150+ creative ways to care for yourself TODAY.



Self-care is never a selfish act. It is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others.

                                 Parker Palmer

Think self-care is only for the self-serving or self-absorbed?  Think again.

Whereas some self-care strategies emphasize time alone to recharge, others focus on connection and engagement with the world around us.

And whereas some self-care strategies promote relaxation and rest, other promote activity, advocacy, and activism.

In addition, self-care:

  • reduces everyday stress and related illness
  • helps protect against– and manage– anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues
  • improves patience, focus, and mindfulness
  • benefits both you AND those you care for
  • needn’t involve bubble baths or other “spa stuff” (unless of course you want it to!)
  • can be practiced one strategy at a time… Or in a SPREE!



noun \’self -ˈke(ə)r\
: the practice of activities that are necessary to sustain life and health, initiated and carried out by the individual for him- or herself

noun \ˈsprē\
: an unrestrained indulgence in or outburst of an activity

NOTE: The following ideas are organized into general categories, in no particular order. Pick and choose as you like, and see what suits you best!

THE BASICS: a good place to start

  • Make sure you’re someplace safe.
  • Eat something. Drink a glass of water.
  • How’s the temperature?  Warm up or cool off as needed.
  • Get some rest.
  • Pray or meditate.
  • Call a help hotline.
  • Find a therapist and schedule a free consultation.
  • Cross 1 thing off your To Do list.
  • Set a timer for 15 minutes.  Blast some music and tidy an area of your house.
  • Take inventory of your kitchen.  Make a list of essentials, then plan a grocery run.
  • Evaluate (or create) your monthly budget.  Make adjustments as needed.

WORDS: hey, they’re free!

YUM: food, glorious food!

BODY MOVIN’: shake it.

  • Try a drop-in group fitness class.
  • Learn a dance from your cultural background.  (Or someone else’s!)
  • Walk your dog.  (Or someone else’s!)
  • Practice yoga at home.
  • Jump on the trampoline.
  • Turn up the music and start an impromptu dance party.
  • Explore a new bicycle path or hiking trail.
  • Construct a standing desk.
  • Join a local recreation league.
  • Build your core strength.
  • Organize a game of “capture the flag” or “hide and seek”.
  • Invent a new dance move.
  • Experiment with playouts!

CONNECTION: you’re not an island.

NINJA GIVING: so sneaky.

  • Leave a stack of quarters near a vending machine.
  • Donate anonymously.
  • Mow a neighbor’s lawn.  Or shovel a neighbor’s driveway.
  • Pay for the car behind you in the coffee/fast food/toll line.
  • Bake treats and leave them in your neighbors’ mailboxes while they’re out.
  • Pay a stranger’s outstanding layaway balance.
  • Offer to donate some quality items to a stranger’s garage sale.  Let them keep the proceeds.
  • Buy whatever kids are selling in your neighborhood.
  • Join a CSA and give away the best fruits and veggies to friends and family.
  • Bring your own reusable bag(s) to the grocery store. If you’re offered a discount, ask that it be applied to the customer behind you.
  • If someone asks you to help them move boxes or furniture in exchange for refreshments, say yes.  And then bring the refreshments yourself.


  • Learn a good, clean joke.  (And a good, dirty one.)
  • Search YouTube for blooper reels of your favorite show.
  • Make faces at kids on a school bus.  Smile when they make them back.
  • Brush up on the science of silliness.
  • Don’t wait til April 1st.  Play a prank today.
  • Commit to answering your next incoming phone call in an accent of your choice.
  • If it’s nice out, start saying, “Ooh, it’s really coming down out there!” (or vice versa) to everyone you meet, and see how many people you can convince.
  • Play with your food.
  • Sing at the top of your lungs in the car.  If you catch another driver looking, take a little bow.
  • Perfect an evil laugh.  Then steeple your fingers and let it out in the middle of a meal with your partner or friend.
  • Invent your own secret language. Offer to teach it to someone else. (Or not)

GRATITUDE: turn what you have into enough.

  • Thank someone.
  • Count your blessings before bed. Or first thing in the morning.
  • Start a gratitude jar.
  • File a formal compliment via a company’s website for excellent customer service you received.
  • Keep a daily journal of things you are grateful for about your partner.  Gift it to them on a holiday or birthday.
  • Learn to say “thank you” in a few different languages.
  • When you receive a compliment, smile and say “thank you”. (Even if you disagree. Especially if you disagree.)
  • If you read, watch, or hear something inspiring, contact the creator to let them know what it meant to you.
  • Thank a teacher or mentor who made a positive impact on your life.
  • If you disagree with someone, thank them for introducing you to a new way of looking at things.
  • Practice patience with whomever is right in front of you, even when you’re in a rush.
  • Congratulate yourself on a job well done (even a small one), and take yourself out to celebrate.
  • Identify the small things in your day that make a big difference. Pause to feel grateful.

