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Self-Care Strategies for a New Year

An empty lantern provides no light. Self-care is the fuel that allows your light to shine brightly.” – Unknown

Self-Care Definition: Engaging in an activity (or non-activity) to preserve, protect, maintain or enhance one’s mental/physical/spiritual/emotional health. Self-care can also include setting specific boundaries and declining various non-essential obligations. Self-care can be as simple as taking a nap or engaging in deep breathing exercises or as extravagant as a day at the spa. In order for self-care to manifest with regularity, one needs to plan it into their calendar with intention. Otherwise, it’s easy to let that priority fall by the way side.

I thought I would create a post about self-care ideas that are easy to implement as well as some great books and resources on embracing self-care. Enjoy! And here’s to self-care….

Ideas for Self-Care Implementation:

  • hike in nature
  • take a bubble bath
  • play around with aromatherapy essential oils (lavender and vanilla are particularly calming)
  • schedule intentional time to meditate and engage in deep-breathing, even if for 5 minutes
  • trade baby-sitting duties with a friend or neighbor
  • schedule a massage or facial
  • journal
  • grab coffee with a friend or your significant other
  • take a nap
  • go to bed an hour earlier
  • take your vitamins and omega-3 fish oil (good for brain health)
  • bake a fun treat
  • play with your kids on their level (build sandcastles, dig in the dirt, make a fort)
  • listen to some upbeat or soothing music
  • cozy up in a quilt near a fireplace and read a good book
  • do nothing practical or productive for a set period of time
  • meal plan around nutritious and easy to make meals
  • get up 20 minutes early to meditate or enjoy a cup of coffee before everyone in your household awakens
  • connect with your spirituality
  • enjoy some solitude
  • indulge in an embellishment for yourself like a new pair of earrings or scarf
  • find ways to save money (Groupon, coupons, sales, etc)
  • get a reflexology appointment and be prepared to be relaxed the rest of the day!
  • seek out employment in family friendly environments where flex schedules and working-from-home are a part of the culture
  • save money for little adventures, like museums, weekend get-a-ways to local attractions, or a trip to the beach/mountains
  • stay organized and uncluttered
  • clean for 5-10 minutes every day, and by the end of the week, you may be able to see your floor 🙂 Little accomplishments throughout the week lead to a feeling of accomplishment at week’s end
  • make intentional time for your significant other and kids
  • have a girlfriend/buddy hang-out at the nail spa or happy hour
  • drink cold water infused with fresh lime, strawberries, cucumbers
  • take a dance class
  • say no to extra obligations that do not meet your personal basic needs for self-care
  •  exercise a little every day, preferably in fresh air and in nature
  • let go of friendships that are not reciprocal or supportive
  • make a vision board and a list of goals, short-term and longer-range, for business, family, health, travel, etc.
  • see a therapist or life coach to help maintain or improve mood health and personal goals
  • explore acupuncture, reiki or other integrative and holistic modalities
  • unplug from social media and release the need to have to check your status updates
  • go on a news diet
  • read positive affirmations daily and creatively visualize your goals
  • delegate non-essential or unpleasant tasks to household members/hired assistants (i.e. yard work, house chores, etc).

Great books on manifesting self-care:

The Art of Extreme Self-Care by Cheryl Richardson

Self-Nurture: Learning to Care for Yourself as Effectively as You Care for Everyone Else by Alice Domar

The Mindful Woman by Sue Patton Thoele

Rising Strong or Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

The Complete Collected Poems by Maya Angelou

Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain

The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle

The Power is Within You by Louise Hay

Start Where You Are: How to Accept Yourself and Others by Pema Chodron

The Women’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden

Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Smart Girl’s Guide to Self-Care by Shahida Arabi

Minimalist by Beatrice Anahata

The Art of Doing Nothing: Simple Ways to Make Time for Yourself by Veronique Vienne and Erica Lenard

The Gift of Being Yourself: The Sacred Call to Self-Discovery by David Benner

Self-Care Strategies for a New Year

Andrea Schneider, MSW, LCSW

Andrea Schneider, MSW, LCSW is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area. She is currently the Lead Counselor at Cal State Maritime Academy, where she counsels college students and leads Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) at the integrated Student Health Center. In her private practice, Andrea provides psychotherapy for individuals experiencing trauma and loss. She is also a writer, educator, and podcaster. Website:

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APA Reference
Schneider, A. (2018). Self-Care Strategies for a New Year. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2020, from


Last updated: 8 Jan 2018
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