3 Self-Care Tips that Saved My Life

Sherry Morgan
Motivate the Mind
Published in
6 min readAug 26, 2022

First, let me say the journey to self-care isn’t linear. There is no one size fits all method. You have to do what feels right for you. Self-care, like everything else, requires practice, discipline, and consistency. These days it’s called ‘self-care’ before it was a ‘rest day’ or a ‘day off, but whatever society determines needs to be called self-care is necessary. It is essential to adulting, something I never knew about until I needed to. Each generation is different; I don’t even know if my mother knew what a self-care day was. I rarely witnessed her go for a walk alone or spend hours on her free weekends crocheting and watching reruns of Little House on the Prairie.

It wasn’t until a couple of years ago that I began prioritizing self-care. I haven’t gotten to a point where I am placing self-care days on my calendar, but I do not pack my schedule, and a free weekend without plans is the perfect time for me to practice a little self-care. The best thing is that self-care doesn’t have to be complex or well planned. Self-care is simply finding something you enjoy doing that makes you feel relaxed and do it.

Get Active!

I am not an exercise junkie. I have never been, even as an athlete, with a goal in mind. I needed to be in shape to perform well in my sport. Otherwise, I would describe myself as a couch potato. Hobbies of mine include writing, reading, and watching movies. Those are my top three. However, I added a new item to my list of hobbies hiking! During the pandemic going to the movies or the bookstore and library were no longer options for me. I couldn’t go down to my favorite coffee shop or co-working spot and write. Although I could do all those things at home, I quickly found that I needed a change of scenery. Insert hiking!

I want to say now that I am a hiker, but I am far from it. However, something interesting happened after dragging my siblings on a hike and finding ourselves on non-paved trails. I enjoyed it! Anyone who knows me knows that I hate walking. I even get itchy when I walk longer than a mile, and it doesn’t matter if I am in shape or not. It is as if my body rejects it. However, for whatever reason, I found myself on a 2–3 mile hike, and I wasn’t at the back.

Photo by Chad Madden on Unsplash

Disconnecting and getting out in nature turns out to be pretty good for me. I don’t always choose long hike times; I can only hike the short trail, and there are times when I get it in my mind that I should go and chase waterfalls, cross shallow creeks, and bird watching became something else I could do to care for my mental health.

Do Nothing

My favorite self-care thing to do is nothing! I know it goes against all productivity standards, but you need to do nothing eventually! If you find that you have a free day on your weekend or a few free hours during the week, don’t try to fill it with anything. For me, days of doing nothing are abundant, I don’t engage in many activities outside of work, and most of my friends are married with children, so while family obligations can take up most people’s weekends, that is not the case for me.

If it is the case for you, the best advice I found was to schedule those days. For me, a day of doing nothing won’t ever be on a Thursday, at least not anytime soon. I have a lot of work demands and even personal needs that, for whatever reason, happens on Thursdays. Sundays have become a perfect time for me to disconnect and binge-watch my favorite show, watch a movie, or spend the whole day reading a book. I try not to schedule anything after 1 pm.

Two reasons scheduling is essential. (1) You are more likely to do the thing. If I were a mom, I would schedule this may be on a weekday. One tip I found helpful from a mom is she does this when her baby goes down for their second nap. She calls it her power hour, where she does something she likes to do or chill. Keeping a tiny human alive is a big job, and time can get away from you, but this power hour for time spent just drinking a cup of tea or coffee while it is hot in silence can save your mental health. The second thing is (2) keeping a do-nothing time on your calendar means you will be less likely to schedule over it. I treat self-care days like a reward. I spend money if I want to, or I sit and read all day.

Photo by Loren Cutler on Unsplash

We are constantly moving and doing things. Yes, productivity helps us do more, but if you use it properly, it should help you work smarter and not harder. We hustle because we have to or are trying to build something that will last forever. However, this time that we have now is precious. There is no time machine, so grabbing hold of those moments is exceptional, and permitting yourself to do nothing is okay.

Call Someone Who Cares

I recently started calling my aunt once a week. I haven’t gotten a hundred percent consistent, but I am determined to do so each week. My aunt lives over 3,000 miles away from me by plane! I can’t drive to her house, and if I am lucky, I can see her once a year. However, out of everyone in my extended family, my aunt has been the most consistent. She always picks up the phone to call her nieces and nephews. Even though most of us are busy with our lives, her phone line is always open. If you can’t talk right that minute she will call you back.

I have learned from her that this is a form of self-care. After days of zeroing in on work, goals, and those messed-up thoughts in my head, I realize I need to come up for air, and that’s when I pick up the phone. It isn’t to call and spend time complaining on the phone or using people as a junkyard for my issues, but I call to talk about that person. I know my aunt wants to talk about me, but I focus on her as much as possible. I always start the conversation with the same questions “are you busy?” and “how are you?”. Just like we have a lot of demands on us, that saying of check on your firm friends applies here. Check on people who are constantly checking and caring for others.

For me, it is my aunt, and maybe for you, it’s to call you mom, dad, grandparents, or just a friend you haven’t heard from in a while. We often wait for others to make the first step, but you begin setting the tone for those connections. Showing up for those who care for you is the best self-care you can achieve. You don’t have to pour your heart out for them to encourage you. They may be able to hear it in your voice or make your belly laugh so hard you forget about your woes.

Once I began investing in myself this way, taking a step back from the screens in my life, taking time to do nothing, and calling someone who cares for me changed everything for me. It didn’t happen overnight, and sometimes I miss making that call, or my day is so jam-packed that doing nothing isn’t an option, but the promise to try again tomorrow is always there. I have decided to schedule my self-care times to speak with the people who care about me. Just like that Monday morning meeting makes it to my calendar every week, so does time to get outside. At work, I call it my wellness walk. It re-centers me when I get up from my desk and go for a walk or sit on the patio.

Photo by Alesia Gritcuk on Unsplash

We schedule everything else in our lives; we make it work in other ways. Why not make it work in this way?



Sherry Morgan
Motivate the Mind

Mental Health. Anxiety. Personal Growth. writtenbysherry.com Writer for Motivate the Mind, The Orange Journal and Change Your Mind Change Your Life