Self-care Cheat Sheet


Make daily affirmations a habit. Every morning, look in the mirror and praise yourself aloud. Say, “You have the BEST smile,” or, “Lookin’ hot today, lady!” or, “You are strong and capable.” You will be amazed at the impact this simple action will have on your self-image.

Wear clothes you love. Don’t wear clothes you don’t love.

Even if you don’t or can’t exercise, stretch. Do it several times each day. Stretching your body reminds you that it’s there, it’s alive, and it’s amazing.

Say “no” to things you don’t want to do.

Pretty, thin, and sexy all are optional. Good is mandatory. Find activities and items that make you feel good about yourself. Hold onto them.

Walk tall. Project pride. Even on days when you don’t feel it.

Listen to your body. When it’s tired, sleep. When it’s hungry, eat. When it’s restless, move. When it’s horny, orgasm. When it’s balanced, savor.

Express gratitude. Often.

Savor texture. Surround yourself with things that are soft, slippery, cushy, and wonderful to touch.

Cut yourself some slack. You are, undoubtedly, your own worst critic and undeserving of such harsh judgment and unreasonable standards. Find ways to go easy on yourself. You can’t be 100% awesome all the time, and that is just fine.

We only have one planet, and we steward it together. You only have one body, and you steward it alone. Floss, sunscreen, vegetables, exercise, rest. If you don’t, who will?

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Originally posted 2011-05-18 06:10:35.

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42 Responses to “Self-care Cheat Sheet”

  1. Pam @over50feeling40

    It is true that if you exude confidence even when you don’t feel it….soon you will begin to wear it like a favorite piece of clothing. Other people are attracted to confidence.

  2. Stacy

    All good reminders. My body really needed me to take a day off on Monday, and I did. Of course, I spend all day Tuesday kind of regretting that, because now I’ve added more stress to my life trying to scramble to catch up. :/

  3. terry

    Oooh, I love this. So well said. In that handbook for life that we should all get, this should be in the first chapter.

  4. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    “Even on days when you don’t feel like it.” Yes! Reminds me of Gretchen Rubin’s commandment: Act the way you want to feel. I thought this was corny advice at first–but it totally works!

  5. margosita

    I struggle with wearing clothes I love. It seems so easy, but I hate at least half my wardrobe. And I sort of hate my job and I definitely feel like it’s not worth the money and effort to buy nice clothes and “waste” them on work, everyday.

    Lightbulb moment for me, this morning, with this post.

    • Roisin

      I think a lot of people feel that way. I try hard not to segregate my clothes too much into work clothes and non work clothes – because then you are more likely to have things you only wear for ‘best’ and then never actually wear. Colleagues often comment along the lines of ‘that’s so pretty, far too pretty for work’ and, while I understand what they’re getting at I think it’s a shame. The way I look at it, we spend so much of our time at work that if the job allows it, we should make sure to be wearing what makes us feel good in that time as much as in our free time. Admittedly, that’s not appropriate for every job but it’s your time. You might be at work, but it’s your time – and it’s never a waste to wear something that makes you feel awesome!

  6. Elissa

    Fantastic advice, and so timely for me. Cutting myself some slack is something I constantly struggle with, and it’s great to have a reminder to go easier on myself. It’s so true that our own worst critics are most often ourselves. An excellent post, as always!

  7. Andi

    Great advice! When I’m feeling unhappy in my body, paying attention to my own comfort really helps. If I’m hungry, tired, or wearing something pinchy and irritating, I’m not going to be at my best.

    Sadly, it took me years of crankiness to realize that.

  8. Bubu

    Oh perfect timing on this. Spent the last two days in bed or on the couch, recovering from a couple months of stress. Amazing how the body will just shut down if you don’t give it enough R&R. Had to overcome a lot of guilt to realize the vegging on the couch watching tv was just as integral to the recovery as the sleeping in bed- a necessary mid-step before going back to work. Thanks for the “self-love” reminder.

  9. Michelle

    Long time reader, never commented before. But I needed this post today, so wanted to say thank you.

