Lifestyle self-growth Wellness

20 Things to Start Doing for Yourself


One of the most important relationships in your life is the one you have with yourself. How often do you nourish it?

How often do you make yourself, or your own happiness, a priority? You spend a lot of time giving. Giving yourself to others, your work. Life gets busy and you often put yourself last.

You sometimes commit to doing things you don’t feel like doing.

Some days, you can’t help but beat yourself up over a stupid mistake you’ve made.

You have fear of being judged stopping you from doing and trying things you’ve always wanted to do. Perhaps, you’ve heard the world tell you that it’s “too late” for you to make a change, to try new things, to stir things up.

Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s never too late. It’s never too late to make a change- and all big changes happen with a single step or a small mindset shift.



1. Learn to say “no.”

How often do you say “yes” to things you don’t necessarily feel like doing?  Commit to doing things you know you don’t want to do? It’s okay to say “no.” Not only is it okay, it’s important to learn to say “no.” Learn to say it without feeling guilty and set boundaries.

2. Start facing your problems, head on.

Having something hanging over your head- whether it may be, can be mentally exhausting. It’s the last thing you think of before you go to bed, and the first thing you think of, the moment you open your eyes. Sit down with a piece of paper, and ask yourself “what is one small step that I can take RIGHT NOW?” Problems don’t resolve themselves, so don’t be afraid to take action, even if it’s very small. Don’t wait until last-minute, acknowledge the problem and take action.

3. Make yourself a priority.

Sometimes, you want to keep pushing through, no matter how tired or exhausted you are. You give a lot of yourself to others, but how much do you give to yourself? Sometimes it’s hard to come to a realization that yes, your needs matter. You can be a parent, a partner, a spouse, you’re running or starting a business, you’re a brother, sister, maybe you’re taking care of a loved one. Don’t stop giving yourself to others, but realize that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Grab lunch with a friend. Read a few pages of a book first thing in the morning, grab a cup of coffee from your favorite place, on your way home from work. Your needs and feelings matter.

4. Be gentle with yourself.

Pay attention to the way you talk to yourself. Do you tend to put yourself down, when things don’t go your way? How often do you criticize yourself for mistakes you’ve made? Be gentle with yourself. Talk to yourself the same way you’d talk to a friend or a little sister. Guard your speech– especially when you talk to and about yourself.

5. Learn to be happy for others.

From my experience, this is something that is a bit difficult for a lot of people. Why? The answer is simple: envy. It’s not always easy to be happy for someone when you see them finally catching a break when you’ve been working hard for years and are still trying to catch yours. I have a very simple mindset that I dive into whenever those feelings of jealousy take over: I feel happy for that person. I treat that as proof that it CAN be done. Think of it at as the Universe (or God or Divine Presence, whatever you believe in) whispering to you “these are the things you want, they’re coming your way.” When you see people who’ve accomplished things you hope to accomplish one day, be happy.  Learn from them. Let go of the comparison, don’t allow yourself to become bitter and lose focus of what’s important to you.

6. Start forgiving and learn to let go.

Learn to forgive, not just yourself, but others, too. Don’t hold grudges- they don’t serve you. Forgive yourself for the bad decisions you’ve made. It takes courage to do that, to admit that. So be courageous and learn to let go and move on.

7. Work on small goals, every single day.

Keep growing, keep learning. It’s okay to take small steps. Small changes lead to big results and every major change starts with a single step.

8. Start noticing the beauty of small, everyday things.

You don’t have to wait for something big, huge to happen, in order to celebrate, to be happy or excited. Beautiful and amazing things happen every single day- you just have to learn to notice them.

9. Once in a while, take a mental day off.

Okay, so we can’t always afford to take an entire day off. But perhaps, you can take a few hours a week and spend that time clearing your mind? Meditating, journaling, reading, or simply sitting in a park, staring at the sky, listening to the wind, feeling the sun on your skin. Whatever you choose to do, remember to turn off your phone, to just disconnect from the world, once in a while.

