13 More Powerful Self-Care Ideas, My Confession + A Give-Away!

I have a confession to make.

It’s taken me nearly 50 years on the planet to learn how to care for myself. I mean to truly care for myself – not just make sure I’ve got food to eat and a roof over my head.

I’m talking about self-nurturing, pampering, honoring who and where I am at any given moment.

I know I’m not that unusual. Many, many women find themselves giving, giving, giving – to everyone by themselves. We almost take pride in it. Who’s the busiest? Who can’t even take time out to eat?

Who can juggle full time work, volunteer in the kid’s classroom, work out daily, all while getting a nutritious meal on the table every night for her family?

If you can pull it off you get the prize – lots of admiration from a society obsessed with work and productivity.

But, see, I was supposed to know better.

After all, I’m an herbalist and I ran a shop that specialized in resources for healing body, mind and spirit.

I spent my days counseling others on how to nurture themselves. I sold them everything from herbal potions, to meditation cushions, to natural bath salts, tarot cards, to yoga accessories, to books by all the personal growth gurus of the era.

I extolled the virtues of essential oils for de-stressing and relieving anxiety. I pressed books into waiting palms – with advice on making your own medicines or how to find inner peace through deep breathing.

But here’s the truth:

I rarely could find a few hours, or even a few moments to practice any of this in my own life.

I raced through my days, drinking double cappuccinos, ordering products, tending teenagers, supervising employees, attending school conferences, and worrying about how all the bills would get paid.

There I was, surrounded by everything I needed to slow down and take care of myself – but I couldn’t find the time to use any of it.

That’s what I told myself.

But really what it was is that I didn’t make the time.

It’s a big turnaround, but slowly, slowly I’m learning to make that time for self-care.

Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about how I do it.

See, now I get it. It’s not selfish to take care of myself. The truth is – if we don’t make time to nurture our own selves there’s not that much left over to give to others.

So…if you’re giving, giving, giving – and failing to replenish – it’s time to change that!

This site is all about you feeling awesome – about your health, your looks your life. It’s about having fun.

And it all starts with some self-love.

You can start right now – with 13 more ideas for exquisite self care routines – brought to Holistic Hot Sauce by some of the most rockin’ authors, coaches , writers and teachers I know.

And don’t miss yesterday’s 13 offerings.

This is self-care week honey!

I challenge you to choose one self care idea from these 13 – or one from yesterday – and treat yourself this week!

Then use the comments to tell us all about it. It’s just fine to comment twice! Tell us what you chose – and then come back and tell us how it went.

Let’s share our own self-care sauce!

Before you jump ahead to meet these 13 women and their secrets to self love – I promised you a party prize today.

One of my favorite coaches, Cigdem (C.A.) Kobu, has  donated a free spot in her amazing year-long course, A Year With Myself.

Believe me – you want to win this! A year’s worth of inspiration and self care, plus membership in the private AYWM online Facebook group. More than just a course, this is a comprehensive life transformation program for women. Normally this would cost you $197, but you can win the entire Full Adventure Kit in today’s contest!

Learn more about A Year With Myself here.

Cigdem shares her own self care wisdom today, keep reading to find full details on how to win!


Chris Zydel, Teacher, Creativity Junkie

I have a ton of self care routines that I incorporate throughout my day. And the list just seems to get longer the older I get!

Many of them, like taking various supplements, eating organic foods and making and drinking my green smoothies are related to keeping my hormonal and anatomical systems happy and my physical energy running smoothly. And that attention to the needs my body is foundational for everything else that I do.

But the one self care practice that brings me the most joy is regularly getting out in the natural world. I am incredibly blessed to be living in the San Francisco Bay area and so I am surrounded with many, many opportunities for nature bliss. I’m 45 minutes away from mama ocean and I can reach any number of incredible hiking trails in the redwood forests in half an hour or less.

I’m a tree hugger and a rock sitter and I love walking on the beach barefoot with the sand squishing between my toes. When things are difficult or painful or confusing I try and find a grassy spot where I can lie down and let my troubles be absorbed by the sweet love the earth has for me.

