Self-Care: 20 Ways to ‘Fill Your Own Cup’

What is Self-Care?

Self-care is exactly what the word says. It is caring for oneself. In today’s day and age, our lives are so busy, and we are expected to do so much in a short period of time, that often we don’t even consider taking a moment to ourselves. Eventually, we burn out. Sometimes, we are able to recognize that, and take some time for ourselves. Other times, it may lead to more serious circumstances such as mental health illness and depression.

You probably have heard the ‘overflowing teacup’ analogy. In order to help others, we first need to fill our own cup. We need to be well ourselves, to have the strength and energy to give what’s overflowing to those around us. If we gave what is in our cup to others, our own supply of energy will be depleted much faster, and we won’t be able to help ourselves, never mind those we love.

I like to think about self-care, as nourishment of my body, mind, and soul. So here are some little, free or inexpensive things you can do, to care for yourself for just a few minutes a day. Because many of these ideas don’t take much time, many experts recommend doing several of these things over the course of the day. My advice would be to try and do at least three things, one from each of the categories below. Nourish all three; your body, mind, and soul every day, and you will see the difference in no time.

Nourishing Your Body

self-care - taking care of your body, mind, and spirit -

This component of self-care focuses on taking care of your body. When we think about nourishing our body, most often two things come to mind: exercise and food. Below are a few ideas to get you started.

  • Go for a walk
  • Replaced the doughnut with fruit
  • Drink a glass of water right after you wake up
  • Take a yoga class
  • Take time to eat your dinner, don’t rush
  • Stretch for five minutes
  • Try a new smoothie
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Truly savour your dessert
  • Try a new exercise video

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Nourishing Your Mind

self-care - taking care of your body, mind, and spirit -

Nourishing your mind is all about forgetting about the stresses of the day and taking a minute or two to allow your mind to relax. Often times it includes reading, listening, watching things that bring us pleasure, or talking to people whose company we enjoy. All that to take our mind off of the daily hurdles. Here are a few examples of things you can do to nourish your mind:

  • Listen to an inspirational podcast
  • Watch a movie
  • Read for fun
  • Call a loved one
  • Attend a workshop at your local recreation centre
  • Write a journal
  • Learn a new skill
  • Pick up a new hobby
  • Go for a coffee with a friend
  • Search for pictures of things you enjoy on the Internet and then browse through them
  • Plan your next vacation

Nourishing Your Soul

A big part of nourishing your soul is based on gratitude, service to others, and truly getting to know yourself. All those things help us realize, that we are just a little speck in this universe, connected in wonderful ways to everything and everyone around us. There are many different ways to nourish your soul. Some of them include:

  • Meditate for five minutes
  • Play with your pet
  • Write down five things you are grateful for today
  • Do a random act of kindness
  • Attend prayer service
  • Close your eyes and take 10 deep breaths
  • Donate to a food bank
  • Cuddle with your children
  • Write a note of encouragement for someone who may need it
  • Pay it forward at a drive-through window

Other Ways to Nourish Your Body, Mind, and Soul

There are many other ways to nourish your mind, body, and soul. Some of the activities relax you in more than one way. Self-care also includes pampering yourself in little ways. You could try one or more of these to start with:

  • Sleep in
  • Get a spa treatment
  • Enjoy your favourite gourmet tea or coffee
  • Sing along to your radio while driving
  • Skype or FaceTime with a friend who lives far away
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Play board games with your kids
  • Go for a drive in the country
  • Go on a hike
  • Visit a farmers market or a craft fair
  • Watch the sunset
  • Hug someone

Take the Self-Care Challenge

self-care - taking care of your body, mind, and spirit -

Regardless of what you choose to do, take a few minutes each day for yourself. I am well aware that it is not an easy task at times. One strategy I have used in the past during my busiest moments, was to actually schedule me-time. It could be a one minute deep breathing session every hour during my workday or a one hour exercise class. Sometimes it is a lunch hour coffee with a friend or simply taking extra 10 minutes to enjoy my dinner. We all have different schedules and different demands on our time. But in order to keep going, to stay positive, and to keep our body, mind and, soul healthy, we need to take care of ourselves.

So I invite you to take a one-week self-care challenge. Print the self-care challenge card found below and see if you can cross out each and every one of the squares within a week. It would mean, that you need to do about four little things for yourself each day. Feel free to swap the ideas on the card with your own or with the ones listed above.