SPA STYLE: ahhhhhh.

CRITTERS: so fluffy.

  • Visit the Humane Society.  Sign up to volunteer.
  • Cuddle your pet.  Or borrow a friend’s pet to cuddle.
  • Offer to walk your neighbor’s dog.  Or pet sit.
  • Visit an aquarium.  Stare into the tanks and be mesmerized.
  • Educate yourself about an endangered species.  Help if you can.
  • Memorize some bizarre animal facts, then amaze your friends.
  • Share footage of your pet with the world on social media.
  • Watch a nature documentary.
  • Visit a farm animal sanctuary.
  • Consider adopting or fostering a pet.
  • Learn about companion animals.
  • Find a guided nature hike near you.
  • Certify your garden as a wildlife habitat.

FEEL POWERFUL: all powerful.

  • Experiment with some power poses.
  • Try a drop-in kickboxing or martial arts class.
  • Build a sandcastle at the beach (or at home using kinetic sand), then demolish it, Godzilla-style.
  • Find a private place, then scream as loudly as you can.
  • Make a list of your greatest fears, then cross them out and destroy the list.
  • Choose a personal theme song and blast it first thing in the morning.
  • Move your body in whatever way feels best to you.
  • Create a handwritten To Do list, and check each item off as you accomplish it.  (Don’t forget to include “Create To Do list”!)
  • Learn (or improve) a skill.
  • Work on your eye contact.
  • Fund a Kickstarter campaign.
  • Unfollow a negative/irritating/distracting account on social media.

FEEL SMALL: you tiny speck, you.

  • Walk along the beach or lake shore.
  • Lie down outside and stare at the clouds.
  • See a show at the planetarium.
  • Stroll though the forest.
  • Pray.
  • Step away from the TV or computer and stare out the window for 5 minutes.
  • Explore space from home.
  • Learn about Earth’s oceans.
  • Meditate.
  • Investigate your ancestry.
  • Wax philosophical.
  • Walk around the center of a busy city.
  • Take time to mull over a big question.

HYGGE: cozy time.

  • Build a pillow fort.
  • Eat a meal by the fireplace.
  • Splurge on a new candle or essential oil.
  • Take up knitting.
  • Visit the craft store and buy a swatch of the coziest fabric you can find.
  • Cuddle up with a loved one and/or a pet.
  • Master the art of soup-making.
  • Host a tea-tasting party.
  • Put on a pair of comfy socks or slippers.
  • Buy (or make your own) weighted blanket.
  • Whip up a batch of glogg.
  • 3 words: WARM LAUNDRY PILE.

LEARNING: it’s never too late.


ultimate self-care resource roundup


I help health + wellness professionals connect with their dream clients through genuine, engaging communication. After spending over a decade studying, researching, and teaching psychology + communication principles, I started this business to empower health + wellness professionals like me to “preach what you practice”. I share practical guidance so you can get clear on your unique value, communicate it with heart, attract + serve the people you love working with most… and actually have fun along the way.

  1. Tabitha Mcfarlane says:

    I struggle with self-care more than anything. I love this list, everything is very doable!

    1. Michaela @ Wild & Precious says:

      You’re not alone, Tabitha! (Love your name, BTW! :)) So glad the ideas feel accessible. Thanks for reading!

  2. Cheryl says:

    I love this! There are a ton of simple ways to may you feel accomplished and happy!

    1. Michaela @ Wild & Precious says:

      Yes, Cheryl– there’s definitely no need to complicate things! Thanks for reading!

  3. Armida Torres says:

    I loved this article, wonderful tips! I will surely be implementing these for sure.

    1. Michaela @ Wild & Precious says:

      Fantastic, Armida! I’m glad you found some inspiration.

  4. Shelby @Fitasamamabear says:

    Love this list roundup! I personally find the simple things are the most effective: walking outside, getting lost in a recipe etc.

    1. Michaela @ Wild & Precious says:

      I’m with you, Shelby: The simpler, the better… and you named two of my very favorites! Thanks so much for reading.

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