When I am engaging in this deeper way with the natural elements of sun and stone and water I am reminded that the world is available to support me and that I am not alone. That experience of reliable sustenance from these larger energies feeds me and keeps me feeling juicy and alive so that I can continue to do the work I am meant to do from a sense of joyous power and loving ease.

Chris Zydel is the founder of Creative Juices Arts, and knows deep in her bones that everyone is creative.  She is on a mission to prove that to the world which she does by providing nurturing, joy-filled and growth enhancing sanctuaries of encouragement, permission and trust in the sacred energy of play and creativity that lives inside of us all.


Lisa Wilder, Business Development & Marketing Consultant and Coach, The Wilder Zone

My favorite (and most crucial) self-care routine is my morning routine of quiet time, prayer and spiritual/inspirational reading.

Keeping my faith front and center keeps me from ever forgetting that the purpose of the work I’m so passionate about is to be of service, to effect positive change in the lives of others. Prayer keeps me humble, and reminds me always of how profoundly grateful I am to be living a life I love and doing work that holds deep meaning for me.

Quite time to reflect and to tune in to what I know to be true on a soul level, keeps me aligned (or helps me to identify how to get back in alignment when I’ve gotten off-course) with my passion and dreams. It’s as crucial to my spiritual well-being as quality sleep and good food are to my physical well-being.


Bobbi Emel, Therapist,  Blogger at The Bounce Blog

If I start to feel misaligned with my passion, I get together with a core group of women friends and ask them for feedback about the gifts that I bring to the world. Inevitably, I end up feeling inspired, renewed, and full of purpose to get back out there and live my dream!


Tess Marshall, Life Coach and Author, Blogger at The Bold Life

When I was 27 I had four daughters ages nine, seven, and twins that were five. I was a closet smoker because I didn’t want my girls to know.  As my addiction grew it became more difficult to hide. Therefore, I decided to quit smoking and replace it with running. It was a healthy stress reliever!

That was 31 years ago! My favorite form of self-care continues to be running. It’s like breathing to me.
I simply was born to run!


Tara Sophia Mohr, Writer and Coach at Wise Living

Dance! This is a newly reclaimed form of self-care for me. Dance helps me process emotions, let go of stress, and connect with the deeper part of myself – the part beyond worry, planning, and language. It reconnects me to the passion and joy deep in my belly – a vitality I can feel or be entirely cut off from, depending on how much movement, nature, and community I allow into my life. Life was meant to be bright and juicy and dance allows it to be.”


Loran Hills, Author and Coach, Loran’s Heart

My favorite self-care activity is journaling. It’s a challenge for me to stay aligned in our fast-paced, high-energy world, especially because I have a “turtle nature.”

Activities like writing, drawing or making collages in my journal help me get centered. I can work out challenges and dilemmas and then move on.  My journal is also a place to record successes too. My early journals were filled with angst but now that I am more mature I can use my journal as a tool for my business and my personal life.  Journaling helps me gain the clarity I need to focus on manifesting my dreams.


Courtney Carver, Minimalist, Blogger At Be More With Less

Yoga is the place I go to heal, pray, create and be. As soon as I step onto a yoga mat, I feel lighter. Even before I start to move, I’m joyful because I know that I am setting aside time to take care of myself. From restorative practices to vigorous exercise, yoga invites me to leave it all on the mat and sends me back into the world with an open heart, more flexible body and creative mind.


Lori Smith – The Passion Diva, Coach, Sacred Earth Partners

Awesome Question!  My favourite ritual is my “Nourishing Morning Ritual”. It starts with setting aside 30 minutes each morning, for quiet time, time to listen to my inner voice. This time allows me time to write in my journal, set my intention for the day. I can think about all the things and people that I am grateful for in my life.

I use visioning, where I sit and think about what my life is going to be like when all my goals have been reached, you know when I am a 101 sitting in my rocking chair.  It can be as easy as creating a quiet environment, find a comfy chair and then take a few minutes to breath.

For me the practice of a Nourishing Morning Ritual has been a GREAT enhancement to my personal life.  Each day I set the intention so each day goes exactly as I intent it to. You can take 15 minutess to do this Morning Ritual or you can take an hour, whatever fits into your lifestyle.


