39 Reader-Approved Tips Just in Time for International Self Care Day!

Today is International Self Care Day, and at first glance, self-care seems harmless enough. A well-intentioned call to prioritize certain needs to become your best self — what’s the problem? Over time, I think it’s transcended to more of a marketing ploy to drive consumerism. But, at the very heart of it, its purpose is pure in nature. I will be the first to admit that I’m not the best at self care. Case in point: I have multiple gift cards for massages that I’ve yet to use, and I’ve had them for YEARS. And it isn’t like I don’t enjoy massages (because I doooooo!). I just haven’t made that (or myself, honestly) a priority. So it got me thinking, in a world of endless options, when self care can be so varying, which path to self care is best for us?

Initially, I went to Pinterest to do some research, but because I wanted real answers from real people (not just the shiny, pretty, Pinterest version), I decided to hit up Instagram to see what the act of self care actually looks like for those around me.

Here is what we came up with:

Lush bath bombs, face masks, and “Queer Eye”.

Getting my nails done regularly. Baths every night. Face masks. Sleep.

Lots of naps.

Doing something that has ZERO productivity value and is purely because I want to do it.

Yoga + a nightly skincare routine.

Putting on a playlist and dancing it out.

Occasionally, I stop caring long enough to ask myself what I want, and then I go buy it. 

Sometimes, it’s reheating the same cup of coffee 12 times before I finish it. 

Leaving my face masks on for an hour instead of just 20 minutes.

Placing my phone on ‘do not disturb’ and not feeling guilty about it. (This is one of my favorites!)

Giving myself enough time to get places. Sounds geriatric, but when I give myself an extra moment to get there and settle in, it does wonders for my sanity.

Knowing when to say “no” to invites, plans, etc.

Seeing a massage/reiki therapist once a month. I treat it like a utility bill and just budget it in.

Mexican food.

I go thrifting by myself every Saturday!

Mental health days. Massages, yoga, and reading. Also, for me, TV is a form of self care.

Today, I simply decided to do what absolutely had to be done and let go of the rest. 

Blasting Beyonce in my kitchen cooking a bomb ass meal.

Working out!

Take naps and eat chocolate whenever possible.

I bought myself a gravity blanket, and it has literally changed my life.

SKINCARE. I love the rituals. And margaritas. Lots of them!

Thinking through what will give me joy today and saying no to what doesn’t. Also, Dialectical Behavior Therapy workbooks. 

I get my sleep on. I USE MY PERSONAL DAYS. I stopped talking about work outside of it. 

My goal lately has been challenging myself to do things alone! Because I know it’s good for me. 

I have been practicing The Miracle Hour since the beginning of the year.

Journal every morning.

Waking up at 5am. Easing into the day with stretching and tea and good music. 2 hours of quiet.

Coors Light.

I take myself out to dinner. That’s one of my favorites.

Walks outside (alone). Getting my nails done!

I paint my nails everyday. I have a strict workout schedule which is also my job, but I love it.

Alone time to reflect and think on things.

Claiming a few hours for myself.

Going to therapy.

SLEEP and using the word “no” frequently and without shame. 

Vitamins, probiotics, healthy eating, exercise, eyebrow and hair maintenance. 

A nice glass of Pinot and a hot bath. 

Meditate for 15 minutes every morning before starting work and a strict workout schedule.

I think my biggest revelation from reading all of these is that self care doesn’t have to be some big, grandiose commitment. We can care for ourselves in even the most subtle of ways. And self care is like a muscle — the more we continue to flex it, the easier and more natural it is to continue using it. Moving forward, I’m going to make an effort to put a little of the energy I pour into others back into myself because it can only yield good things. And on that note, I’m going to head out to the gym!

Is there anything you do that’s not on this list? Or is there something on here that you’re going to implement? Let me know in the comments!