I ran away to McDonald’s, y’all.
If you heard on my podcast episode about the whole story, let me go into a little bit more detail.
It was a normal day at the Li-Cain household. I was working on some intense deadlines and was running low on sleep. My son also happened to be teething and wasn’t the most pleasant to be around.
When my husband came home, the entire house was turned upside down. My hair was tattered and tears streaming down my face. I asked if I could leave, drove around for a good 30 minutes, stopped at McDonald’s, got a hot chocolate (and a Big Mac meal) and scarfed it down while crying again.
Well guess what? I ended up missing deadlines and paying some bills late. It actually took me a few weeks to get back on track.
If I had implemented some self care practices from the get-go, none of this would have happened.
What is Self Care and Why Should I Care?
Self care are activities, practices and even habits that help you deal with negative emotions. Think of it as setting aside time for yourself when you feel overwhelmed, upset or just plain tired. The point is to help combat against stress, depress and even illness.
Self care isn’t going shopping, or getting a manicure, or taking yourself out on expensive dinners. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things, of course.
It’s just that if you do these on a regular basis or believe that the only way to indulge in self care is to spend money, then you’re headed for financial trouble. It’s these seemingly tiny purchases that add up to a ton of money.
Implementing self care practices is not meant to be indulgent. It’s essential to thriving in your daily life. They’re things you do that nurture your physical, mental, spiritual and – by extension – your financial life.
Let’s say you’re working long hours and not eating right. You end up getting sick so you go to the doctors. That costs money. You pay for medicine. That costs money. Maybe your house is so messy you end up hiring a cleaner.
By ignoring your needs, you’ve just spent hundreds of dollars you don’t need to.
It can even extend to simple things like not watching your spending because you’re too busy being overwhelmed or taking yet another sick day from your business, meaning you earn less.
Remember, self care practices are meant to help you. It’s a way of telling yourself you are worth it so that you can even help others.
Pick From This List of Self Care Practices
Here are 150 self care ideas for you because, frankly, you’re not going to try ones that I like. And people may like bubble baths while others are going to think they’re a waste of time. Personally, I’m a big fan of dancing to Bollywood music (if you’re a fan of it like I am, hit me up and I can send over some recommendations!) but you probably think I’m nuts.
Because this list is a bit intense, it’s been divided into different categories, including self care practices for your finances.
Emotional Self Care Practices
If you don’t learn to manage your emotions, they end up managing you. In other words, you’ll give in to things like anger and restless, and find out much later you’re doing a lot of harm. Taking care of emotions means you acknowledge that you’ll have off days, but you won’t let it dictate your entire life.
Here are some ideas:
- Start a journal and write down 10 things you love about yourself each day
- Listen to sad (or dramatic songs) and have a good cry
- Ask 5 good friends to give you one thing they most admire about you
- Learn to meditate (I personally use the loving-kindness meditation)
- Watch a laugh out loud comedy (a recent favorite of mine is The IT Crowd. It’s only 20 minutes!)
- Keep emails, social media messages or even write down nice things people say about you. Read these whenever you feel sad or overwhelmed.
- Do mirror work. This is a practice where you tell yourself positive affirmations, compliments or good feelings in front of a mirror. The idea is to reflect good feelings onto yourself. Here’s a free course to get you started.
- If you need to work, only put 3 things on your to-do list.
- Write down 52 wins so far this year
- Write down positive affirmations on post-it notes and put them throughout out your house where you’ll see it the most
- Look through old photos, letters or gifts friends and family members have given you and remember fun times you’ve had
- Donate to a worth cause and imagine someone using the money to better their lives
- Start a gratitude list. Name every item you own and what else you’re grateful for (I personally use the Five Minute Journal, it’s super easy)
- Create a vision board and dream about achieving your goals
- Do a social media detox for at least a day
- Tell a stuffed animal (or a pillow) your deepest darkest secrets
- Go through your social media feed and unfollow people who are too negative or are constantly complaining
- Take out a notepad and open and write anything that is on your mind for 15 minutes straight. Just let the fear and anxiety out, then rip up the paper and throw it away.
- Clean your bedroom or work area
Physical Self Care Practices
Moving your body is one of the best things you can do, as it can help your mood, energy and emotions. Plus, it’s a great productivity booster! Besides, you can’t be at your best if you’re sick and tired, and like I mentioned before, that can really affect your financial life.
Here are some ideas:
- Attend a free yoga class (find ones close to your home or work so there’s no excuse!)
- Stretch in bed right when you wake up
- Drink 8 glasses of water a day
- Drink herbal teas
- Do stretches in your chair
- Do some self massage. This contraption is particularly useful.
- Sit outside for 10 minutes (I’ll give an exception to those braving cold and snowy winters)
- Go for a swim
- Camp outside in your backyard
- Find a walking trail close to your home
- Learn to cook a simple meal
- Dance to some upbeat music
- Join a running or walking group in your local area
- Use a foam roller. It’s a great substitute for a massage you get at the local spa. Here’s a great beginner’s video
- Dry brush your skin. It helps to detoxify your lymph nodes. Here’s a great video to get you started.