Tea Silvestre, Word Chef

There’s physical self-care (like massages, pedicures and bubble baths) and then there’s mental self-care. And for me, staying connected to my passions requires more of the latter. In my case, that means playing — doing things I love to do, with no regard for “wasting” time or being productive.

Like, reading all day in bed (and not something I need to read for business reasons, but something more frivolous like a supernatural romance); writing a fun essay for my personal blog (wholehogmarvels.com) or spending an afternoon trashing the kitchen in my attempts to bake a scrumptious dessert. These kinds of activities feed my creativity in ways that a bubble bath can’t.


Nona Jordan, The Business Yogini

I nourish myself on most days through meditation. Some days I use visualization, others I just sit and breathe. I find that meditation is like filling up the pitcher of my being with cool, fresh inspiration for my vision. It keeps me connected to my soul, present for my work, and clear headed for my clients.

I consider meditation to be one of the best business strategies I employ, and I trust what comes to me in meditation implicitly. I’ve had countless program ideas, blog posts, and client solutions arrive in meditation.


Amy Kessel, Transformative Life Coach

I have one morning practice that is vital to my self-care; it keeps me centered and aligned with my purpose.  It’s a simple question I use to start my day : I ask, What is calling me most strongly right now?  Then I wait for an answer.  I don’t get out of bed until I’m clear about what wants my attention.  When I turn towards it, I find ways to honor what’s calling me.  Those go on my “to-do” list for the day.  Sometimes the list becomes a “to-be” list instead.


Tanya Geisler, Co-Active Coach

For the most part, I exist in a ridiculously sublime feedback loop of positivity (working with my clients supercharges me to do my best work, bringing out their glorious selves, which brings out the best in me…rinse and repeat with relish).

So, not surprisingly, staying connected with my passion isn’t a challenge. Holding focus for my dreams, however, can be a little trickier: they are big and beautiful and sometimes feel hard to manage.  So I surround myself with like-minded lovelies who I can share wins, fears and challenges with.

I HIGHLY recommend finding the support structure that works best for you: co-work with someone, find an accountability partner, join/start a mastermind group, even assemble an advisory board. Your people are powerful…and they want you to succeed.


Cigdem Kobu, Business Growth Coach to Gutsy Enterprising Women

I don’t have fixed daily self-care rituals or routines. I used to have them, but I no longer believe in imposing upon myself “must do” kind of routines — even if for self-care. My mind and my body tell me what I need and when I need it, and I try my best to fulfill that need as soon as I can.

What I mostly do for myself is make sure that I spend some quality time on my own every single day. That usually means I either sit down to enjoy a book that excites me or I open the window, take a seat in front of it and inhale the rhythm of the wild life going on in our backyard. Enjoying the smell of the earth and the freshly cut grass on my own and in soothing silence never fails to re-energize me.

I also meditate a few times a week early in the morning before I begin to work. When I spend enough “me time,” I feel more motivated to do the work that matters to me. And meditation nurtures my inner calm and wise self that gives me the power and joy to carry on.

Cigdem Kobu is the curator of A Year With Myself, the most comprehensive life transformation program for women, and the founder of Wicked Awesome Life where gutsy women get clear, create and thrive through guides and classes on mindful living and sustainable business.  Follow Cigdem on Twitter @CigdemKobu and on Facebook to keep in touch.


This is a good day to comment twice – because today is Give Away Day!

Each comment, and each tweet (that mentions @saraholeary) will get thrown into the pot. On Friday, I’ll pick a lucky winner who will join our circle at A Year With Myself!! (Thank you Cigdem)

Share in the comments below – which self-care idea will YOU practice this week. Or, maybe you have a different self-care routine to share with all of us?  Don’t hold back!

And remember, more self care wisdom tomorrow – and more fun giveaways. So stop back in tomorrow – or sign up over on the right for Saucy email reminders!

This is the second in a 4-part self care roundup series – here’s where to find the rest:

Self Care Secrets from 13 Wise and Empowered Women
Lovely Self-Care Strategies From 13 More Dynamic Women
Self-Care Extravaganza Concludes – With A Sweet Herbal Give Away


Featured photo by Mark Faviell

56 Responses to 13 More Powerful Self-Care Ideas, My Confession + A Give-Away!

  1. What an awesome group of women, I am so happy to be included with them.

    Love love love talking about self care, so this series really has me excited!