Let me know how it went.

self-care challnge card -

Cheers to a happy and healthy life!

self care: 20 ways to fill your own cup.

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55 thoughts on “Self-Care: 20 Ways to ‘Fill Your Own Cup’”

  1. This is a much needed blog. doing all the activities we totally forget about ourself..I love all your great ideas to keep the mind and body healthy. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. You have some great suggestions here! While there are a few different things that make me feel better and provide that BOOST from self-care, the best is my pets. Cuddling up with my pets never fails to put me in the best mood possible. They brighten my day, refresh my mind and provide me with the energy and creativity that I need to tackle whatever is ahead of me.

  3. 2020 has been the year of meditation for me. Self Care has been in the forefront at our house. I have loved the guided meditations and also just breathing meditaions. This is a wonderful post!

  4. I am definitely one who is known to burn the candle at both ends so the concept of ‘filling my own cup’ so to speak is something that I definitely need to do. I like the idea of getting a spa treatment, lord knows that I could definitely do with one right now as my muscles are aching!

  5. I love all your great ideas to keep the mind and body healthy! I kind of want to do all these things at once now haha.
    My personal favourite is probably working out. I rarely find time to do that, but I always leave the gym with a great feeling afterwards.

  6. I am so waiting for the night to Cuddle with my children, and after reading your post I decide for sure to skip driving to work tomorrow and work from home, i think i need this so much, thank you for reminding me to take care of myself

  7. I’ve been stressed recently. I’m trying to make enough as a freelancer so my kids can go to a summer camp they will enjoy. I was hoping it would be this hard but having my 80 year mother back in town and our homeschool portfolio review with the state coming up, self-care has taken a backseat. I need to refresh, thanks for the lovely ideas.

  8. I love going for long walks in the afternoons. There’s nothing like listening to podcasts (or a good book) and being out in the sunshine. Plus, it’s fun to say hi to all of the nice people (and cute puppies) I pass along the way. xx

  9. As people get more and more busy, they tend to forget the need for self-care or perhaps, they tend to allocate less time to themselves even though it is very important. I like how you split the self-care tips into sections. I can say that in a way, I think I’ll need to do more of soul nourishment myself.

  10. This year is definitely my year for self care, I’ve taken on a new hobby, organised lots of friends days and I’ve splurged on myself more than I would. Some great tips here to further this

  11. Self care is something that I’ve neglected for years and now I’ve realized just how important it actually is. I think these ideas are wonderful, they cover everything that you need to take care of.

  12. I take time for myself on the daily. I work out for 1.5 – 2 hours a day, which is total ME time… And I also make sure to listen to my body, IE: if I need a massage, I got and get one! I also sleep like a baby for sure and eat salmon (every day), which helps me be the best I can!

  13. Meditation is a great way to help you relax and de-stress at the end of a long busy day. Even a 15 minutes session can make miracles. And it’s amazing how much energy you feel after.

  14. I love how you’ve broken down self care and provided activities to help with mind, body and soul. I really need to make more time to chill out in the evenings as I’m always on the go. I think I really should take the self care challenge.

  15. Yes, yes, yes!! I love this post so much!! <3 I've been taking a lot more time to practise self-care recently, and it's really making a huge difference! Meditation, more exercise, earlier nights and more cuddles with my cats are my favourite ways to feed my soul! xxx

    • Sleeping in has been proven to be a very effective way improve your wellbeing on many levels. So if you can, give yourself an extra hour of sleep every once a while. You’ll feel great!

  16. Oh I absolutely love this! I have been so terrible at self care this last few years and my mental health has really suffered. I have just started swimming again, I love that time for ME!

    • Take the challenge and pin it to your fridge or above your desk. It will remind you to take some time to yourself and provide you with a few ideas as well.

  17. Being a bipolar and having years of extensive talking therapies filling your own cup is something I know all to well and of its importance. I think for me just accepting I cant do everything I want too in a space a time is a great reminder for me that Rome wasnt built ina day and instead I can rest or read or take a long bath and put a task off for a day

  18. This is such a great post, I am book marking it so that I remember to self care and take care of myself and don’t just work work work

  19. Cute list. It’s also scientifically proven that hugs help release oxytocin which get these feel good hormones flowing. Make sure to get a good hug at least once a day!

  20. So many great ideas…..I enjoy the walking,I really miss not walking like was I doing in the summer. I want the weather to warm up so I can get back into a better routine. And of course,having coffee with a friend is always a great way to lighten a mental overload…


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