“You can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first!”

If making your own self-care a priority makes you feel guilty (I find this is especially true for women with children), I want to share with you a phase that was shared with me, when I felt this way a few months after my daughter was born.

She said, “Courtney as mothers, we’ll do absolutely anything for our children. Except, it seems, take care of ourselves.

Please, if you’re a mom reading this, write that down and read it daily. Or pass it on to a mom in your life.

Taking care of yourself is just as important as making sure your children have clean clothes to wear and food to eat.

For me, I have to make self-care part of my to-do list—quite literally.

I intentionally schedule in one or more self-care practices EVERYDAY, right alongside “do the laundry” and “book a dentist appointment for the kids”. They are just as non-negotiable as getting the dishes done or cooking supper.

In today’s blog post I’m sharing with you my personal list of self-care ideas. Feel free to use my ideas to inspire you to create your own “go-to” list.

As a working mom with two small children it’s unrealistic of me to think that I can commit to an hour or two of self-care every day, so I’ve divided my list into three time categories.

Whether I have 5 minutes, 30 minutes or two hours, I do what I can with the time I DO have and I’m encouraging you to do the same.

5-10 Minutes Self-Care Ideas:

  1. Vent by free-writing in my journal.
  2. Preform the 4-7-8 breathing exercise.
  3. Unfollow “friends” in my social media feeds that are no longer a source of light in my life.
  4. Intentionally find five unexpected beautiful things on my drive home from dropping off the kids to school.
  5. Read an article in a magazine.
  6. Write encouraging affirmations or inspirational quotes on Post-its and place them where I will see them throughout the day.
  7. Light candles around the house.
  8. Lie down on the ground for a few minutes.
  9. Light a candle in a dark room and sit in silence.
  10. Put on a face mask. I LOVE the doTERRA Mud Mask.
  11. Exfoliate my skin. I use doTERRA SPA Exfoliating Body
  12. Sit in a coffee shop and people watch.
  13. Sit outside under the sun.
  14. Turn on my essential oil diffuser.
  15. Apply essential oils. I only use doTERRA essential oils.
  16. Light incense sticks.
  17. Watch funny Youtube videos.
  18. Wear an outfit that makes me feel good.
  19. Watch the sun rise or set and resist the urge to take a picture or post about it on social media.
  20. Call a trusted friend or family member and talk things out.
  21. Fix a small annoyance that’s been bothering me around the house.
  22. Buy myself flowers.
  23. Say “no” to someone.
  24. Cancel plans and stay at home.
  25. Declutter my wardrobe by picking three items from my closet that I don’t enjoy wearing anymore, and donate it.
  26. Breakout into a dance party to my favorite tunes.
  27. Sing at the top of my lungs, usually in the car.
  28. Go to bed early or sleep in late.
  29. Research something that I’ve been interested in but haven’t made the time to do.
  30. Make myself a batch ofinfused water.

30-60 Minutes Self-Care Ideas:

  1. Read inspiring stories of people who overcame adversity.
  2. Unplug from email and social media.
  3. Listen to a chapter or two from an audio book.
  4. Create a new playlist that aligns with my current mood.
  5. Give something unconditionally, with no strings attached.
  6. Practice yoga.
  7. Wrap myself up in a cozy sweater and pour myself a cup of hot tea.
  8. Enjoy a long, Epsom salts bath, infused with essential oil.
  9. Dry skin brush and take a long shower.
  10. Take the time to do my hair and put on make-up for no other reason than it make myself feel good.
  11. Revisit happier times by reading old emails or cards from friends and family.
  12. Declutter a spot in my house that’s been bugging me.
  13. Listen to the latest episode of my favorite podcast.
  14. Enjoy my morning ritual, which always includes tarot cards, incense and journaling.
  15. Go to a library or bookstore. Sit in a comfy chair and read.
  16. Visit a health store and treat myself to sometime.

60 Minutes or More Self-Care Ideas:

  1. Take a nap without an alarm clock.
  2. Take a mental health day and feel not an ounce of guilt about it.
  3. Write a list of “annoying tasks” that have been weighing on me, set an alarm and complete as many tasks as I can in 1-hour.
  4. Get a foot massage.
  5. Get a head massage.
  6. Get a back massage.
  7. Get a facial.
  8. Allow myself a “Netflix day”. I’m currently binge watching “Suits”.
  9. Attend a retreat.
  10. Take a detox from social media. Which is just did for 24-hours.
  11. Attend a spiritual gathering, such as a New Moon or Full Moon Ceremony, OR Monday night Dyads or Sunday night chant at the Lotus Center.
  12. Do some hardcore nesting and make my home or a room in my home extra cozy, beautiful, and calming.
  13. Take a leisurely walk outside without a goal
  14. Go for a drive—no destination required.
  15. Binge read on a new book. I’m currently readying a Tribe Called Bliss by Lori Harder.

Did you enjoy this self-care ideas post?

Did you discover a new self-care idea that you might not have thought about before?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. AND PLEASE share this blog and list of self-care ideas with your girlfriends and on your favorite social media platform.

Much love.