10. Be yourself.

Be yourself- not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” ― Henry David Thoreau
You have the world telling you what to do, who to be, every single day. Start living on your own terms. Don’t try to be like anyone else, remember that one of your most amazing qualities, is your uniqueness. You are unique and nothing, no one can replace you.

Don’t listen when the world tells you that you’re “too old” to try something new, or that it’s “too late” for you to do something incredible with your life.

11. Cherish and nurture your relationships.

How many of us have good friends, know amazing people, that we haven’t called or written to in years? When life gets busy, when we “grow up” and suddenly have to deal with all kinds of stuff like school, or family, career or a mortgage, everything else becomes less important. Sometimes we get lost in that “chase” we forget to appreciate how great some of our relationships are; with our partner, mother, friend. If you don’t already, start nurturing those relationships. Take time out for a weekly lunch, or a phone call with someone you love. It’s the people around us who make this life so great. Happiness is being able to share things like your small victories, with someone you love.

12. Start making time for doing the things you love.

Maybe you used to paint, played an instrument, maybe life got so busy that you no longer seem to have time to read, even? Make time for things you love, things that bring you joy, things that put a smile on your face.

13. Learn to celebrate your victories.

How often do you tell yourself “go you!” or “good job!”- my guess is that for most of us, it’s not very often. Because once you accomplish one thing, you’re either want to get better at it, or you already have your sight set on another goal. However small, start celebrating your victories.

14. Start spending more time in the present.

This present moment is all you have, now, is the most important moment, always. Stop wishing you were someplace else– that’s something most of us do, all the time. Try being more mindful, learn to pay attention to the present moment.

15. End toxic relationships.

Doing this can sometimes be painful, and scary. Especially if we’re talking about long-term friendships, relationships. Realize that if there comes a point when you give more of yourself, but receive nothing in return, other than constant negativity, emotional dumping- it’s time to move on.

16. Start treating your body well.

Eat healthily, it’s really not as difficult as you might think. Ditch the soda, start reading labels (you’d be surprised at how many foods marketed as “healthy” are complete garbage). Be gentle with your body. Stretch every morning and night, try dry-brushing, spend some time outdoors. Skip the elevator and take the stairs. All of these small things will add up and help you feel better.

17. Start doing more things that scare you.

Getting out of your comfort zone is the only way to grow. Trying new things is sometimes scary- but it can leave you feeling free, accomplished and it’s the only way to become courageous. Are there any things you’ve been putting off doing or trying for years? Don’t listen to fear, don’t give it power. You have to feel the fear and do it anyway.

18. Create a regular gratitude practice.

I’ve always thought of myself as a grateful person, but it wasn’t until I started a daily gratitude practice, that I’ve realized how much I have taken for granted over the years. With regular gratitude practice, you start paying attention to all the “good” in life. You start seeing just how great your life is, despite some of the struggles. There is so much to be grateful for, even if your circumstances are far from ideal.

19. Stop waiting + start doing. 

If you wait for a perfect moment, or an opportunity to come, you might spend the rest of your life waiting. Stop waiting. Don’t put things off for years. Start doing, start where you are.

20. Start giving more love to yourself, and others. 

Here’s one of the most important things to start doing for yourself: give more love. To yourself and those around you. At work, at home, when getting groceries- be kind. Sometimes, it seems like the world is a scary, mean place. Something as simple as a store clerk giving you an attitude can ruin your day- remember to always be kind. It’s up to us to help make the world a kinder, more loving place. Be kind to others, guide them and help whenever you can.

What are some things that you want to start doing for yourself? Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do or try, but you’ve been putting off for a while? How often do you take time out for yourself, tell yourself you’re doing a good job?


  • Reply
    Genevieve Cordery
    September 14, 2017 at 8:55 am

    You make a lot of really great points in this post. Spending more time in the present is something I’m really bad at. I am always planning ahead, or learning from past mistakes and I hardly spend any time in the present. Thanks for sharing all this!

