Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the busy pace of life and the constant demands on your time? Taking care of yourself might not always be a priority, but it should be. Self-care is essential for maintaining good mental and physical health. We all have unique needs when it comes to self-care, which is why creating your personalised self-care menu is the perfect way of maintaining a self-care habit.
Find out what a self-care menu is, and how to create one. You can even use my sample self-care menu to help get you started, and of course, the free printable self-care menu template to create your own.
Why Self-Care Matters
Self-care is essential to maintaining good mental health and physical health. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
It means reducing the impact of burnout by constantly being busy and on the go. We live in a world now where being busy is almost a status symbol, but it doesn’t mean you need to subscribe to that!
By taking the time to look after ourselves, we can reduce stress and feel more relaxed and energised.
Self-care also helps us to build resilience, improve coping skills, and strengthen our relationships with others. However, when we’re busy, it can be challenging to make self-care a priority.
That’s why having your own menu of self-care habits is a great option!
What Is A Self Care Menu?
A self-care menu is a list of self-care activities that you enjoy, sorted by the time commitment they require.
It’s like a menu in a restaurant, but instead of food, you’re creating a list of things that help you feel your best.
If you’ve only got a small amount of time, you can choose a snack or starter. If you’ve got more time to spare, head straight for a main dish or dessert.
Creating a self-care menu helps us to create a list of self-care ideas that we enjoy, so we can ditch the overwhelm of trying to decide what activities to choose.
It makes it more fun, while reminding ourselves to engage in good habits to be our best selves.
How To Create Your Own Self-Care Menu
Creating your self-care menu is easy. Here is how you can create your own self-care menu:
Step One – Brainstorm
Set aside time to think about the self-care activities you enjoy. Ask yourself what makes you feel good, what helps you relax, and what nourishes your soul. Brainstorm as many ideas as you can and add them to a list of self-care ideas.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong answer, and what works for you might not work for someone else.
That’s why this is your personal self-care menu, specifically with things you love to do.
Step Two – Categorise Into ‘Meals’
Once you have a list of self-care activities, it’s time to organise them into categories.
To do this, first choose your menu headings. For example, Healthy Snacks, Starters, Main Course, Dessert, Buffet.
Here are my examples for each course of your menu:
- Drinks – This can be quite literal, such as actual snacks and drinks that nourish your body.
- Starters – These are self-care activities that typically take under 15 minutes
- Main Course – The main dish items are longer activities that take a couple of hours
- Dessert – These are activities that aren’t quite as quick as starters but something you can do with a spare half hour.
- Banquet – This is a full-day or extended activity to nourish you completely.
Alternative Idea: Some people prefer to set up their self-care menu instead as the forms of self-care, such as physical self-care, emotional or mental self-care, social self-care. If this is what works best for you, do this instead!
Step Three – Create Your Menu
Now it’s time to create a visual representation of your self-care menu.
This can be a printable template, such as the free printable self-care template I have created for you.
Or you can create your own version in your journal, planner or on a whiteboard.
You can also create a digital version using various apps and tools on your phone or computer – such as your phone’s notes app or a free program such as Canva.
The important thing is to make sure it’s readily accessible whenever you need it.
Having this visual on display not only makes it easy to refer to, but also serves as a reminder to take regular care of yourself!
Step Four – Use Your Menu
Now that you have your self-care menu ready, it’s time to put it into action.
Make a conscious effort to incorporate at least one activity from each course into your daily or weekly self-care routine.
When it comes to choosing from your Snacks and Starters menu, these are quick self-care activities that don’t require much time or forward planning.
This makes them perfect for your daily routine!
Sample Self-Care Menu
Here’s a sample self-care menu to give you some inspiration. Feel free to use this exact self-care menu if the activities included are the type of self-care activities you enjoy.
Otherwise, use this sample menu to put together your own version with the free template, adding self-care options that make YOU feel good!
- Eat a healthy snack
- Drink a green smoothie
- Enjoy a herbal tea
- Drink a glass of water in a comfy chair
- Eat your favourite treat
- Write in your journal
- Read a chapter of a book
- Do some gentle stretches
- Identify 3 things you are grateful for right now
- Dance around the house
- Find some self-care affirmations to display
- Spend 5 minutes in the sunshine getting some vitamin D
- Put on skin lotion
- Do some colouring in
- Play with your pet
- Do a brain dump or to-do list to free up space in your mind
- Take some deep breaths
- Get a massage
- Go for a swim
- Watch a movie
- Cook yourself a nourishing meal
- Catch up with a friend or family member
- Plan your dream vacation
- Play video games or board games
- Try an online class
- Get a facial
- Get your nails done
- Take a nap
- Visit a museum or art gallery
- Take yourself on a solo date
- Take a relaxing bubble bath
- Go for a walk in nature
- Practice yoga or meditation
- Talk to a friend on the phone
- What an episode of a show you love
- Have an indulgent dessert
- Do a fitness class
- Paint your nails
- Take a long shower
- Declutter or organise a space in your home
- Listen to a podcast
- Indulge in a spa day
- Go on a weekend away
- Have a sleepover with your bestie
- Go on a hike
- Attend a social event
- Volunteer in your community
- Plan a staycation
- Attend a wellness retreat
- Take a day trip somewhere new
- Schedule a mental health day off work
Free Printable Self-Care Menu Template
To help you get started with creating your own self-care menu, I have created a free printable self-care menu template. You can download it and fill in the sections with the activities you love:
Creating your own self-care menu not only helps you identify the care activities that nourish you, mind, body and soul, but it also helps keep you more accountable by having it on display somewhere that you can refer to it often.
This is especially a great idea of you’re someone who often doesn’t make time for yourself as much as you know you should, so plan your menu and choose your next course of healthy habits!