21 Simple Acts of Self Care for Women

Self-care means different things to different people, but there are some very simple steps people can take to incorporate self-care into their lives. Learn 21 simple acts of self care for women here!

Practicing self care is a necessity in order to live a happy and healthy life. You should take time to prioritize yourself. It is important to remember that you are worthy of self-care, so sometimes the most crucial thing you can do for yourself is take care of yourself.

It’s easy to put our health and well-being on the back burner when you are busy or stressed, but practicing self care is essential for living a happier, healthier lifestyle.

two baskets of self care items and sign that says self care is the new health care

Practice Self Care to Feel Better and Live a Happier Life

Self care is the act of looking after one’s own physical, mental, and emotional health. This can be done in many ways, such as eating healthy foods, exercising, getting enough sleep, meditating, and taking time for yourself. The best self care practices are those that work for you and make your life happier and healthier!

Let’s look at 21 simple acts of self care for women. Of course, these are just a start to the many ways you can practice quality self care to improve the quality of your life.

1. Commit to Acts of Self Care

Commit to acts of self care. It may seem like an overwhelming task for someone who is constantly juggling the obligatory needs of others, but it’s worth committing to.

Acts of self care can be quite simple and easy, such as taking time out during the day to read a book or take a quick nap. But it requires planning, time, and effort in order to show the priority that you place on yourself.

Loving yourself and taking care of yourself is vital to your well-being; it’s important to make doing so a priority in your life. You owe it to yourself and those around you.

Remember that self care is not selfish; it’s actually an act of love.

2. Practice Mindful Breathing

Practice mindful breathing to combat the effects of stress on your body. When you are stressed, your heart rate and blood pressure increase, which can damage your blood vessels.

The best way to keep from becoming overwhelmed is to take a few deep breaths and focus on the present moment. Many studies show that mindful breathing exercises can help improve a person’s quality of life and live a happier, healthier life.

Practicing mindful breathing is the quickest, easiest way to improve your mental well-being. When you’re feeling stressed, try taking a deep breath and letting it out slowly. Notice how your body feels after.

If you are unable to calm down, find somewhere to go where you can be alone for awhile. Try not to change anything about yourself, but stay present with what is happening inside of you. When the storm passes, try these steps again!

a woman in a home work space takes a break for a few deep breaths

3. Get Enough Sleep

Many people find it difficult to fall asleep and stay asleep for the recommended eight hours. The average person needs seven to nine hours of sleep a night, so if you’re getting less than that, here are some tactics you can consider:

1) Stick to a consistent bedtime.
2) Exercise regularly and try relaxing activities before bed.
3) Keep your bedroom cool and dark with fresh air.

Lack of adequate sleep can have a negative impact on a person’s physical and mental health, as well as their productivity. Inadequate sleep leads to a depletion of brain chemicals that regulate wakefulness and appetite, which can cause emotional difficulties such as stress, anxiety, and mood swings.

Those who do not get enough sleep also may be less alert because their bodies are not receiving enough oxygen to the brain.

Related Articles: 9 Important Daily Wellness Tips for Middle-Aged Women and Staying Healthy After 60 (My Best Tips)

a woman sleep peacefully as one of her acts of self care

4. Practice Relaxation Techniques

The concept of relaxation has been around for centuries, but it has only recently gained momentum as a topic of interest. Recent research suggests that practicing relaxation techniques can have a variety of benefits for mental health, including decreased anxiety, reduced stress, and better sleep.

Practicing relaxation techniques is important for people at any age.

The following are just a few relaxation techniques that can help you find peace of mind.

  • Find peace in nature by taking a walk, sitting on the front porch, or reading outside.  
  • Try swimming laps in the pool to clear your thoughts of any stress.
  • Take some time out for yourself and write in a journal.
  • Watch your favorite TV show or movie for an hour of easy entertainment.
  • Meditate
  • Find a quiet place to read a book.
  • Do yoga.

It’s important to practice acts of self care and do the things you need to do in order to relax.

