Life. Ah. That ol’ chestnut. Has a habit of getting in the way sometimes don’t it? With the rise of people talking about the importance of self care reaching dizzying heights over the last few years, it also brings with it a bit of guilt, when we realise that we’re neglecting our own self care. Sometimes for weeks. Or when there’s a stressful event happening in our lives. Sometimes, we neglect it for months on end. And it can be hard to know how to bring self care back into your life when you’ve neglected yourself for too long.

bring self care back into your life

But seriously, no shame here. I think we’re ALL guilty of neglecting our own self care, whether that’s physical, mental or emotional at some point in our lives. For me, it was when I was in the midst of the worst period of my anxiety disorder. I could barely function to get through the day, let alone have to think FURTHER about self care.

To me, getting through the day WAS self care.

Although of course at the time, that wasn’t how I saw it. At the time, it was living hell (more about that in my book, which you can pre-order here!)

Getting back on track with self care isn’t easy. Especially when you’ve neglected it for far too long. But it’s important. We literally live in a society where we need to be REMINDED to take care of ourselves sometimes… how sad is that? We’re so busy. There’s so much going on around us. We need to be doing all the things, all the time.

And it’s time to stop and reclaim our self care. You, yes, I’m looking at you.

Self care

Here are a few easy to follow steps on how to bring self care back into your life when you’ve neglected yourself for far too long:

Start small and start somewhere

Okay, so the hardest part? Is getting started. Which goes for just about everything in life that seems mildly daunting. So the fact that you’ve even STARTED, is worth congratulating yourself for. If you’ve done nothing even remotely “self care” related in perhaps months and the whole prospect is overwhelming, then booking yourself a full blown spa weekend with no phone, internet or communication probably isn’t the way to go.

Don’t judge yourself

And wherever you DO start, don’t judge yourself for it. If the ONLY act of self care you can manage at the beginning is a having a bath or saying no to that invite that you really don’t want to go to, then that’s fine. I have a habit of feeling guilty about everything (another post for another time) so learning not to judge myself when it comes to self care is hugely important to me. Your journey is YOURS, nobody else’s.

Schedule self care into your day

If you’re not used to self care then you’ll probably make some excuses. Don’t worry, we all do it. “I forgot”, or “I don’t have time”, being the most common. WELL, firstly self care can be nicely slotted into your day in the following ways:

  • Reading on your commute instead of checking your phone
  • Waking up 15 minutes earlier for the peace and quiet
  • Limiting social media time in the evenings
  • Expressing gratitude every night before bed

among many, many other ways that you can start re-introducing self care into your life that won’t take up a bunch of time. And by scheduling it into your day, putting it on your to-do list or blocking out time especially for YOU, it’ll give you that little nudge and remind you that it’s just as important as all the other stuff you have to do during the day.

Gather inspiration for self care activities

Pinterest is a great tool for this one as there are countless blog posts and pins on self care activities which cover more or less everyone’s different interests. Just because someone else finds going to a spa relaxing, doesn’t mean that everyone else will. With self care, it’s all about finding what works for you but if you’re struggling for ideas because it’s been so long, somewhere like Pinterest is a good place to start.

Note down what works and what doesn’t

And speaking of finding what works for you, this is a BIG one. Because not everything you try will make you feel relaxed or happy or better. This is one I’m currently working on now. As I work for myself and work from home, I find it difficult to find a balance between life and work. So I started giving myself full days off, cold turkey, no work. Sometimes no social media either.

And I’ve found that actually… that doesn’t work for me. When I have a day off and don’t HAVE anything to do then literally, I will do nothing. I waste my days. I nap all afternoon. And ultimately, I end up feeling like crap. So whilst yes, having a day off is an important part of self care, working it in a way that suits you is the most important thing.

So for me, I’ve started trying out half days instead. Giving myself a couple of days in the week where I work until midday and then stop. Which seems to be working out much better for me at the moment.