  10. Amy

    I love this, particularly the bit about how we steward our bodies alone. Really needed to read that today.

    Sal, you’re an inspiration. Seriously.

  11. amber

    Life would be better if I remembered to do all those things more often…thanks for the reminder.

  12. FutureLint

    I’m pretty good at most of these except the being hard on myself one… can’t seem to shake that one, but I guess it’s okay because it keeps me motivated. I will try though!

  13. SarahN

    It’s so true… fake it ’til you make it! I’m sending this to my friends.

  14. BD

    Longtime lurker here, breaking the silence. Thank you so much for this, Sal. Reading your site, especially the posts on self-love, has done more for my confidence than an army of therapists wielding an arsenal of self-help books. Just….thank you.

  15. ally bean

    Coincides with what I’ve been thinking about and talking about all week. Wonderful advice. Thanks.

  16. rb

    I just went to the dentist. She said I might be one of those rare over-flossers. So does that make up for not exercising? 🙂

    • Sal

      Get outta town. I didn’t know over-flossers existed! You are a rare and glorious bird, rb. 😉

  17. Linette

    Wow, this is so timely. I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and I really appreciate that you have put this up. Thank you. 🙂

  18. Kay

    Thanks for the lovely post!!

    I’m getting rid of the clothes I don’t love.

  19. Hannah

    I love them all. Thank you for reminding me to give myself permission to treat ME well.

  20. sara

    love your tips.. I’ve been so depressed and lonely lately. I know I should go out and exercise and try to meet people, but I also have trouble with anxiety and end up wasting whole days at home with nothing accomplished. Fingers crossed that these affirmations and suggestions will get me out of the house!

  21. Marsha Calhoun

    “Walk tall. Project pride. Even on days when you don’t feel it.” Recently tested this when wearing (for first time) an outfit that feels wonderful, but makes me slightly insecure to wear. I noticed myself sort of slumping and trying not to be noticed (“There’s that woman, dressing too young and without the figure for it”), until I realized that I’d just look like a badly dressed woman who was also slumping. So I stood up and walked the way the new clothes felt from the inside, and suddenly noticed that the glances directed my way appeared to be admiring rather than otherwise. And I didn’t much care, which also felt good; it really isn’t all about my (imagined) audience’s reaction!

  22. christine

    So this morning I look at myself in the mirror naked and noticed for the first what a great hour glass figure I have. I was in awe of myself and it totally rocked the rest of the day. Reading your post today, reminded that I need to do this more often. Thanks!

  23. Chrysta

    Great list! I used many of these myself and wrote about some of them on my own blog not too long ago. I always appreciate being reminded to practice the basics of self care. Your list is inspiring me to create a longer, more detailed list.

    And, hey, I think this is my first comment in your blog, though I’ve been a reader for quite a few months now. 🙂

  24. Melinda

    Thanks for the boost, Sal…I really need it. 🙁

    Lately I’ve been feeling terrible about who I am and the life I’ve had. I need to start taking care of myself and stop making excuses.

    I need to stop spending time in front of the computer and the TV. I need to start exercising and whip myself back into shape. I need to start eating healthy again. I need more sleep. I need lots of mind-blowing orgasms…sorry if that’s TMI.

    I need to feel alive instead of just feeling so depressed all the time. I need to look into a mirror and feel beautiful instead of hating myself inside and out. I need to stop feeling guilty when something brings me immense pleasure.

    Once again, thank you for reminding me to take care of myself because we only live once and we should cherish that.

  25. Tami Stackelhouse

    After years of suffering with fibromyalgia, I finally started to get better once I began to understand what self-care was *really* all about. As a Health Coach who specializes in working with women with fibromyalgia, self-care is something I talk about over and over. This is an *excellent* cheat sheet! I’ll be sharing this with my clients; thank you!

    My journey to believing I was worth some self-care really started with my husband loving me (and thinking I was the hottest thing on the planet!) even though I was at my heaviest and my sickest. =) He’s an amazing man. <3