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9 Super Gentle Additions To Your Self-Care Routine

9 Super Gentle Additions To Your Self-Care Routine

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9 Super Gentle Additions To Your Self-Care Routine Title Card. In the background a woman stretches her arms abover her head whilst sitting on her bed.

Hello Sweet Friends:

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by self-care?

I know I certainly have! One look at Instagram and it seems like self-care often involves going out and doing all the things. And sometimes we don’t have room for any more things!

What about the self-care activities we need when we’re pooped? Or when we’re stressed and drained and don’t have any energy? Are there self-care activities that we can tap into when we need something gentle, relaxing and easy?

Heck yes there are babe! And thank goodness, because our self-care should never feel overwhelming.

Self-care is all about providing for your needs. And when you need something simple and calm, there are tons and tons of options!

Need a little inspiration? Here are 9 gentle activities that you can easily add to your self-care routine on stressful or tiring days:

Simple Self-Care Activities Matter

A close up of a womans face. Her eyes are closed and the wind is pushing her hair back.

A couple of weeks ago we talked about what to do when you’re struggling to make time to take care of yourself. And this quote from Dr. Beth Rush, a Mayo Clinic neuropsychologist, really stuck with me.

“If you’re feeling frustrated, short on time, impatient, you have to go back to the basics of: ‘Have I done anything for myself today? Should I take a minute? Do I have to be the one who does it all? We tend to think of self-care as always going out and doing something like getting our nails done or going to the gym, but sometimes self-care is about just pausing. I think that’s something we recognize is becoming more important: learning how to slow down.” (source)

I’ve certainly felt overwhelmed by the idea of busy self-care activities in the past. And I know I’m not alone. But I think it’s so important that we’re reminded that there are so many gentle, simple moments that function as self-care too.

So if you’re overwhelmed, busy as a bee or simply not interested in going out and doing something, these 9 gentle options could be the perfect addition to your self-care routine.

If you’ve been struggling to make time for yourself in general, here’s a free copy of my self-care plan workbook <3. Just fill out the form below and I’ll send you a copy instantly.

Oh, and before we dive in, remember – your self-care routine doesn’t need to be large. It can fluctuate daily to suit your needs. And you absolutely don’t need to do it all.

If something on this list sounds amazing, try it! If you hate it, leave it in the dust. This is all about you hun! So make it yours.

Ok… let’s do this!

9 Gentle Additions To Your Self-Care Routine:

1. Feed Yourself with Kindness

A woman enjoys a fruit bowl and a sandwich outside. Feeding yourself with kindness is an important part of your self-care routine.

Food is so important! It nourishes us, brings us joy, connects us, provides us with tons of nostalgia… that’s pretty magical!

Feeding yourself with kindness is a beautiful form of self-care. And something we readily tap into every day. But don’t worry, that doesn’t mean creating a “perfect” diet. (That doesn’t exist). Instead it’s all about creating a balance that works for you and eating more mindfully.

I promise, it’s a lot of fun and there’s lots of room for chocolate and all the other goodness you enjoy!

Related: 8 Simple Mindful Eating Tips to Help You Eat Better

2. Speak Kindly to Yourself

A woman looks down at her reflection in a mirror.

It’s like Louise Hays says:

“Be careful how you are talking to yourself because you are listening.”

Your voice has an incredibly powerful influence on you. Think about it, you’re listening to yourself all day long. That can really affect your mood and self-esteem.

It’s so important you work on creating a healthy, respectful, loving relationship with yourself.
It’s an ongoing journey, since self-love isn’t exactly a destination. And it isn’t always easy or perfect. Just like with any other relationship, you will experience some ups and downs and that’s ok!

What matters is that you make an effort to be kind and compassionate towards yourself.

One way to do that is to work on your self-talk. You don’t deserve to be bullied by your inner voice. We all have an inner mean girl that can pop up from time to time, but she doesn’t deserve a megaphone.
One way to work on creating a kind and supportive inner voice is with positive self-talk and affirmations.

A portrait of a woman smiling as she wears a flower crown.

Here are some examples of positive affirmations:

    • “You are beautiful, intelligent and strong”
    • “You love yourself wholeheartedly”
    • “Self-care plays an important role in your health – you deserve to make time for yourself”
    • “You love and honour your body”
    • “You’ll let go of the things that don’t serve you.”
    • “You deserve to accept yourself as you are”

Work on speaking kindly to yourself and eventually it may become an amazing, uplifting habit. One step and one day at a time.

You may be wondering why all of those affirmations are in the third person… turns out that affirmations often work better when we use “you” statements instead of “I” statements.

Bonus points if you add in your own name. How cool is that? You can read all about it in the related post below.

