31 Acts Of Necessary Self-Care (That Cost Literally Nothing)

 This article originally appeared on   SUCCESS .

This article originally appeared on SUCCESS.

Being kind to yourself is one of those things that sounds easy in theory but difficult in practice. So here's 31 tried and tested self-care acts that'll give you an instant dose of self-love.

Last year I spent a month being generous toward others in the hope that I would find fulfillment and increased happiness (I did).

So my editor asked me to turn that generosity inward. Spend a month doing acts that allow me to appreciate myself, reflect and grow. But the truth is, saying some Hallmark-worthy phrases to yourself isn’t an exact science for increasing your feelings of self-worth. At least not one that we feel right away.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not working. Growth, in any form, is never easy. It takes patient, persistence and self-compassion, a reminder we need more than once per day.

Being kind to yourself isn’t about feeling good. After all, doing what feels good isn’t always what’s best for us. But taking the time to compliment myself, to nurture my self-compassion (no matter how annoying in the moment) sends a messages to future me that she, in all her imperfect 45-year-old glory, matters. That’s a gift worth giving.

Check out my full list of priceless self-care acts and give it a shot. You just might surprise yourself.

1. Take a selfie to keep, not share

2. Write down one thing to celebrate and let yourself feel that happiness

3. Floss

4. Read one book chapter for pleasure

5. Learn a new skill

6. Make your bed

7. List three things you appreciate about yourself

8. Get into nature/do something outside

9. Do one thing to further your career. Replace “I have to” with “I get to”

10. Meditate for 10 minutes

11. Say no to something you don’t want to do

12. Listen to one new uplifting song. Focus on the words, and don’t multitask

13. Note every instance of negative self-talk. Replace with positive words.

14. Say, “I am enough”

15. Put your phone out of reach for one hour

16. Do one thing that scares you

17. Watch one funny video and let yourself laugh and recharge

18. Color

19. Change your screensaver to something uplifting

20. Do nothing for 10 minutes

21. When you're down, imagine what an uplifting friend would say to you and say that to yourself

22. Write down a mistake and verbally forgive yourself

23. Exercise in any way for 20 minutes. Replace “I have to” with “I get to.”

24. Journal about a dream or goal—no matter how unrealistic. Get descriptive

25. Reconnect with an old friend

26. Organize one small part of your apartment

27. Write a love letter to yourself

28. Don’t go home right after work. Go to the library or the park, or go to dinner alone.

29. Take a guilt-free nap

30. Make your favorite snack food

31. Get up to watch the sun rise

Words: Cecilia Meis
Photo: Daria Kobayashi Ritch