How to Create a Self-Care Plan That Works (+ 80 Self-Care Activities that Won’t Break the Bank)
If you’re reading this post, I’m willing to bet that you feel like you’ve been sorely lacking on the self-care front, but don’t quite know what to do about it.
In this article, I will walk you through how to determine what kind of self-care you need and how to choose which self-care activities you need to focus on. I will also provide you with some self-care ideas to help get your creative juices flowing. So, let’s get started!
Before you can create a self-care plan, you need to assess where you stand right now in five important areas of your life: physical, mental, emotional, financial, social, and spiritual. You’re going to do some writing, so make sure you go grab a pen and some paper.
I want you to pause and ask yourself a few questions. And then I want you to actually write your answer down. And don’t just scribble down something quick and easy. I want you to really ruminate on the question and then answer it fully and honestly – even if the answer makes you feel uncomfortable, sad, angry, or scared.
Do you have a pen and paper ready? If not go grab some now and answer the following questions:
1. How do I feel right now physically? (For example, do you feel healthy or like something’s not right with your body? Do you feel awake and up to the tasks you have or do you feel drained and like you need a nap? Do you feel happy in your body or do you feel like your body isn’t what you need it to be?)
2. How do I feel right now emotionally/mentally? (For example, do you feel content with what you have or do you feel like there’s something missing from your life? DO you feel happy and joyful or do you feel sad and anxious? Do you feel appreciated and valued or do you feel underappreciated and resentful?)
3. How do I feel right now financially? (For example, do you feel as though you have the amount of money you need to do everything you want or are you lacking in some way? Do you feel financially stable or are do you feel stressed about bills all the time?)
4. How do I feel right now socially? (For example, do you feel like you spend quality time with the people you enjoy or do you feel like your life is mostly spent attending to responsibilities, with no time left over for fun?)
5. How do I feel right now spiritually? (For example, do you feel as though you have a clear purpose in life or are you struggling to figure it out?
Now that you’ve written down an honest assessment of your life right now, I want you to read what you wrote and really sit with it. I’ve found that writing down how I feel is one thing. It’s only when I read what I feel that I have that moment of “Wow…something needs to change.”
How did reading what your life is like make you feel?
If it made you feel like life is pretty amazing the way that it is, then that is fantastic. More than likely, you’ve already created a self-care routine that works for you and I want you to keep it up!
However, if you read through your responses and had a moment of realisation that your life isn’t what you want it to be, then I want you to do two things.
First of all, don’t despair!
I know that when you realise how much of your life isn’t living up to what you expect or want for yourself, it can be quite a blow. However, take heart that you are now aware of the problem AND that you have the power to change things!
Creating a Self-Care Plan
Secondly, I want you to grab your pen and paper again and answer the following questions:
1. What are some things I can start doing to feel better physically?
2. What are some things I can start doing to feel better emotionally/mentally?
3. What are some things I can start doing to have a better financial situation?
4. What are some things I can start doing to have a better social life?
5. What are some things I can do to improve my spiritual life?
Take time with each section and write down everything that comes to mind. Then, once you’ve finished your brain dump, go back through your list and pick at least one item from each section that you can implement either today or this week. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive. It just needs to be something that you feel will help move you toward a healthier physical, emotional, financial, or social space.
80 Self-Care Ideas
Find yourself struggling to come up with ideas? Here are 50 self-care activities that you can implement in your life. Take a look at them, pick the ones that resonate with you and make them part of your self-care plan!
Physical Self Care Activities
- Go for a walk
- Go swimming
- Work out at home (there are some fantastic fitness channels on Youtube!)