5. Eat Healthy Foods

Eating healthy is important for several reasons, including maintaining a healthy weight and reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

Many people, in order to live healthy lives, avoid the many unhealthy foods in today’s society. These unhealthy foods include soda, ice cream, and sugary cereal. Eating these types of food will not only make you gain weight but will also cause high cholesterol levels and other medical problems.

Other healthier alternatives should be considered such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Cooking meals at home is a healthier alternative to eating out too often, and using fresh ingredients will make your foods taste better and be healthier.

a charcuterie board of healthy foods

6. Be Mindful

A recent poll found that 73% of Americans already follow at least one form of mindfulness. However, in the fast-paced world today, there are many people who are not living in the present moment.

It is important to take time out to be mindful, so you can live in the present moment and appreciate life for all it has to offer.

Mindfulness is present when you are aware of your thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, surroundings and self.

The saying “mindfulness” could also be a Westernized way to describe a Buddhist term. It is a state of being that goes beyond the current moment and allows for reflection, having a calm mind, and increased mental clarity.

It has been linked with anxiety reduction as well as improved performance in athletics and academics. With so many benefits, it is no wonder mindfulness has been increasingly incorporated into mainstream culture.

Most of us are constantly distracted by the world around us so we need to really focus on being mindful and present at all times. You need to make it a priority.

Related Article: 12 Benefits of Mindfulness: Mind, Body, and Soul

7. Pamper Yourself

This is not the time to put yourself last on your priority list. Now is the time to turn your attention to you and let go of your worries.

If you’re like most women, you’ve probably heard a lot about the importance of self-care recently. You may be feeling overwhelmed by all the advice out there and unsure of what you should be doing for yourself.

But simply put, it’s important to take time for yourself every once in a while. Your self-care should be something that you are able to do by yourself, whether it is just watching your favorite sitcom, or reading for an hour.

It can also consist of doing something that feels good for you, such as taking a bath, working out, or meditating.
Everyone deserves to feel good about themselves and their lives occasionally.

You also deserve the occasional indulgence. An hour-long massage? A trip to your favorite tea or coffee shop? Make some pampering part of your regular self care routine because you deserve it!

a middle aged woman waters her beautiful flower garden as one of her acts of self care

8. Make Time for Hobbies

In order to live a healthy and happy life, it is very important to have a balance between work and personal time. One way to achieve this is by finding a hobby that you enjoy.

Hobbies can be anything from reading, gardening, playing an instrument, or volunteering. A new hobby will help you live a more balanced lifestyle while being active, creative, and giving back to your community.

Hobbies are a great way to relax, take your mind off of work, or just have some fun. They can also be a great exercise in creativity and testing your limits.

It’s important to get into the habit of making time for hobbies–the benefits are worth the effort!

9. Exercise / Move Your body

Moving your body is good for you, so get up and do something! However, it’s important to pick the right activity that you enjoy in order to maintain a healthy balance between movement and the things you like to do.

Many people think that they do not have time to exercise. This is a misconception because in reality, people who work out regularly are less stressed and more productive in their jobs.

There are many benefits to exercise, but a significant benefit is that it reduces the risk of heart disease. Exercise promotes cardiovascular health, reduces blood pressure, increases endurance, boosts energy levels and helps people sleep.

It also reduces the risk of depression and gives people more energy to do their everyday tasks. Research has shown that even short periods of exercise are beneficial for people who are sedentary or have low fitness levels.

a middle aged couple exercises for self care

10. Take a Digital Break

Digital devices are an important part of our lives. It is becoming more common to see people using their phones, tablets, and laptops in almost every aspect of their lives. These devices can be addicting and take away from the time spent with loved ones or working on projects.

Take a digital break by disconnecting for at least an hour each day. This will help you to stay grounded and allow you to spend time with your loved ones.

Many people today seriously need digital breaks to fully take in the outside world. It’s the only way they are able to experience the environment around them more, enjoy the moment they’re in, and live life without distraction or interruption by unimportant notifications.

Digital breaks can be healthy for your mental health, too. They help you focus on what’s important in life!

11. Get Outside for a Break

Did you know that staying indoors can have detrimental effects on your mood?

It is important to take time every day to be mindful of your mental health and get outside for a break. It’s a simple act of self care that doesn’t cost anything and can be done almost anywhere.

