, and we all fail sometimes. This is what it means to be human.
As long as you’ve learned and grown from those experiences, that’s what matters.
7. Connect with someone
I don’t mean one of those surface-level chats you have where someone asks you how you are, and you say you’re good or fine, or you talk about how nice the weather is.
When I say connection, I mean engaging in an authentic heart-to-heart with someone where you both speak from the depths of your soul without censoring anything.
Find someone in person or online to connect with like this. It could be someone you live with or even a total stranger you meet in the street.
It will require you both to be open and vulnerable, but human connection like this is food for your soul.
Self-care ideas for women who are short on time
8. Plan short breaks into your diary
As a woman who runs her own business, I understand what it means to have a full-on schedule.
But no matter how much there is going on, I make a conscious effort to take breaks. Even if it’s just ten minutes between tasks or meetings or a twenty-minute walk around the block.
The reality is there will often be a lot on your plate, so you’ve got to prevent yourself from overworking and burning out.
Sit and do nothing, make yourself a cup of tea, or listen to music. As long as it’s a proper break, that’s all that matters.
9. Plant your bare feet on the earth
Grass is preferable, but if you only have concrete, that’s okay too.
Just take your shoes off, step outside, and plant your feet on the earth. If the sun is shining, even better.
This will ground you and help you feel more connected to yourself and your world.
Remember to soak in the beauty of the scene in front of you. Trees, plants, flowers, birds singing, the scent of freshly mowed grass.
Enjoy it all for as little or as long as you like.
This is a wonderful thing to do first thing as part of your morning ritual.
10. Listen to a self-care podcast while on the go
There are so many podcasts to choose from, with new ones being released daily. So take some time to find one that helps you care for and love yourself.
That might be one that’s specifically related to self-care, or it might be one on mindfulness or happiness or moon magic. Whatever you need to hear most.
Allow your intuition to guide you with this.
Listen to it in the car or on the train while you’re commuting to work or picking the kids up from school, or even while you’re working out.
11. Try walking meditation
You can combine exercise with the act of mindfulness by listening to a walking meditation.
Calm is one of my favorites and has some great tracks.
Walking meditation can be just as beneficial as sitting down to meditate. So if you prefer to be active, give this a go.
12. Gift yourself a gorgeous bunch of flowers
This is super simple and can cost as little or as much as like.
I try and make sure I have at least one bunch of flowers in my house at all times. It makes me so happy every time I look up and see them brightening up my surroundings.
No woman should have to wait for someone to buy her flowers. And they’re too pretty to save only for special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.
You could even invest in a small plant instead, or plant some flowers in your garden.
13. Make yourself a cup of herbal tea
For women short on time, the act of taking ten minutes out of your busy day to make a cup of tea is enough.
Herbal tea is great because it’s good for your body and soothing.
You could opt for green tea, peppermint tea, chamomile tea—there are so many exotic blends to choose from today.
If you can, let yourself sip on it in peace before getting back to whatever you were doing.
Herbal tea is also a great remedy if you ever experience period pain.
Self-care ideas for women who want to show their body some love
14. Eat more plants
The more fruit and vegetables you can weave into your meals each day, the better.
If you’re not used to eating much healthy food, start small.
Swap one sugary snack for a piece of fruit. Commit to eating a salad three times a week. Or go vegetarian once a week.
The more colorful your plate is, the more nutritious it is. So try and make every meal look like a beautiful rainbow!
Fruit and veg help boost your energy, your immune system and make you feel lighter.
15. Find some quick, delicious new recipes to try
Google has made it easy to find hundreds of new recipes in seconds.
Spend some time saving the ones you like down (I use Evernote for this), and then pick a new one to try each week.
Put some music on, and enjoy cooking something nourishing from scratch.
16. Hydrate yourself
Drinking water helps flush out toxins from your body, boost your immune system, and keep you hydrated.
I think one of the reasons why we don’t drink enough water is because it’s plain and boring.
But it doesn’t have to be!
There are so many delicious infused water recipes you can make in minutes, which will spice up your water. Plus, it’ll look really pretty too.
You can make a jug if you’re at home or fill up a water bottle for when you’re on the go.
When you orgasm, you release hormones that make you feel relaxed and happier. This can be a much-needed stress release in times of need.
Plus, a self-pleasure sesh is a great way to connect with your body and embrace your sexual energy.
Light some candles, put some music on, slip into something that makes you feel sexy—whatever feels good for you.
18. Move your body in ways that feel good to you
Exercise is great, but I think it’s important that you enjoy the act of moving your body.
If you don’t know what you love yet, try some new things out. Keep going until you find something you love that is also good for your body.