Related: 3 Things Everyone Should Know About Positive Affirmations

3. Treat Yourself To Some Dry Body Brushing

Sara of holding one of her favourite self-care routine items, a dry body brush, to her face and smiling at the camera.
Yes… I do love my dry brush enough to give it a hug xD

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this beautiful form of self-care. It’s skin-care, mindful moving meditation and self-love all mixed into one. How flipping beautiful is that?! And it makes you feel so damn good.

All you need for this gorgeous act of self-care is a dry brush like this and your gorgeous body.

This is a form of self-massage, which:

    • May improve immune function
    • Lowers physical and emotional pain (including stress reduction)
    • Improves sleep
    • Reduces inflammation
    • Encourages lymphatic drainage
    • Lessens muscle soreness after a workout

A dry body brush can be seen with other bath items while the water pours into the tub. A perfect moment in your self-care routine.

And the exfoliation helps your skin by:

    • Prevents your pores from clogging
    • Leaves your skin feeling soft and clean
    • Reduces and preventing blackheads and pimples
    • Causes your pores to appear smaller (you can’t actually change their size – pores simply look larger when they’re all clogged up)

But my favourite part is that it gives you the chance to connect with and appreciate gorgeous, naked body. Something we don’t often do. It’s a beautiful moment of self-love.

The act of dry brushing really forces you to get in touch with your beautiful body and focus on areas we often hate on, like our tummies, thighs and booties.

It’s the perfect opportunity to pay special attention to those areas and appreciate them. Maybe even add some positive affirmations in to work on self-talk at the same time! It’s truly a marvelous addition to your self-care routine, don’t you think?

Related: These 3 Incredible Benefits of Dry Brushing Will Make You Reach For a Brush

4. Enjoy a Clay Face Mask

Sara of enjoying another favourite self-care routine item - facial clay,
It’s me! I seriously adore a good face mask 😉

Sometimes it’s so nice to just put those feet up and pamper yourself. And a clay face mask is a super, duper easy way to do that. Plus it helps to exfoliate and clean your skin. Skin care and relaxation all built into one? Score!

With awesome options like bentonite, kaolin and French yellow clay, you can definitely find the perfect match for your skin type.

Plus, you can add essential oils to the mix, introducing some aromatherapy and extra skin support.

How decadent is that?

Not sure which clay would be a good match for your skin? I’ve got you covered right here.

5. Get Lost in a Good Book

A beautiful self-care routine moment with a good book.

Reading is so flipping good for you! Not only does it provide a lovely moment of escape (and a fun adventure full of wicked ups and downs).

Some downtime reading comes packing with health benefits like these:

    • Reduces stress
    • Betters sleep
    • Boosts mood and decreases feelings of depression
    • Increases memory power
    • Slows mental decline
    • Potentially decreases risk of Alzheimers
    • Improves empathy and emotional awareness

How cool is that?! This is an easy, super beneficial and relaxing form of self-care that you can easily tap into. Doesn’t it make you want to pick up a book?

Related: Do You Know These 5 Excellent Benefits of Reading Books?

6. Write in a Gratitude Journal

A woman takes a moment to write in a journey at a table in front of a window.

This is such a beautiful way to work on creating a grateful mindset and a joyful perspective.

And hey, it’s super simple! All you need is a journal, a pen and about 10 to 15 minutes to jot down some goodness.

Write down what you’re grateful for, the people you absolutely adore, things you love about yourself and positive quotes and affirmations that make you feel happy.

It may be difficult at first, but you will find that your list will grow every time you sit down to create one.

This beautiful, daily act of self-love is about more than just creating a little list of the marvelous things in your life. It’s about retraining your mindset and learning to marvel at all of the goodness that surrounds you.

Eventually, you will find that you’ll be able to carry the essence of gratitude with you throughout the day.

As they say, practice makes perfect. And this definitely applies to crafting a grateful mindset.

How lovely is that?!

Related: How to Practice Gratitude and Feel Awesome

7. Take a Moment to Meditate

Someone sits on a rock looking down at the clouds and the horizon in a moment of meditation.

Meditation is awesome! And there’s so many different ways to enjoy it and make it a part of your self-care routine.

Whether you prefer a more classic type, like mindfulness meditation, want to add meditation music to the mix, or enjoy moving meditation in the form of mindful eating, yoga or simply walking, you are 100% rocking it hard!

10 to 20 minutes of meditation a day can make a huge difference in our health and wellbeing.

    • Reduces anxiety and boosted mood
    • Improves focus
    • Supports immune health
    • Fosters a healthy blood pressure
    • Breeds empathy

A joyful moment of someone's self-care routine - a mindful walk on the beach

The goal of any form of meditation is essentially to focus your mind on the present moment. It absolutely goes deeper than that, yes, but we can get more specific together right here.