We’re all feeling the pressure of work and/or school, which can often lead to feelings of exhaustion, stress, and even depression. The best thing that you can do for yourself is take some time to relax by getting outdoors.

There are many activities that you can enjoy outdoors like hiking, biking, fishing, skiing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, surfing or kayaking. These activities will give your mind a much needed break from the worries of everyday life.

someone pouring water into a glass of water

12. Drink More Water

Drinking water may seem like an easy task, but it is all too easy to forget in the day-to-day rush. It’s important to drink water to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

It’s so easy to forget to drink enough water in the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. It can be difficult to remember  to stay hydrated when so many other competing needs are vying for our attention – especially when everything else seems more important.

Drinking plenty of water is not only good for the body, but it also has tons of benefits for skin, hair, weight management, energy levels, immunity, mental performance, and optimal health.

Drinking more water is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Just do it! Because your body needs it!

13. Listen to Music

One of the best ways to relax and decompress after a hectic day is to listen to music. The right music can help you focus on something positive instead of all your other worries and problems. Music therapy has been proven as a way to help those with PTSD, anxiety disorders, and chronic pain.

Listening to music can be relaxing, energizing, and even therapeutic. There are no side effects that come with listening to music. Listening to music for just 30 minutes a day can help reduce anxiety levels by up to 68%.

Listening to music also helps improve memory function, boost creativity, and enhance focus. Music can be used for relaxation, but it’s also great for exercise, studying, or work performance.

women listening to music on headphones as one of her acts of self care

14. Spend Time with Animals

Lately there has been a movement to encourage people to spend more time with animals by volunteering at shelters. If someone volunteers at an animal shelter for even one hour a week, it will provide countless hours of mental and emotional therapy for both the volunteer and the animals.

Animals are very capable of love and companionship. Spending time with animals can bring many benefits to your life, such as relieving anxiety, boosting self-esteem, and improving mental health.

Make a point of spending quality time with your own pets, if you have them. Or alternatively, make plans to spend time with a neighbor’s pet or a friend’s pet (or at the community shelter).

spending time with animals is a great act of self care

15. Express Your Gratitude

Expressing gratitude for what you have in life is healthy and positive. One great way to express gratitude is via a daily journal. Expressing gratitude helps you deal with stress, anxiety, and depression.

Expressing gratitude can do wonders for your happiness. Even during times when you are feeling down, expressing gratitude for the “good” things in your life will help elevate your mood.

Expressing gratitude is an important component of practicing self-love.

16. Spend Time with Friends

Spending time with friends is a great way to relax and take a break. Wining and dining, watching movies or just chatting about the day’s events can provide an escape from normal life stressors.

Recent research has shown that the more time we spend with our friends, the happier we are. I have written extensively about this topic in two previous articles so please visit those articles for more in-depth information: How to Bring More Cozy into Your Life and The Importance of Positive Social Interaction to your Overall Wellness.

Researchers have found that people who spend time with their friends experience feelings of depression about 20% less than those who do not. Furthermore, these same people also report significantly higher levels of happiness.

Many people are stuck in what they call a social media “bubble”. They don’t make time to connect with their friends in person because they are too busy scrolling through feeds of what other people are up to.

The internet has changed the way we live our lives. We now have the opportunity to interact with people who are halfway around the world, but that doesn’t mean that it should replace our local friendships.

acts of self care include spending time with friends like these two happy women

17. Say “NO” More

It can feel like an impossible task to tell someone no when they ask you to do something. Whether it’s a friend asking for your help with a project, an employer asking you to stay late on the last day of work, or your spouse wanting you to go out with them tonight – it just doesn’t feel right to say no.

Saying yes will make them happy and there are so many reasons why one should never say no! Or at least that’s the way our mothers taught us to think, right?

Telling someone NO when they ask you to do something may be difficult, but necessary sometimes.

It can be awkward, but the most important thing is that you put yourself first. If it’s not a good time for you, then you need to say NO.

It can be difficult for some people to say no, especially when they are being asked to do something by someone they care about. But saying NO allows us to protect our time and energy from things that may not be of interest or importance to us. It also sets very important boundaries!

