28 Ways to Take Care of Yourself


Hello loves. Happy June. What are your summer self-care plans? Email me and let me know.

On May 31,  I celebrated my 28th birthday. In honor of my 28 years, this month’s column lists my top 28 self-care tips. I hope you enjoy.

(Disclaimer: I feel these might read as “quick and dirty tips,” but I realize a lot of these actions can be difficult…and that’s okay—do what you are able to do.)

  • Rest. Not sleep—rest. Sitting, laying, lounging, etc. and doing absolutely nothing except breathing. Rest is intoxicating.
  • Celebrate yourself. Celebrate little things. Say, out loud,  “Aw yeah, I am awesome!” when you cross of an item on your to-do list.
  • Pet an animal. If you’re allergic, watch a funny animal YouTube video.
  • Speak up. Tell someone how you feel.
  • Set boundaries. Say no and fight the urge to explain why.
  • Give yourself physical pleasure. Anything from masturbation to a little hand massage halfway through the workday.
  • Smell nice things. My friend gave me rosewater spray for my birthday and just a little spritz gives my mind a break from thinking while I experience its sweet scent.
  • Don’t judge others. When you do, think to yourself, “What do I have going on that’s causing me to judge this person?”
  • Eat without counting calories.
  • Walk without counting steps.
  • Say “thank you” instead of “I’m sorry.” Try to replace regret and self-judgement with gratitude.
  • Find something to be grateful for every day.
  • Allow sadness and let yourself experience it. Being alive is sad. (And joyful. And scary. And awful. And incredible.)
  • When you’re angry, express it, but express it productively and safely. This could look like a conversation, a kick-boxing class, a therapy session, etc.
  • Find time to go outside.
  • Tell your people you love them. Do this often. Life is brief.
  • Drink water.
  • Find a mantra or affirmation you love and say it when you need it. Mine is “I surrender and let go.”
  • Fight the urge to please others over yourself. You’re allowed to make others feel uncomfortable (by declining or leaving or resisting, etc.) for the sake of what you need.
  • Engage your senses every day. Whether tha’s with a new playlist, an exciting novel, a delicious meal,  or a sensual date, get out of your head for a bit.
  • Vent. To a good friend or a therapist or a big sister. Remember to thank them for listening.
  • Create. Poetry, coding, circuitry, pottery, cookies. Make something—it feels so good. The universe loves it.
  • Be alone.
  • Choose friends and family who make you feel loved, supported, and happy. Make them feel loved, supported, and happy.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Take pictures. Selfies, landscapes, group photos. Post them to your social media.
  • Allow change. Sit in the discomfort of change—let yourself cry or throw things across the room in frustration. Then pull your mantra out of your back pocket.
  • Celebrate your birthday however you’d like.

Trust your gut and take (self) care,

Mary Adelle

Mary Adelle is a poet, a co-host on Give Me the Deets podcast, and the co-curator of Babe Press. She is passionate about taking care of herself and taking care of others.

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