Regardless of how you choose to practice meditation, simply work on centering your mind on the present. You can focus on one thought, like a mantra, or simply pay attention to your breathing.

It can be difficult to do at first but becomes easier with each session. Plus, you’ll come out of it feeling relaxed, rejuvenated and joyful. It’s truly incredible!

Related: 5 Reasons Why You Need To Try Mindfulness Meditation

8. Relax in a Hot Bath

A bath tub equiped with lots of self-care items.

Baths are the perfect addition to your night time self-care routine. What a lovely way to unwind after a long day and prepared for sleep. It’s even more fun if you bring a book in with you. And doesn’t that warm water leave you feeling so calm and relaxed?

Super bonus! Baths offer some pretty awesome health benefits:

    • Elevates your mood
    • Encourages relaxation
    • Reduces stress
    • Improves sleep
    • Relieves muscle pain
    • Eases cold symptoms
    • Potentially reduces inflammation and blood sugar levels
    • Aids in managing chronic pain
    • Provides a lovely opportunity for self-love and kindness

A woman sits in the tub, hair up in a towel.

Isn’t that a ton of goodness?! And so easy to tap into! These wonderful health benefits of baths are pretty easy to tap into. And I can’t think of any better way to wind down mindfully before bed. What do you think?

Related: You’ll Love These 8 Super Health Benefits of Baths

(Friendly reminder – if you have a heart or blood pressure disorder, talk to your doctor before indulging in a hot bath. Certain health conditions make it so baths aren’t a healthy options. Just because something can be healthy doesn’t mean that it’s healthy for all of us. We’re all wonderfully unique – what works best for each of us differs a little from person to person!)

9. Simply Slow Down

A woman stretches her arms above her head whilst sitting on her bed.

Life is complicated. Self-care doesn’t have to be.

While a lot of self-care activities involve going out and doing things, if you’re feeling rushed and overwhelmed it’s ok to simply stop, breathe and rest for a minute.

Sometimes the best self-care is taking a moment to rest and relax. And what each of us finds relaxing might be a little different. So whatever that looks like for you, indulge. You deserve the same love and care you give so freely to others.

So be kind to you and allow yourself the opportunity to slow down and recharge.

Related: Struggling To Make Time To Take Care Of Yourself? Do This.

Final Thoughts

A woman looks away from the camera, eyes closed, enjoying the wind on her face.

Self-care isn’t always about going out and doing things. It certainly can be! But it’s often the quiet, simple moments that really allow us to recharge our batteries and center ourselves.

Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to the simple, solo activities that really uplift you. There are so many options! And I promise, they’ll do just as much (if not more) for you as the more complicated self-care activities.

Your turn – What simple self-care activities typically make an appearance in your routine? Let us know in the comments below!

Health and love,


Thought of the day: I matter. I will make self-care a priority and treat myself with love and kindness.

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.


  1. Reply

    Brianne Tursi Manz

    August 1, 2019

    Self-care is very important to keep yourself in a healthy state of mind and body. If you don’t take care of yourself, it makes it hard for you to take care of others.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      Yes! You put it so perfectly Brianne! We really need to recharge our own batteries so we can be present for others. Self-care is so important. Thank you so much for sharing your goodness <3

  2. Reply


    August 1, 2019

    I really enjoyed reading your post about self-care. You are not alone when it comes to feeling overwhelmed. I have to also agree that seeing others on Instagram or any social media can make one feel like they aren’t doing enough.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post Audrey! Thank you :). And you’re so right – when we fall down the social media rabbit hole is can really make us feel like we’re lacking, even in the self-care department. Glad I’m not the only one <3.

  3. Reply

    Christine Weis

    August 1, 2019

    As a mom, teacher and workaholic, I’ve learned the hard way how important self care is. I do take more time to do the things I love and taking a hot bath and reading are always on my list. These are great suggestions. I needed this as a reminder. Thank you!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      I’m so sorry you learned the hard way Christine! I hope that things are better <3. We all need and deserve self-care. And it's wonderful that you're prioritizing that.

      I'm right there with you - a bath and a good book are heavenly :).

      Thank you so much for reading. I'm so happy you enjoyed it!

  4. Reply

    Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    August 1, 2019

    I love these suggestions! I need to do some meditating and get myself a clay mask! Both on my “ahhhhh!” list!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      Oh my goodness, I adore that you called it an “ahhhh” list Patricia! That’s such an awesome idea. I hope you enjoy those self-care activities very soon. Have fun!

  5. Reply


    August 2, 2019

    Kindness always present when it comes to treating yourself, very true.
    The brush one is new to me. Thanks for sharing

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      Self-kindness is truly so important! I’m glad you think so too Madaku :). Thank you! Let me know what you think if you give dry brushing a try!