    • I’m so happy to include you Lori! And, yes, it’s one of my favorite subjects too. I’m learning so much from the experience of putting this together. Both from the awesome contributors – and from all the great comments!

  2. Such great company to be in — I’m honored to share, Sarah.

    And I agree with Cigdem — having “shoulds” (even if they’re positive, self-care related) takes all the fun out of it. And if it’s not fun, I ain’t goin’ there.

    BUT – I do appreciate having so many fabulous ideas to get me started. Thanks for sharing your hot sauce with the world!

    • You’re so right Tea (and Cigdem). When it becomes something we ‘should’ do or feel guilty about not doing – well, it doesn’t feel so caring anymore.

      That’s why I’m enjoying so many different types of paths to self-care that are being offered here, and in the comments.

      Reading a book, enjoying a delicious plate of food, drinking a glass of nice wine – all super self-care practices, right?

  3. I’m with Tara on dance as self-care. It’s such a great release and never fails to lift my mood. I also use it as a warm-up for writing and other more sedentary, in-the-brain creative work. Getting my heart pumping and incorporating my whole body helps me focus better afterward.

    More great self-care ideas!

    • I keep wanting to incorporate more dance into my day. And you’ve both got me inspired! Time to kick of the clogs and get dancing! This sounds like a great way to get the brain moving again after too long staring at a computer screen.

  4. I’m definitely on the same page as Cigdem with taking some time for myself each day. For the past month, I made a commitment to meditate every day and give myself the gift of stillness. And while I haven’t experienced any awakenings or deep insights because of it, I have kept my word and taken care of myself – yay! Like so many of us, self care often gets put to the bottom of my list, so your post was such a great reminder for me to keep taking care of myself. It’s so important to serve others from a full glass. 🙂

    • I’ve been doing the same thing since January, Jody. It is beginning to feel like an essential part of my day and definitely an exquisite form of self-care! When you start like that it just feels easier to remember to nurture myself.

      Thanks so much for visiting the blog and for our comment Jody!

  5. More great ideas! I’m loving this and getting inspired to add to my self-care toolbox.

    Before kids it was much easier for me to maintain my morning ritual of journaling, yoga and meditation. With three little ones ages 2, 6 & 8, every day is a different adventure. Most days I do my best to incorporate my yoga practice in somewhere. I feel the same way about it as Courtney. My body and mind tell me when I really need it.

    Living in the mountains, walks in the woods are only a matter of stepping outside. Or I can simply work on my front porch while I take in the breezes, birds singing and amazing views.

    Thanks for bringing together such an amazing group of women (yourself included)!!

    • Thanks Paige – it has been truly inspiring to bask in the warm glow of these self-care offerings.

      I don’t live in the woods, but I’m lucky enough to be able to just step out my door and breathe in some nature as well. Even if I don’t have time for a walk or run, I feel blessed that I can say hello to the plants every few hours.

      Thank YOU for being an essential part of this wisdom circle, Paige!

  6. It’s true that it is so easy for us to give, that sometimes we forget how wonderful and equally nurturing it is to receive. Whenever things slow down or don’t make sense, it’s great to spend time with yourself and reconnect with yourself. Every day, you have to find a way to focus on you and take care of yourself!

    • That’s exactly it Katarina! Thanks for your visit, and hope to see you again here on Holistic Hot Sauce!

  7. That’s exactly it Katarina! Thanks for your visit, and hope to see you again here on Holistic Hot Sauce!

  8. Another good one! ;-)What a contribution this blog is making already.
    I love your confession and would bet it fits a high percentage of people who give advice for a living. And okay, oh so true for lots of us! It’s always about that, isn’t it … self-care first.

    • Do you think so Patti? That makes me feel better. I’m realizing from all the self care ideas that are flowing in, that there are many ways to nurture ourselves that might fit traditional notions of ‘self-care’ LIke just spending time with your good friends. I always made time for that. So maybe I wasn’t as far behind the curve as I thought..  Glad you enjoyed – and thanks for contributing!

  9. Great idea, Sarah! The one that really PINGED me was Amy’s question about “What most needs my attention today?” and waiting for an answer. Love that. I think I’ll try that tomorrow morning.