How do you practice self care when you’ve neglected it for a while? Have you ever had a period of time where self care has taken a back seat?


  1. One of my favourite things about your blog is that even when returning to posts I’ve seen before, they still always make me have a hard look at what I’m doing. My self-care the last week or so has been appalling, especially as I literally didn’t leave the house for four days. This is the perfect reminder of some of the things that I can do to hopefully start looking after myself a little better, because I certainly need it right now.

  2. These are such fab tips! I love reading posts about self care they really inspire me to start looking after myself a bit better! Thank you for sharing!

    1. Self care is SO important! Some people seem to think it has to be this grand thing (which it can be) but definitely doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as going for a walk, sitting in the quiet for a couple minutes, watching your favorite show or movie. On the other hand it can also be the non glamorous stuff like going to work, eating healthy, cleaning your living space. 😉

  3. Self care is so important these days! It’s often overlooked, but it’s imperative that we take time for ourselves and aren’t just constantly on the go.

  4. Great post Jenny 🙂 I’m trying to introduce a more regular self-care regime into my life as it can be so important to staying happy and healthy. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this.

  5. I love this post. It really is crazy that we need to be reminded about self-care and to schedule it in, but I know that I certainly am guilty of this. I like your idea of giving yourself just a half day to yourself rather than a full. I’ve been off work for the last 3+ months, and though I’ve had some lazy days and some super productive days, I’ve never really felt good about myself on the lazy days because I literally just vegged. Nothing lovely for myself at all. I’m going back to work next week and I hope that with a new normal, it will feel more natural to incorporate self care again.

  6. Love the openness of this post, and acknowledging how some things may work/not work for an individual person and that’s totally okay! <3

  7. Love this! Once you’ve fallen out of a routine (I know I do) it’s hard to get back into it so these small steps I can see being very beneficial – thank you Jenny!!

  8. I’m so bad at planning my days so end up missing out on self-care time because i need to get stuff done (and procrastinated) but I need to just start scheduling 15 minutes in!

    Ash |

  9. Great post! I love that even something so quick like expressing gratitude for 10 mins every night can make you feel like you’re your number 1 priority and you end up feeling a bit better! During lockdown i’ve been aiming to wake up a bit earlier before work so that I can get out for a walk in the sunshine and it definitely makes me feel more positive! Thank you so much for sharing x

  10. I loved this post! Self-care is so important and something that I need to take more time for, so thank you so much for sharing these tips! Xx

  11. This is such a helpful post for people who have let self care fall away for a bit. I’ve definitely gone through periods of that, particularly when I’m struggling with my mental health. It’s way too overwhelming for me to then try and dive straight back into it, but starting small is so helpful. Even just a nice shower, washing my hair and putting on some moisturiser can start making me feel human again. Now I’ve managed to work up to a full routine, and it’s really helped my balance and happiness!

  12. I’ve definitely fallen into harder times when self care just wasn’t happening at all. It really is so so important. But, so easy to not do for ourselves. I really appreciate this post. I like how you mention to schedule it. That’s very helpful to me. With three kids at home I have to schedule everything for it to get done, so I will definitely be scheduling self care into my days as well. Thank you for another wonderful post Jenny. Sending love and positivity your way.

  13. Self care is so important right now, it’s definitely something at the forefront of my mind right now. Your tips here are so on point and i’ll definitely be sharing this post amongst my community 🙂 thanks for sharing your tips!

    Emmie x

  14. Honestly, I think I am at the “find what works and what doesn’t” stage. I feel like, what use to work for me, no longer does. And trying to find what DOES has been a chore. haha

    Thanks for this honest post. These tips are great. 🙂

  15. If I don’t schedule self-care into my day, I more than likely don’t do it! My brain somehow remembers all the things I need to do except for taking a breather and relaxing.