  6. Reply

    Angela Ricardo Bethea

    August 2, 2019

    Self Love is important and sometimes is good to step back and have a break so you don’t burn out. Speaking kindly to yourself is actually a great tip.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      You’re so right Angela! If we don’t make time for self-care we often burn out. We really need and deserve to make time for the activities that help us de-stress and relax :). I’m so happy you enjoyed the article! Thank you <3

  7. Reply

    Ntensibe Edgar Michael

    August 2, 2019

    Additions 2, 6,7,8 and 9 stand out the most for me. I did begin on my gratitude journal last year and I loved myself even more. It felt so good looking back how far I had come to where I was now.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      I’m so happy that all of those additions resonated with you Ntensibe! And it’s wonderful how much Gratitude Journaling did for you. It’s been a game changer for me too <3. It's truly so uplifting and helpful! May your journal continue to overflow with goodness :). Thank you tons for sharing your kind thoughts!

  8. Reply

    emman damian

    August 2, 2019


    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      Both wonderful forms of self-care Emman! I’m so happy you’ve found an uplifting balance that works so well for you <3

  9. Reply

    The JOYOUS Living (@thejoyousliving)

    August 2, 2019

    oh man! i love the photo you used for #2. having the woman look at herself through the mirror is fabulous. because in reality she isn’t seeing herself but a distortion of herself as perceived through the mirror similar to how many of us view ourselves through the world’s lenses.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      Yes! That’s such a great way to look at it Joy! We really do often see a distorted reflection of ourselves instead of the amazing, beautiful people we truly are <3. And we deserve to see that truth more often! I'm so grateful you shared your wonderful thoughts <3

  10. Reply

    Emily Fata

    August 2, 2019

    Speaking kindly to yourself — and treating yourself with overall kindness — is so crucial. Daily affirmations go a long way!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      So happy you think so too Emily! We’re so worthy of our own love and kindness <3. It's incredibly important! Positive affirmations really can be a nice way to work on that :)

  11. Reply


    August 3, 2019

    I love that you started this off with feeding yourself with kindness. I’ve also been quite interested in dry brushing, I need to look more into that – it seems so relaxing and easy to incorporate into a routine.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      I’m so glad you enjoyed that! I think it’s so important that we feed ourselves with kindness and realize that that means creating a good balance that makes us feel good (and can absolutely include chocolate – oh goodness, life is too short for no chocolate hehe <3).

      I absolutely adore dry brushing. It's a nice little moment with yourself. I hope that you enjoy it! Let me know what you think if you give it a go :). Thank you for sharing your sweet thoughts!

  12. Reply

    At Lifestyle Crossroads

    August 3, 2019

    Love these ideas! We all nee more self-love and kindness! Positive affirmations really work for me! Thanks for the reminder!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      I’m so happy positive affirmations work so wonderfully for you! That’s fantastic <3. Isn't it lovely when we find a self-care activity that works for us? :) Makes the world brighter. Thank you tons for your kind words!

  13. Reply

    Ronnie E.

    August 3, 2019

    These are lovely ideas to help treat yourself! It’s so easy to get stuck in the rut and stress of everyday life and not do something for yourself. I definitely have to do a few of these for myself!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      It’s really so easy to take care of everyone else and forget to take a moment for ourselves. I think it happens to all of us. I hope you take a moment for yourself soon Ronnie! You absolutely deserve it <3.

  14. Reply


    August 3, 2019

    Great tips, haha, it looks like you REALLY enjoy that dry brushing! Never tried it, but I will now.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      Oh, dry brushing is absolutely magical! Totally love it <3. I hope you give it a go Joanne! I'd love to hear what you think :). Let me know!

  15. Reply

    Shannon Gurnee

    August 4, 2019

    Sometimes with everything going on in our lives, we forget to take care of ourselves. These are some great ideas.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      We absolutely do. It’s really easy to put our well-being on the back burner. But we absolutely need and deserve time to care for ourselves too. I hope you get to tap into some lovely self-care soon Shannon! Thank you for sharing your kind thoughts 🙂

  16. Reply


    August 6, 2019

    I just love coming here. It’s just a haven to encourage healthy life and loving yourself!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      That makes my day Meg! Thank you <3. Totally the goal, so I'm super happy you're feeling it :). Sending tons of love your way!

  17. Reply

    Surekha Busa

    August 6, 2019

    Such a great post about self care, I enjoyed reading it. I felt overwhelmed about it too, sometimes.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      August 22, 2019

      I think it’s so normal to feel overwhelmed sometimes, even with self-care! It’s so important we talk about it so we all know it’s normal and that we can totally work past it.

      Thank you so much for your kind words <3. I'm so glad you enjoyed the article Surekha!

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