    Genevieve |

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 14, 2017 at 10:02 am

      It definitely is a bit difficult these days, to stay present. Practicing mindfulness does help, though!

  • Reply
    Christine C.
    September 14, 2017 at 9:25 am

    I relate to so many of these points. Especially learning to say no and to ending toxic relationships. I had recently ended a very long friendship (was family also) because it was horribly toxic. Was it awkward and did it hurt me? YES, but honestly I have to tell you that no longer having that negative energy in my life has been amazing and I never realized how much that person was dragging me down. LOVED this post!

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 14, 2017 at 10:05 am

      It’s so difficult when it comes to those relationships- especially when it’s someone close (I’ve been there, too). It’s hard, but you’re better off and as sad as it is, sometimes you just have to let go and not let others drag you down with them. Thank you, Christine!

  • Reply
    Linda Libra Loca
    September 14, 2017 at 10:01 am

    I am pretty good at taking care of myself, the thing I need to work on though is celebrating my victories and guarding my speech. To say: Well done more often than That could have been better.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 14, 2017 at 10:05 am

      So happy to hear that! I think we all could use a bit more of positive self-talk. We all tend to be way too harsh on ourselves, sometimes.

  • Reply
    Yvonne Ashon
    September 14, 2017 at 10:18 am

    Stop waiting start doing. Wise words

  • Reply
    September 14, 2017 at 10:19 am

    I love reading lists like these. They prove to be such a gentle reminder to do more of what I’ve been doing or, if I’ve been slacking on self-care, it’s a nudge in the right direction. I’ve honestly think I’ve been doing a great job, but as with anything there’s room for improvement. I think for me, #16 and #18 would be a great place to start. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 9:05 am

      Thanks, Sheriden! Happy to hear you’ve been doing such a good job at self-care. A regular gratitude practice can really change your mindset and outlook on things, so much.

  • Reply
    September 14, 2017 at 10:43 am

    I totally agree with these – I’ve started doing more of these things and I find I feel so much more relaxed and happy when I do x

    Jenny | LuxeStyle

  • Reply
    Janah Jay
    September 14, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Learn to say no – this is so important for growth and something that I’ve had to start practising recently as I always say yes to things I don’t necessarily want to do as I hate disappointing people! But I’ve discovered it really does feel good to put yourself first sometimes and be strong in the decisions you make. Yet another great post, Paula! xxx

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:02 am

      I have a bit of a people-pleaser inside me too, and learning to say “no” is definitely one of the hardest things to learn to do, when you don’t like disappointing anyone. It’s definitely something that makes you feel stronger and helps to get clarity when it comes to your priorities, that’s for sure. x

  • Reply
    Ania Cakes
    September 14, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    I could sing my name under all of those. I love reading posts like this, I think it’s really important to spread a message about taking care of ourselves. Ania x

  • Reply
    Paulina Górska
    September 14, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    Your post is so real! Very often we forget about that we should put our happiness on the first place, because if we won’t believe in ourselves, who will? I love these words of Marilyn Monroe. :)

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Yesss! Love that! We definitely need to believe in ourselves a bit more and learn to make our own happiness a priority. I think that once we do that, we can give so much more, to others. Thanks for stopping by, Paulina!