My personal favorites are swimming and yoga. But you might enjoy running, dancing, spin, or even kickboxing.
19. Get a massage
This is a wonderful treat to indulge in every now and then, depending on your budget.
A good massage will help ease any tension in your muscles and help you feel relaxed and pampered.
Don’t be afraid to splurge on things that feel frivolous from time to time. This is money well spent.
20. Track your moon cycle
It really helps you understand what’s going on with you physically and emotionally, depending on what phase of your cycle you’re in.
Deepening your understanding of the menstrual cycle will help you see when you need to show yourself a bit more love and care and when you need to take more rest or cut yourself some slack (and why).
Self-care ideas for women who are feeling brave
21. Break up with someone who doesn’t make you feel good
That might be a romantic partner, a friend, or a family member.
If there’s someone in your life who doesn’t make you feel good or bring you joy, it’s time to part ways.
Be honest with them, and prioritize your happiness over theirs for a change.
The people we surround ourselves with have a huge influence on our lives, so it’s vital we surround ourselves with kind people who love and support us.
Remember, not all relationships are meant to last forever. And just because someone is related to you by blood, it doesn’t mean they’re your soul family.
22. Dance naked
Put on an empowering playlist, shed your clothes, embrace your beautiful body, and dance.
Let the music move through you, and let your body be free.
This is a wonderful way to get more comfortable in your body and feel at home with her.
It’s also a great way to move stuck energy through you and release it, creating space for new energy to flow in.
23. Do something that scares you
Self-care ideas for women can include doing things that might make you feel temporarily uneasy.
When I say do something that scares you, I mean something that kind of excites you too, but you’re afraid of it. Because it means stepping off the safe path you’ve known all your life and venturing out into the wild.
Pick one thing you’ve always wanted to do but have put off out of fear, and do it today.
Go on, I dare you.
24. Explore your deepest feelings
Some people confuse self-care and self-love with living in the clouds and ignoring reality. But this is not what real self-care looks like.
Self-care can be taking a bubble bath or getting a makeover, but it’s also about being really honest with yourself and exploring your deepest feelings. That means the things that give you anxiety or fear, too.
When you engage in shadow work like this, you get to know yourself more intimately, and it’s the only way to move past all the things that are subconsciously keeping you small and stuck.
25. Try something new
Take an online course, or get a book and teach yourself something new. Head to a new exercise class or a networking event. Try speed-dating.
Do something you’ve never done before.
Last month, I finally tried kickboxing, and it has been something I’ve wanted to do for over ten years! It was daunting and fun, and it pushed me right out of my comfort zone in a very good way.
You’ll never know what you love if you don’t let yourself explore and experiment with new things.
Self-care ideas for women who want to feel inner calm & peace
Get a new notebook or blank journal, a nice pen, and just write. First thing in the morning, last thing at night, or when you need answers to some questions playing on your mind.
Journaling can be a cathartic way of releasing pent-up emotions and making sense of your feelings. It will leave you feeling lighter. And you might even find some answers to the questions you had.
If you have no idea what to write, use a list of journal prompts to get you started.
After I meditate first thing in the morning, I brew a cup of green tea and sit down to write three pages in my journal. It doesn’t have to make sense, and I don’t have to have anything in particular to say. It’s about the practice of showing up and clearing out whatever is on your mind.
27. Curl up with a book
Your book of choice can be fiction, non-fiction, or poetry. It’s up to you.
But as someone who reads a tonne of non-fiction, I would recommend you opt for fiction or poetry if possible because it’s generally much more relaxing.
Pick a book, get cozy somewhere, and enjoy reading for however long you like without distractions.
Allow yourself to get lost in someone else’s world for a short while.
I have been meditating on and off for 15 years. I’ve tried a range of different things, including sitting in silence, listening to a meditation playlist, and using an app,
I’d recommend starting with an app if you’re new to meditation because it’s less intimidating than doing it on your own. And you can check out our post on tips for beginners right here.
Pick your method of choice, find a comfortable position somewhere you won’t be disturbed, and bring your attention to your breath.
29. Listen to a calming playlist on Spotify (or create your own)
I can’t recommend Spotify enough—it’s brilliant!
You can create any number of playlists you like, and there are also so many ready-made ones to listen to or use as inspiration.
Give yourself some time to create a soothing, calming playlist that makes you feel peaceful and centered. Listen to it anytime you need serenity.
30. Light a candle
I have so many candles, and I light them for anything and everything. When I’m reading a book, meditating, having a moon ritual, taking a bath, and having sex.
I try to only buy soy candles now since learning how many toxic chemicals are packed into regular ones. They’re a little more expensive, but they last longer, and they’re much better for you.