- Walk the dog (or cat, but that might be weird)
- Take a hot shower
- Go for a bike ride (bonus points for using it instead of your car to run simple errands)
- Practice breathing exercises
- Go to bed early
Spiritual Self Care Practices
Connecting to spirituality is great as it’ll remind you that the universe is really rally in your favor. Even if you don’t believe in a higher power per se, these self care practices will at least remind you that you’re not alone.
- Visit a temple or a church
- Read a book that relates to spiritual practices or the universe
- Volunteer at your local animal shelter
- Learn to read Tarot
- Try doing one random act of kindness
- Forgive someone today to something he or she did
- Create a vision board
Mental Self Care Practices
Taking care of your mental state is super important as that’ll have an affect on your mindset. Have you ever felt physically fine and realize you’re tired? Well that’s what mental exhaustion does to you. Taking care of your mind will help you be able to get back on track with your to-do list. It could even spark creativity or help you be better at your job/business, helping you earn more.
- Take one day off where you don’t any work (including errands)
- Take a power nap
- Change up your routine for one day. For example, can you walk up the stairs instead of taking the elevator to your office? Can you drive home a different way?
- Read a fiction book
- Listen to inspirational podcasts or read motivational stories of people who overcame adversity
- Declutter your things. You can start small, like a junk drawer or part of your closet.
- Learn common phrases of a new language (no swear words!)
- Clean out a small corner of your house
- Listen to an audiobook
- Unplug for a few hours or a day
- Give yourself permission to cancel plans
- Tackle one thing on your to-do list you’ve neglected
- Work on some logic puzzles (this is my favorite kind!)
- Put together a mixtape (for you old school people) or a Spotify playlist for different moods
- Volunteer or donate your time
- Doodle for 15 minutes
Doing something for the pleasure of it will lift your mood and clear your mind. I know personally when my mind is clear I make much better decisions.
- Do a free online hand lettering class or color in coloring books (hey, even ones meant for children are fine, no judgement here!)
- Create a playlist to help calm you down
- Re-pot some plants or visit an arboretum
- Go to an ethic supermarket and smell the spices (tea shops work too!)
- Head to your local art museum (bonus points if it’s a free day)
- Light some candles while you work or read
- Listen to meditative sounds, like chanting or Tibetan singing bowls
- Go exploring and take photos
- Light some incense or use an essential oil diffuser
- Call a friend to catch up (bonus points if you haven’t connected with them for a while)
- Cuddle a loved one (pets count!)
- Dress up in your favorite outfit (if you like makeup, do it!)
- Eat a meal outside
- Watch a comedy
- Cook or bake your favorite dish (bonus points if you hang around the oven and take in the smell)
- Laugh at silly pictures of yourself when you were a kid
- Schedule a date night with yourself or partner
- Write a letter to your future self, telling him/her how amazing you are
- Lay on the grass and watch the clouds
- Fantasize and daydream about your ideal day (bonus points for creating a vision board or journaling about it)
- Take a bubble bath (I heart these bath bombs)
- Buy yourself some flowers
- Replace old socks with some snazzy ones (you can do the same with underwear)
- Read motivational or inspirational quotes
- Read a favorite childhood book
- Go play on the swings
- Sing to your favorite tunes
- Let yourself binge watch your favorite TV show or movie
Financial Self Care
- Automatically set aside money for savings (directly deposit a set amount from one account to another, or do that with your paycheck)
- Sign up for free software that tracks your spending, investments and net worth (I love this one)
- Find something you can get for free for your birthday
- Save all your change and spend it on whatever you want at the end of the month (you can sign up with Qapital, an app that rounds up your purchases to the next dollar and sets it aside in savings)
- Listen to music to boost your productivity while you work (hopefully it’ll earn brownie points with your boss or you can take off early if you own your own business). I love Focus@Will for this. You can get a free trial.
- Read a personal finance book
- Listen to a motivational personal finance podcast (like mine!)
- Learn about employee benefits you can take advantage of
- If you have a hobby, start a side hustle around it
- Calculate what it’ll take to reach a short term goal (such as a vacation) and break it down into a daily savings goal
- Find a way to manage your credit card bill (these ones are great to prevent you from overspending)
- Sell off any items from your decluttering efforts (this website a great way to save time)
- Download some money saving apps and use the money towards a goal (This one helps you save on groceries, this one for online shopping, and this one helps you invest)
- Download a budgeting app and automatically track your spending
- Write down 10 things that you do that are good for your wallet
Which Ones Will You Implement?
So there you have it! I’d love to know which ones you’ll try out. Or do you have any ideas that aren’t on this list you already do? Let me know in the comments below 🙂