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Creating Your Ultimate Self-Care List

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I think many of us, if not most, have a list of things we’d really like to do, but don’t, because we think we’re undeserving.

Do you have such a list?

It might not be something you’re even aware of. But it might linger in the back of your mind.

You might get hints of it when you hear a friend mention something they’re doing, and you think, “hmm…that might be nice.”

Well, today, let’s support each other in writing those things down, and actually doing them.

What self-care practices would you like to adopt? What activities would you like to do?

Whenever the negative, you-don’t-have-permission-to-do-that, who-do-you-think-you-are thoughts start whispering (or roaring), keep writing, and keep doing, anyway.

These thoughts will be aplenty or loud at first. But they’ll simmer down over time. You have important things to do, and these thoughts won’t be standing in your way.

Here are some ideas for practices or activities to put on your list:

  • Spending an entire day doing what you want.
  • Spending an entire day relaxing, whether that’s watching your fave HGTV shows (me!) or laying on the beach with a juicy read.
  • Saying no to commitments that feel draining.
  • Saying no to hanging out with toxic people.
  • Seeing a therapist. 
  • Taking an e-course.
  • Taking a trip.
  • Taking the time to try new hobbies, such as painting, playing the piano, dancing and hiking.
  • Taking a nap.
  • Going on a retreat.
  • Buying a new book.
  • Buying organic produce.
  • Speaking kindly to yourself.
  • Keeping fresh flowers in your office on a regular basis.
  • Enjoying a spa day.
  • Getting a babysitter, and enjoying a night out with your spouse. Regularly.
  • Getting a babysitter, and enjoying a night out by yourself or with good friends: seeing a movie, attending an art event, browsing a bookstore. Regularly.
  • Hiring help for house-cleaning once a month.
  • Buying a luxurious item, such as perfume, soap, sheets or clothes.
  • Meditating for 15 minutes a day.
  • Making sleep a priority.
  • Feeling all your feelings.
  • Discovering where you feel deprived, and satiating yourself. I love these questions from Cheryl Richardson’s book The Art of Extreme Self-Care: Transform Your Life One Month at a Time:

“Where do I feel deprived?
What do I need more of right now?
What do I need less of?
What do I want right now?
What am I yearning for?
Who or what is causing me to feel resentful and why?
What am I starving for?”

What’s on your ultimate self-care list? What will you be doing today?

Creating Your Ultimate Self-Care List

Margarita Tartakovsky, MS

Margarita is an associate editor at She writes about everything from taking compassionate care of yourself at any weight, shape, and size, to coping healthfully with difficult emotions. Her goal is to give readers practical, empowering tips to better their lives, and to remind you that whatever you're struggling with, you're never, ever alone.

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APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2013). Creating Your Ultimate Self-Care List. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 23, 2019, from


Last updated: 11 Oct 2013
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