  16. I’ve never really had a self care routine or scheduled any specific time for it. I think now is a great time to try and work on introducing some to daily routines. And you’re right about starting with something small, even something tiny is better than nothing x

  17. My counted on, non-negotiable daily “self-care” routines are my morning devotions, exercise, and a bit of reading before bed. If all else fails, I know I will at least have three instances in the day where I can clear my mind and focus on being mindful. Also, isn’t it funny how we ~can~ be doing things that are going to better us in the long run but are actually a block in the present?? This is what I’ve had to realise the last week or so. I’ve been working soooo much and so hard on schoolwork, but it was and is d r a i n i n g. And I love, love, love to run, and it does me the world of good, but I have “onset” shin splints, so I have to be careful, even when I think I can run. So, I’ve been allowing myself to take a break longer than 15 minutes and even up to 2 hours if it’s going to help me stay focused on my work, and I’ve chosen to take the week off of running and only do weights/stretching. It’s been helping so much! (Also, jotting “sunbathe” on my daily to-do has been a new addition with this nice weather, and it’s so motivating and satisfying to check that off :’))

    1. I totally see where you’re coming from with the better us in the long run thing! It’s important to have that balance. Sometimes, doing something just because we want to do it NOW is critical for self care. Not because we know “hey! this will help me in a weeks time!” x

  18. I definitely needed to read this post today, thank you for sharing Jenny! The past week I have been feeling quite unmotivated and that is when my self-care isn’t the best. This week I have started adding in a few things back in which I know makes me feel better like some yoga or a little walk. Like you say, we have to find out what works best for us, as we are all different. Thank you for sharing these suggestions and hope you are having a good week <3 xxx

    Bexa |

  19. I love the tips you have shared with self-care! It is important that we do what we can to make sure we are sane. I totally agree with you about waking up earlier. I love being able to catch up with overnight notifications in the morning. Thanks for sharing all of these great ideas!

    Nancy ♥

  20. You are right, we are all different and we should not impose on ourselves strategies that work for other people. What works for you might probably not work for me and that’s fine. It’s part of self care. For me personally, I go with the flow of things, it all depends on my mood. Some days I sleep the whole day, others I dedicate to work, clean and many others

  21. Especially the part about the ‘don’t judge yourself’ hits home with me. Every time I sit still I feel guilty, thanks for reminding me it’s okay to relax!

  22. Funnily enough, my gratitude ends up being expressed when I wake up. I also like to pull some tarot and oracle cards in the morning, look at them for hints as to what I should work on during the day, and reflect on the new meanings I see in the cards by the time the day ends. It is relaxing for me and helps me focus on one thing. 🙂

  23. I’m also doing half days, I guess! I’m just working whenever I get a burst of motivation and inspiration, which is more or less every other day. I give myself a break when I’m just not feeling up to the productivity and I don’t let myself feel an ounce of guilt for it 🙂 Love these tips gal xx

  24. I really relate to your point about having days off doing nothing – I’ve tried this so many times but like you I end up napping most of the time and I just feel miserable afterwards because I’ve wasted a valuable day off. I sometimes feel I’m better having half a day off or just a couple of hours once or twice a week! Thanks for sharing xx

  25. Keeping note of what works and what doesn’t is super important! Sometimes we don’t internalise these things without seeing them written down in front of us! Fab post xx

  26. These are some great tips Jenny. I know I’ve been neglected my self care recently; I’ve found it hard to adapt my usually routine into the lockdown situation. I’m in lockdown at my boyfriend’s studio flat, so there goes my bubble baths and enjoying the outdoors in the garden. At the moment, video games and Netflix are my saviours.

  27. Great tips! Personally, I have to schedule self care into my day or it doesn’t happen… I get too caught up in everything else that I need to and want to get done, and it’s forgotten about in the shuffle. At least if I schedule it, then I tend to remember to stop and dedicate that important time focusing on ME.