Light a candle whenever you need to re-center or weave ritual into your day. Just watch the flame flicker, and use this as an invitation to connect with your soul.
Self-care ideas for women who feel overwhelmed
31. Disconnect from social media
One of the big causes of overwhelm today is technology and our addiction to it.
Social media, in particular, can be a really noisy, toxic place. And if you use it for your business as I do, it can be difficult to remove it from your life.
But that’s where setting boundaries becomes important.
Give yourself a time limit for using social media if you have to use it. If you don’t, then allow yourself to completely disconnect from it whenever you desire.
See if you can notice any changes in how you feel.
32. Turn off your phone
I don’t turn my phone on until I’ve finished writing each morning. It’s never with me when I’m eating a meal or connecting with friends and family. All notifications from all of the apps are switched off. So if I get a message or an email, I don’t hear about it, which means I can stay fully focused on what I’m doing.
This allows me to control when and if I pick up my phone. If you struggle to do this, just switch it off when you don’t need it.
For example, you might decide to switch it off as soon as you get home from work or limit yourself to how long you can spend on it.
33. De-clutter your space
Are you feeling overwhelmed because of the environment you’re living in?
Is it messy or cluttered? Are there many things taking up space that don’t bring you any joy?
If so, try and have a clear out of your home or office space, or both. Start with one cupboard or one room, and go from there. You don’t need to do it all in one go!
34. Organize your finances
Self-care ideas for women include doing things you don’t really want to do in the moment, but you know your future self will thank you for.
And one of these things is getting clear on your finances.
Do you know how much you have coming in and what’s going out?
And if you feel like there’s never enough, are there some areas where you can cut back?
Or is it more a case of you not recognizing that you always have enough, and you’re always taken care of by money?
35. Swap to-do lists for done lists
I have the achiever gene in me, which means when I check something off my to-do list, I’m right on to the next thing.
In our current society, this idea of doing more is celebrated, leading many of us to believe this is how it’s supposed to be.
But it’s not.
Swap your to-do list for a done list today. That means you write a list of all the things you’ve done, no matter how small they might seem.
When you’re done, stop and celebrate. Recognize how much you’re actually doing.
36. Ask for help
As women, we often take on too much responsibility and find it difficult to delegate or ask for help. This might be the case in a relationship, a family, or even at work.
If you feel overwhelmed, that’s a sign that it’s time to ask for help.
Maybe you need to take a night off and ask your partner to put the kids to bed. Perhaps you need to speak up and tell your manager you’ve got too much on your plate to handle. Or maybe you just need to share how you’re feeling with a friend over coffee.
Don’t try and mask how you’re feeling because it will only linger. Let it out. And don’t be afraid to ask for support in times of need.
Self-care ideas for women at night
37. Run yourself a beautiful bath
I love having a bath on the day of the new moon because it’s a wonderful way of washing away the old and welcoming in the new. But baths are great any time—especially as part of your evening ritual to unwind before going to sleep.
Pour in some bath salts and essential oils, light some candles, scatter some flower petals, put on some relaxing music, and lie back and bliss out.
38. Sit out under the moon & stars
Sitting outside under the night sky and drinking in the stars and the moonlight can be such a beautiful experience.
You might want to light a candle, bring a journal, or just lie back and get lost in wonder. Take a few breaths. Think about what you’re grateful for today.
39. Invest in some silky-soft bed sheets
We spend most of our nights sleeping in our own bed, but so many of us don’t invest in making our bed feel as luxurious or comfy as we deserve.
Mattresses are pricey, so if you need a new one, save up until you can invest in a great one.
But until then, investing in some new silky-soft bed sheets will be a wonderful gift to yourself. I love these bamboo sheets because they are the softest material ever and feel heavenly against my skin!
40. Do some yin yoga
Yin yoga is a restorative type of yoga that focuses on the connective tissues in the body instead of the muscles. It helps you release any stress or tension you’re holding onto, physically and emotionally.
Yin means the feminine, so this practice is also a great way of embracing your inner feminine.
There are plenty of classes you can find online to do at home, or you can head to a local studio.
I love to light some candles, wear something comfy, and do it in the evening before bed.
41. Listen to a sleep story
I’ve mentioned Calm already as a meditation app, but my favorite part is actually the sleep stories.
They range between 15 and 40 minutes and are a mix of fiction and non-fiction stories. They’ve been designed specifically to help you drift off to sleep. You’re not supposed to know how any of the stories end because you’re meant to be asleep by then!
And for me, it always works. It helps me relax, drift off, and get to sleep even when I’m feeling energetic or restless.
How will you show yourself some self-care today? Pick one of these self-care ideas for women and let me know what you’re doing in the comments below!