  • Reply
    Kimberly van Menxel
    September 14, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    number 19 is something i really need to start doing, not waiting around but starting doing. And now i kind of realize the irony while stating that haha

  • Reply
    Julia Speaks
    September 14, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    Paula, this is exactly the post I need right now! I’ve just started a university programme that is very demanding and these last two weeks have been a bit of a challenge, and I have unfortunately forgotten about many things on this list… Like making myself a priority and celebrating my victories – I keep pushing myself to work more, but I definitely should take a step back and allow myself to celebrate all the effort I’ve already put in, and stop thinking I’m not doing enough.
    This type of post is my absolute favourite on your blog, keep up the amazing work and thank you! :)

    Julia x
    Last post: Hidden Gardens in Paris |

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:08 am

      Thank you so much, Julia. Caring for yourself is so important- I wish I had done some of those things when I was still in school. I know what it’s like to be incredibly tough on yourself. It’s okay to push yourself, but it’s so important that you realize how great you’re doing. I’m sure you’ll do amazing at your program, I’m sending you all the good vibes and I’m so happy you realize that you need to practice some quality self-care :) Thank you so much for reading- SO happy you liked this post. :) xx

  • Reply
    Ariadna Morell
    September 14, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    Learning to say no is something I’ve been doing for about a year now, I realised I kept doing things and going to places I didn’t really want to just because I didn’t want to say no to people. But why do something that’s not gonna benefit you in any way or bring you happiness, it’s simply a waste of time! x

    Ariadna || RAWR BOWS

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:16 am

      I totally agree! Learning to say “no” can make such a big difference-definitely brings more clarity and lets you focus on things you want to do and work on, rather than waste your time doing something you don’t feel like doing.

  • Reply
    Samantha Frances
    September 14, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    You never fail to write the most inspiring and helpful posts Paula <3 This will be another one of your posts added to my bookmark list to come back to whenever I need a pick me up – I completely agree with everything and honestly, your tip for being happy for others that you spoke about in a previous post as well has changed the way I look at things! I really try my hardest to see other peoples goals as proof that I can do it too, instead of feeling bitter that I'm not there yet! Absolutely brilliant <3 xxx

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Aww thank you so much, Samantha, this makes me so happy to hear and it means the world to me. Sending all my love!!

  • Reply
    Kaeleen With Dignity + Coffee
    September 14, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Needed this! I try to be gentle to myself, but sometimes it’s not easy. Trying to make it easy!

    xo, kaeleen |

  • Reply
    Very Much Mia
    September 15, 2017 at 12:34 am

    Learning to let go of resentment and forgive has been the biggest improvement in my life lately. I totally agree that holding grudges does’t serve you- it only weighs you down! This was a lovely post!

    Mia |

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:09 am

      They most certainly do weigh you down. Everything becomes so much easier when you don’t spend most of your time holding on to negative experiences you went through.

  • Reply
    September 15, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Your posts always leave me feeling inspired and motivated – thank you for that! I do barely any of these, but they are so important. Facing my problems head on is one thing I am particularly bad at but I do really want to get better at it xo

    Sophie | Sophar So Good

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:20 am

      Naww Sophie, thank you so much! Facing your problems can feel a bit intimidating and we always put everything off until last minute, but once you start taking small steps towards resolving your problems it takes away so much from that anxiety.

  • Reply
    Emmalisa Tilli
    September 15, 2017 at 7:08 am

    LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!! Where do I start, darling!!!?? You literally use the correct words to visualise everything for your audience, I noticed you also have updated your blog and its FANTASTIC and your photo OMG You’re a doll!!!!! <3 <3 <3 I NEED to bookmark this for myself, especially when I move….. I am a huge believe of self-care, and looking after yourself in order to do so or give to others. I absolutely love this piece…. You deserve an AWARD!!!! <3

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:21 am

      Awww thank you so much, my Love you are SO sweet!! So happy to hear you’re also a self-care believer. Thank you so much for such a kind and sweet comment!!! <3 <3

  • Reply
    September 15, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    That’s such a motivating and inspiring post! Thank you so much for sharing. I always forget to do things for myself – especially things that bring me out of my comfort zone, it’s just so darn cozy in there.