And you DO NOT need to come up with an excuse. A simple NO is should be perfectly acceptable.

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18. Smile More

Smiles are contagious and when you smile, it gives you a sense of happiness. Smiling improves your mood and attitude, and it can also improve the mood of others around you.

When people see a person smiling at them, they become more friendly towards the other person. Sometimes we don’t want to smile because we feel like we’re not attractive or that we don’t have anything to smile about. But if someone smiles at you, you usually automatically feel like smiling back. And that lifts your mood.

Most people know of the simple phrase “smile, it’ll make you feel better” but do they really know where this advice came from? Richard Stephens of Coventry University in England is a notable contributor to the study of the benefits of smiling. He believes smiling is beneficial because it stimulates nerve endings that cause endorphins to be released into the bloodstream. Endorphins are natural chemicals that help alleviate pain and can even improve one’s mood.

A recent study found that people who smiled more were not only happier but also healthier. The study also found that people who smiled more often exhibited greater creativity and brain function.

This is because when you smile, blood flow to the brain increases by 20%. Furthermore, it has been proven that smiling helps us feel better in general, since your body releases endorphins in response to smiling.

a middle aged woman sitting outside smiling

19. Try Something New

Why not try something new? Now is the perfect opportunity to explore a new hobby or passion that can be a welcome change of pace from your current lifestyle.

With the relentless pace of our daily lives, it’s important to schedule self care time to explore what’s out there!

Whether it’s trying a new restaurant, visiting somewhere you’ve never been before, or experimenting with a new style – there is plenty of fun to be had out there! And exploring new things is a great act of self care and self love.

20. Spend Time Alone

There are many benefits to spending time alone. For one, solitude is a good way to recharge your batteries and find yourself again.

It’s also a great way to get things done because you don’t have to worry about other people’s needs and demands. Sometimes the best thing for your mental health is to just be alone with yourself for a while.

Many people struggle with the desire for solitude.

It may be difficult to admit that sometimes we want to spend time by ourselves without distractions, but it is natural and good for us.

Studies show that when people spend some time alone they usually feel less stressed, more content, and more confident in themselves.

The benefits of spending time alone include improved focus and creativity. It also gives a person a chance to reenergize their mental capacities by connecting with themselves personally.

21. Listen to a New Self Love Podcast

With so many options to choose from, explore podcasts that promote acts of self care and self love. Find one that you love and listen to it regularly. It will help you develop a mindset that acts of self care and self love are essential to your wellbeing. Always. Not just if you have some extra time.

You’ll come to accept that acts of self care are not selfish, they are essential to your wellness. Self care and self love will become easier for you and you will begin to be an example for those around you.

a napkin says self care isn't selfish and a mug of hot chocolate and a large leaf

Final Thoughts: 21 Easy Acts of Self Care for Women

Some people might be wondering, “Why acts of self care?” Isn’t it selfish?

Absolutely NOT!

It is important to take care of yourself in order to take care of others. There are many ways to do this and it can be empowering and healthy. Practicing acts of self care makes you a role model for other females of all ages who need to learn to practice acts of self care. Plus, you deserve it!

Self care is an important component of a healthy and happy life. Remember what they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup! You need to take care of you so you can take care of your loved ones.

Self care is a very important and often overlooked aspect of life. Keeping our physical and emotional wellbeing in mind can make all the difference between a healthy, happy life and something quite different.

Sometimes it feels like it’s hard to take the time we need for ourselves. But the 21 simple acts of self care outlined in this article do not take much time! Plus, spending time on self care will help you grow into a more balanced person who has the energy to give back to others and the world.

If you would like to get some more ideas about easy self care ideas, you may want to check out this article from Marie Clare… Self-care Ideas Needn’t Be Complicated: 27 Totally Free Things You Can Do From Home.

Good luck with your self care acts! Some small acts of self care only take five minutes. Think of one thing you can begin right now to start taking care of yourself! Remember, YOU ARE WORTHY!

Love to ALL! ~ Susan

21 Simple Acts of Self Care for Women: What is Your Best Self Care Practice?

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