50 Self-Care Ideas {that cost little to no money}


The phrase “self-care” comes up often in the wellness industry, but I realize it’s not necessarily a common phrase if you aren’t consistently reading self-help literature or learning about health, like me. The definition of self-care is “intentional actions to care for your physical, emotional, and mental health.” Ya, a bit broad. But my understanding is that you are purposefully doing something that will care for or better a certain aspect of your life.

My most recent example is from my exciting night last night of watching TV. I wanted to relax but TV wasn’t relaxing me. I had to sit and think for almost ten minutes to figure out what the heck I wanted to do in the moment, because TV wasn’t cutting it. I finally decided I would start doing research for our Christmas trip. I’ve been neglecting planning it because I’ve been busy, and travel planning should be fun, not stressful. Last night turned out to be the perfect night to start my research and get excited about our holiday.

Self-care can be as simple as finding something better to do. Since TV was boring me, I had to find something that would excite me. Had I not taken the ten minutes to figure out it was a good time to start travel planning, I very well might have gone to the freezer and made myself a bowl of ice cream to cure my boredom.

Which is where self-care comes in handy when it comes to your food relationship, and one thing that I often teach when coaching women on repairing their relationship with food.


Today, I want to give you some ideas on how you can start caring for your mind and body on a regular basis. Some ideas are fun distractions, some are ways to start treating yourself on a regular basis, and some are ways to simply add more love to your life. So here goes…


50 Self-Care Ideas {that cost little to no money}

  1. Read a book.
  2. Take a bath – add in bubbles, your favorite scents, or Epsom salts.
  3. Listen to a podcast.
  4. Make homemade birthday cards.
  5. Write in your journal.
  6. Plant an herb garden.
  7. Plan a fun night out for the weekend.
  8. Make a vision board of your goals and dreams for the year.
  9. Try out adult coloring.
  10. Make a recipe binder of your top 50 go-to recipes.
  11. Learn how to tap cups to make music {Pitch Perfect style}.
  12. Paint! By numbers, on paper, at a wine/art event…
  13. Plan your next Halloween costume {and make it epic}.
  14. Start that photo album you’ve been meaning to make for years.
  15. Update your picture frames with current pictures.
  16. Handwrite a card and send to a friend, just because.
  17. Practice posing for a camera in front of a mirror (sounds vain, but after reading this post, it makes sense!).
  18. Volunteer at a pet shelter and play with animals.
  19. Borrow a friends dog for the day.
  20. Learn the lyrics to a classic rap song and impress your friends next time it comes on.
  21. Redesign or rearrange a room in your home.
  22. Spend a whole day walking taller than normal and see the difference in your day.
  23. Watch an inspirational TED talk (this one is great and goes with #22).
  24. Give yourself a luxurious at-home pedicure, foot bath and all.
  25. Make a homemade face mask and treat yourself to a facial.
  26. Go to the library, borrow travel books, and start planning your next vacation.
  27. Borrow one or two cookbooks while you are there and make a new dish.
  28. Borrow a fitness dvd while you are there and try a new workout.
  29. Meditate (there are free apps like headspace to get you started).
  30. Go to Meetup and find one free activity in your area that you’d like to try this week.
  31. Make a list of all your favorite things about yourself.
  32. Make something from scratch that you normally buy…like pasta, popcorn, dumplings, pizza, pickles, a fancy dessert…
  33. Make a playlist of all the songs that make you feel better on a bad day.
  34. Ask a loved one for a hug.
  35. Pick your favorite relaxing yoga pose and spend 5 minutes in it.
  36. Bike somewhere that you would normally drive to.
  37. Take a walk around town with the sole purpose of window shopping .
  38. Pick up beautiful leaves from the ground in fall, or pick a few wild flowers in spring and use them as decor around your house.
  39. Light your favorite candle.
  40. Take yourself out to eat solo.
  41. Make a list a five things you are grateful for today.
  42. Practice a new hairstyle for the next time you are headed out.
  43. Time yourself for one hour, and do everything on your to-do list that you have been pushing off (hemming pants, changing the light bulb, cleaning the kitchen).
  44. Try out a new essential oil.
  45. Find five new inspiring social media accounts to follow and unfollow five accounts that are no longer serving you.
  46. Turn on your favorite dance song, full blast, and bust a move like no one is watching, because literally no one will be watching!
  47. Learn how to tie a scarf in at least five different ways (thanks youtube!).
  48. Research charities that you might want to donate to or volunteer with this year.
  49. Go through your closet and create new outfits from what you already have. Take pictures so you remember them when the time comes!
  50. Call someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with.

Next time you are reaching for the chips or chocolate because you are bored, sad, frustrated, overwhelmed, tired, or stressed, try one of these ideas out. Or, take ten minutes to think about what YOU want to do. I promise you will feel better because of it.

We will be talking a lot about self-care in our Quit Dieting for Good course that starts this Sunday. Caring deeply for ourselves makes it a whole lot easier to reach our health goals than reaching for a number on the scale. Want to join us? There are a few spots left. REGISTER HERE.

photo by Julie Norman Photography

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