    Thanks, ladies, for sharing!

    • That one really worked for me too Amy! Asking a question each morning and listening for the answer. Another good questions a dear friend asks is: “how do I want to show up for myself and the world today?”

  10. Hi Sarah,
    Thanks for including me with these wonderful women. I’m going to go check out several that I do not know. I’ve always made time for myself however there is always room for improvement!

    • Thank YOU Tess for contributing and being a part of this Circle. Yay for you for making time for yourself! And maybe it’s not so much ‘room for improvement’ as ‘space to add even more interesting ways to take care of ourselves.’

  11. The one I tried for today was “getting out in nature”
    Just taking a few minutes in the warm (HOT) sunshine and even appreciating the clouds that cooled things off for a moment or two….
    I’d love to win AYWM. I’m so far behind….

    • Yes! Dana I’m so glad you got out in nature today. That’s the one I did too (although it wasn’t too hot around here, more like a little nippy and windy.) I combined that communing with nature with a little exercise and it felt GREAT! Thanks for visiting the blog and for your comment.  I hope you win..!

  12. Hi Sarah,

    Wow, I feel so honored to be amongst these terrific women! Thanks for including me!

    And I appreciate your confession, too. Truth be told, I’m not always so good about bouncing back from setbacks, either.

    Shhhh . . . don’t tell anyone 😉

    • Oh Bobbi, thank YOU for participating your ideas and thoughts for this. You’ve got a lot to share. It’s funny how it can be hard to walk our own talk sometimes. Especially when we’re in the business of helping others. Your secret is safe with me and the Holistic Hot Sauce Circle.

  13. I, too, feel honored to have been asked to participate in your self-care week. Lots of good inspiration too!

    • I’m honored to have you as a part of it Loran. And I love all your beautiful reminders about the joys of journaling. And yes, so much inspiration here – glad you’re liking it!

  14. ohhhh…we live in a beautiful remote area of NM but recently I have spent most of my time inside doing incredibly “important” things, mostly at my computer. What a good reminder to GET OUTSIDE and enjoy the natural world to recharge my batteries…

    • I’m with you Jill! That happens to me all too often, even though I too live in one of the most beautiful places on the planet. When I do get my butt up and outside it always motivates and inspires me though. And once I’m back at the computer I feel filled up and so much more effective at my work.
      Thanks for visiting the blog and for your comment!

    • Jill, I drew your name as the winner in this giveaway!!  but I don’t see a way to contact you. Please send me an email (sarah(at)holistichotsauce(dot) com)  with your contact info and I will get you the info about your free spot in the A Year With Myself full adventure kit!  If I don’t hear from you by mid-week I’ll pick another winner.

  15. What Cigdem said resonates so strongly with me. As someone who resists rules, self-imposed or not, instituting things I have to do–even if good to me–adds stress.

    So, today I commit to asking myself each day what it is I need most. A hot bath. A walk on the beach. An hour of not having to talk to *anyone,* not even my husband, after work while I have a glass of wine and process the day (what I’m actually doing right now).

    I thinking getting quiet and honoring what our bodies call for is important. If I can do that each day, I think it’ll make a huge difference.

    • Right on to that Ellen! What a weird thing that figuring out how to nurture ourselves can sometimes add stress! That’s not what it’s all about!
      You and Cigdem are onto something with just giving yourself a few moments each day to ask yourself – what do I really need today? Sometimes, it’s hanging with someone you love, and sometimes it’s just kicking back all by yourself. The key is listening to your own body and heart – isn’t it?

      •  @saraho I agree, Sarah! The effort for self-care can also add to stress if it’s seen as a “should.” And I want all “shoulds” out of my life! Better to go with the flow.

        •  @cakobu I declared war on shoulds a long time ago.  The only place they still exist at all are in my teaching life.  Teacher guilt is only rivaled by mama guilt!

        •  @Ellen Berg  @cakobu I’m trying to replace the world “should” in my internal dialog with “I want to” or “I get to”  Sometimes I’m laughing at myself, but sometimes I start to actually believe it.