  28. I love this post. I’ve read so many self are ones over the last few months that just focus on candle-lit bubble baths and face masks. Don’t get me wrong, I love those as much as the next gal, but it doesn’t always work for me mentally. Like you, I can’t actually have a day of doing nothing. Self-care for me is doing particular tasks that I know always relax me and help me feel better in myself, even when others think I’m still being busy. Love this!

  29. Such a lovely post, Jenny, so calming to read. I struggle to fit self-care into my day because everything else always seems to take priority but I’d never thought about just carving out 15 minutes first thing in the morning. Or booking out a half day. Somewhere along the way self-care seems to have become this mammoth full on experience (bath, hair wrap, body pampering) that I don’t want but actually, you’re right, it’s what works for you. Great suggestions, thank you so much xxx

    Lisa |

  30. We could all do with these reminders some days. Like you, getting through the day was my self-care. In reality I was just hanging on by a thread. It’s so important that we step back and think about what we really need to do to recharge our batteries.

  31. Some really good tips here – I find scheduling self-care into my calendar really helps to get me to actually do it, and I love you’ve included to focus on whether something works or not. I used to spend lots of time doing self-care activities because people said they were good, even when they didn’t actually help me – left me feeling frustrated and like self-care was pointless! Now I only focus on things that work for me and it’s much easier and more effective.

  32. Figuring out what works and what doesn’t work for you is so important! We have this idea that self care is just candles, bath bombs and meditation (and it is – but just a small aspect). I’m not great at meditation but I have been trying it out every now and then to get into the practice of it, but i would defo not use meditation as my go-to form of ‘self-care’. For a period, I felt bad that I wasn’t getting the benefits of it like everyone would say. Now ive accepted it’s not my way to unwind! xx

    1. Meditation is such a practice and can take YEARS to get the hang of! I think the main thing is to not beat yourself up if your mind wanders or if you can’t focus. I’ve been meditating more or less every day for years now but some days I just can’t drop in and end up leaving it!

  33. I love this post! Self care is so important. I’ve been making sure to take time everyday to soak in the tub or enjoy a few chapters of the book I am currently reading and that helps so much!

  34. Excellent post that I can really relate to. I have started reading magazines each evening as I have either been working non stop or doing housework to try and take my mind off things and those haven’t been working so well.

  35. I love this! Last week I had such a lovely time, relaxing at home and getting on top of my mental health. After going back to work this weekend though I’ve been feeling more anxious than ever – I really needed your self care advice today x

    Kate |

  36. I don’t think I realised how I had been neglecting self care until I read this post.

    I can’t remember the last time I really looked after me, too busy looking after everyone else!

    I’ll be making sure I make time for me during my Delayed Easter break X

  37. Oh yes, self care is more important than ever right now! I am home alone with two children and finding time for myself is proving tricky, but I managed a little home-spa treatment while they were in the bath at the weekend.

  38. This is great, thank you for sharing! I tend to forget about self-care and end up making myself feel crap but I have started scheduling in time just for a face mask or reading for half an hour xx

  39. This post is so great! I make sure I schedule self care into my diary always because it is important to me! I love the “just start somewhere” as well! Great post xxx

  40. argh yes I am certainly guilty of using the phrase ‘I don’t have time’, doing simple things like cooking or baking is something I really wanna make sure I schedule in every other day as personally I find it so relaxing!

  41. I definitely agree that you just have to start somewhere! Even if it’s just one thing that’s classed as “self care”. But I think it’s important to remember that self care differs for everyone! So like you say, it’s not something to be judged!

  42. I have definitely been known in the past to neglect self-care but thankfully I have gotten better over time. I used to judge myself a lot regarding self-care vs being productive so this post was really useful – thanks Jenny! 🙂

  43. Self-care is so important to remember, especially at the minute! Scheduling it into your day is a really good idea to remember it!

  44. I think this is great advice, I’ve shared some self-care on my blog but I think this is a great post for people who don’t know how they are going to start practising.

    Abigail |

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