- Take a nap without an alarm clock
- Start your morning with an energizing drink
- Start your morning with an energizing routine
- Talk to your doctor about your physical health concerns
- Implement a treatment plan
- Go to bed early
- Invest in a weighted blanket if you have trouble falling or staying asleep
- Create a bedtime routine
- Sleep in on weekends
- Try acupuncture
- Try a session with a chiropractor if you have body pain
- Go for a walk with your dog
- Talk a long hot shower
- Take a long hot aromatherapy bath
- Book a day at the spa to be pampered – whether it’s just a facial, a new hairdo, or full-body massage
Emotional and Mental Self-Care Activities
- Cut off toxic people ( I know it’s easier said than done, but it’s so worth it!)
- Say “no” to things that make you feel bad, unhappy, resentful, etc
- Stop feeling guilty about saying “no” to things that you know don’t serve you
- Replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk
- Repeat positive mantras
- Engage in a creative activity you love (drawing, painting, acting, knitting, crocheting, writing, photography, etc)
- Rearrange the things in your home in a way that pleases you
- Buy something that makes you happy
- Find a new hobby
- Pick up an old hobby
- Do one thing that’s on your bucket list (Don’t have one yet? Here’s a great article on creating a bucket list!)
- Talk to your doctor about your mental health concerns
- Implement a treatment plan
- Figure out your emotional triggers and create a plan for how to avoid them
- When feeling overwhelmed by your to-do list, focus on the 3 most important tasks
- Outsource tasks that bring you no joy (such as housekeeping, business tasks, etc. You can either hire someone or delegate tasks to family)
- Declutter your home (it can help to declutter your mind)
- Join a support group that understands your struggles
- Write a letter forgiving someone from your past
- Write a letter forgiving yourself
- Don’t hold your feelings in. If you need to cry or scream – do it
- Make a list of things you love about yourself
- Make a list of things you’re grateful for
- Use aromatherapy
Financial Self-Care Activities
- Create a budget and stick to it
- Use money-saving apps
- Start a side business doing something you love
- Speak to a financial advisor
- Implement a financial health plan
Social Self-Care Activities
- Unplug and spend quality time alone
- Unplug and spend quality time with your partner
- Unplug and spend quality time with your child(ren)
- Unplug and spend quality time with your family
- Unplug and spend quality time with a friend
- Call a friend to catch up (via phone or some kind of audio/video messaging app)
- Don’t be afraid to say no to social events that you know will drain you
- Go to a comedy club with friends
- Plan a vacation with loved ones
- Ask loved ones for help when you need it
- Call your BFF when you need someone to talk to or vent to
- Be picky about who you spend time with
- Schedule regular date nights with your partner
- Schedule regular nights out with friends
- Treat a loved one to brunch, lunch, or dinner
- Take a road trip with your siblings or BFFs
Spiritual Self-Care Activities
- Meditate for 15 minutes
- Practice Yoga
- Practice deep-breathing exercises
- Practice Pilates
- Write about what you want your life to look like in 1, 5, and 10 years
- Create a vision board of what you want for your life
- Rent a hotel room or Airbnb for the weekend and spend the time alone
- Create a piece of art that comes from the soul
- Pursue a dream that you’ve been afraid of
- Connect with others who are on the same spiritual path as you
- Practice mindfulness at least 10 minutes per day
- Perform random acts of kindness whenever possible
- Donate to charities that are meaningful to you
- Look for signs of beauty in the world
- Volunteer your time doing something that feels meaningful
- Use your strengths to make someone’s life easier or better
- Keep a journal where you write about what’s on your mind, your goals, etc.
- Use every opportunity you can to practice empathy
I hope that this exercise (along with the self-care ideas) has helped you get a jumpstart on creating a self-care plan that will work for you. I recommend doing another assessment in about a month or two to see if you’ve made any improvements in these five areas of your life. If not, try out different self-care activities. Then rinse and repeat until you feel that you’re doing well in those areas.
Have some self-care ideas you love that I didn’t include in my list? Are there other steps to creating a self-care plan that have worked for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Want to save this post for later? Pin the image below so you can always find it when you need it! Also, please share it with anyone in your life that you believe would benefit from creating an intentional self-care plan.