    • No stress about self-care! That’s been the big take-away and learning for me. It’s not something I “should” do or feel guilty about not doing. Because it takes so many forms – just as you say @Ellen Berg . Maybe it’s a glass of wine and some laughter. Maybe it’s simply vegetating on the couch. Maybe it’s chatting with my friends online. All of these make up the self-care package!

  16. This is absolutely wonderful, Sarah! Congrats on your launch. I can’t tell you how happy I am to find such a joyful resource for we women of a certain age 🙂

    •  @DebraEve yay, so glad you’re liking this.  And really tickled to provide this resource for all of us “later bloomers!”

  17.  saraholeary  love the post and love the look of the site Sarah. It is great to see these wise and successful women have self care rituals because it is so necessary. Mine is similar to LoriLynnSmith  The peace of early morning to start the day in a positive way

    •  @CiaraConlon     Thanks for your kind words about the site! It’s been such a joy to learn from so many interesting and successful women – and to learn more from all these awesome readers! I agree, getting off to a peaceful start in the morning sets the tone for the whole day. I’m loving my little ritual of a short meditation followed by some journal writing.

  18. I could really relate, Sarah.  I, too teach about self care but it is all too easy to let it slip.  What an incredible group of women and so many great suggestions for self care.  Your website is such a celebration of women at any age that it is nurturing just to be here!

    •  @clairekerslake1 So glad to hear you’ve enjoyed your visit! I, too, am loving the feeling of celebration and nurturing here – particularly this week! This is a place for us all to nurture and celebrate each other! We each have something to offer one another.

  19. Thanks again for inviting me to share, Sarah! It’s truly an honor to contribute to such a rich “self-care treatise” with so many amazing and wise women.

    •  @cakobu Thank YOU for being a part of this Cigdem, and for your sweet and generous contribution. I know some lucky winner is going to be so thrilled to join A Year With Myself – where they will find access to so much more creative wisdom. It’s truly exciting.

  20. Love this list too. I love the idea of Chris Zydel to get out in nature, remind yourself that the world supports you. I’ve always loved being out in nature – it’s such a strong connection point for me.

    •  @ZenCaffeine Right on! It’s no surprise that no many of the women who shared their thoughts mentioned how a connection with the Earth is their ultimate form of self-care. As women I think we need this even more – to get out, breathe the sweet air, touch a plant, or just somehow feel our connection with the Mother.

  21. I could relate to Tea and Cigdem…I’m an artist and I NEED to do it often if not daily.  But I don’t like to impose any ritual or “must do” on myself.  I’m learning to listen to my body, mind and spirit. 

    •  @CindyHaase Absolutely! Self-care is never about what we ‘must do’ ! Rather, we get to find what activities fill us and nurture us. Sometimes it might be something we want to do every day – and others just once it a while. It’s just all about loving our own selves and filing the well.Thanks for visiting Cindy, and thanks for your thoughtful comment. Hope to see you again!

  22. Yoga is an amazing thing. It is wonderful what breathing accompanied by gentle movements can do to the mind and body. Meditation, too – such a long term quick fix (did that sound right? :D) to feeling good. Loved this post – always a pleasure to be inspired! Thank you, Sarah.

    •  @Vidya Sury  🙂  It sounds just fine! Because I know exactly what you mean: Meditatation is just taking a short time out of each day to get some very long-term results. And yoga will nourish and tonify both mind and body. True self-care involves so many facets, mind, body, emotional life… All so important.

  23. I think it’s time for me to create a self-care ritutal. These are some great ideas! I already do some of the suggestions, like meditation, but not on a routine basis. That needs to change. 

    •  @HappierHuman   So glad this inspired you! Meditation is one self-care routine that I would definitely recommend sticking to on a regular basis. The results can be astounding!

  24. What a lovely compilation, Sarah — thank you so much for putting it together!  Delicious.  I’m another dance appreciator newly inspired to have more of it in my life.  Thanks, Tara!

    •  @amykessel  Thank YOU Amy for contributing your wisdom! And yes, Tara has inspired me to crank up some good music and kick off my clogs when I need a break from the computer. Why wait for some sort of formal going out occasion to get dancing?!

  25. Having the time to just relax and think about how I are doing is enough to get me back on track. Sometimes I even do a little meditation and set my eyes clear on my goal. Thanks for posting these are very helpful tips!

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