    Love, Kerstin

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:11 am

      It is! I am such a creature of habit and loved staying in my comfort zone- it’s nice when you can find someone, a friend or a partner, who helps you to push those comfort limits, too and get you to do things you’re a bit scared to do. :)

  • Reply
    Aleksandra // bunniesaremagic
    September 16, 2017 at 4:29 am

    I just had a conversation with my boyfriend yesterday about saying no – something I am very good at, actually. I tried to explain to him that harsh truth is better than sweet lie 9 out of 10 times, but still not sure if I managed to convince him :)

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:12 am

      I love that. How I wish that I was always like that- I used to be such a people pleaser and never found saying “no” easy. Now it comes much easier to me and I’m so much happier for it ;)

  • Reply
    Demilade Aina
    September 16, 2017 at 9:56 am

    You always write such great posts, these are all wonderful suggestions. I know I should do these things but it’s so easy to forget sometimes, thank you for the reminder. Since the beginning of the year, I have tried to be myself completely because I have come to the realization that I am enough. I don’t need to be someone I’m not, I just need to be the best version of myself :)
    Coco Bella Blog

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:13 am

      I love what you said here Demilade- I don’t need to be someone I’m not. I love that SO much. The only person we should compete with, are older versions of ourselves. Love your outlook on this!

  • Reply
    Юля Журавлева
    September 17, 2017 at 3:31 am

    Beautiful pictures! Thank you and interesting post ♥

  • Reply
    Of Ashes & Bones
    September 17, 2017 at 7:23 am

    Couldn’t be more agree with all of this. I think the older we get, the more we need to learn to not feel guilty to say no. I don’t know why it is so hard sometimes to say no. hha

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 17, 2017 at 11:14 am

      I don’t know either, but I think it sometimes has something to do with us not wanting to disappoint people. it’s definitely a difficult thing to learn to do, but it feels so good, once you do! :)

  • Reply
    Naya //
    September 17, 2017 at 11:10 am

    I feel like printing that top picture and hanging it to my wall! So well put together, Paula. Numbers 6, 7, 8 in particular – so very important. Thanks for the inspiration dear xx

  • Reply
    Danielle Alexa
    September 17, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    Such a great blog post, I agree with every single point, especially ending toxic relationships. I did this a couple years ago and it was the best thing that I ever did!

    Danielle xx

    • Reply
      Paula @
      September 20, 2017 at 10:46 am

      It can definitely be difficult, but at the same time, it feels amazing when you let go of those relationships. x

  • Reply
    September 17, 2017 at 4:53 pm

    It’s always a pleasure to read your tips Paula ! Have a great week ahead ! xx
    Kédidja ~

  • Reply
    Natalie Redman
    September 18, 2017 at 8:02 am

    Great post! Love this.

  • Reply
    Abi Street
    September 19, 2017 at 7:36 am

    These are such lovely points, and definitely so so helpful! x

    Abi | abistreetx

  • Reply
    September 25, 2017 at 5:32 pm

    I know there is an important quote for us:

    “Remember today, for it is the beginning.
    Today marks the start of a brave new future.”

    and if you care, you should read that article:

  • Reply
    Rosie Tesmenitskaya
    September 26, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Start noticing the beauty of small moments :)

  • Reply
    Jess Athorn
    September 29, 2017 at 8:47 am

    Yes, yes and yes some more! This is so important and you are doing the world a service by sharing this

    Jess |

  • Reply
    October 15, 2017 at 12:06 pm

    I found quite cute points in that article. But when I saw “say no” I’ve just remembered that “Yes Man” movie. Also that movie had some important points for us.

    Additionally, if you wonder you can read that article too:

  • Reply
    Oluwakemi Loriade
    November 13, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    I recently discovered your blog and *love* every post I have read so far. Thank you for taking the time to share with us what you have learned in terms of wellness, wellbeing and personal development. It’s all incredibly useful. I’ve been feeling a bit down lately and thought of things to feel better/ take better care of myself but never considered that #17 (“Start doing more things that scare you”) would be one….. But you convinced me. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Saher Saad
    December 10, 2017 at 6:56 am

    love this & love your blog.

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