Twelve Days of Self-Care

I am a strong believer in keeping things simple.

The less complicated things are, the more likely we are to repeat the behaviour.

Especially when it comes to health and happiness habits.

Twelve Days of Self Care

Day 1: Mindful Mornings

Add five to ten minutes of relaxation to each of your morning routines. Time expands when you savour your smoothie mindfully.

Day 2: Soothing Stretches

Wherever you are right now – stand up. Put your arms to the ceiling and take a long breath. Bring your arms to your toes and hold them there. Repeat five times throughout the day. Show your limbs some love today.

Day 3: Lingering Lunches

When was the last time you took a break during lunch? No phone. No computer. Just you and your turkey sandwich. Today is that day. Cherish your lunch. Enjoy every bite. Give yourself the gift of a lunch break.

Day 4: Movement is Medicine

My favourite way to improve the day is through movement. Whether it be a stroll around the block, hugging a tree in the park, or a one-hour cardio session at the club. Do what works for you, independent of everyone else. Commit to moving one extra step today.

Day 5: Fresh Air

Immerse yourself in fresh air today. Especially when you hit a roadblock in creativity. Go outside. Look up at the sky. Watch the clouds float by.

Day 6: Silence

When was the last time you sat in silence? Today is that day. Set an alarm on your phone for three hours from now. Start with seven minutes of absolute silence. Write down what you find out about yourself.

Day 7: Reading Time

Devote one hour to reading today. Including this magazine!

Day 8: Blissful Boundaries

When you are available to everybody all the time, you are unavailable to yourself. Start by setting a boundary between you and technology. Turn off your phone and computer for 12 hours straight.

Day 9: Soothing Scents

Out of all five senses, smell has the strongest link to emotion and memory. Which is why a scent like peppermint can transport you instantly to another time and dimension.

Day 10: Ground Yourself

Cover the floor with all your favourite blankets. Take a long deep breath and take in the view of your house from a different perspective.

Day 11: Matinee Movie

Take yourself to a matinee movie today! Spoil yourself with popcorn and ice-cold pop.

Day 12: Mirror Affirmations

Write a love letter to yourself and post it on your bathroom mirror. Read it out loud, every chance you get.

12 Days of Self-Care first appeared in my psychology column for The Drive Magazine. ™️

47 thoughts on “Twelve Days of Self-Care

    1. Thank you Syl! Hearing from you always brings light to my day. Especially now. May all the goodness you bring to our world come back to you in unexpected magical ways this Christmas season. Grateful for you! 🪄✨💛

      1. You are so very welcome! Your visits and posts always lift my spirit. Thank you very much for your inspiring words and spirits. You are appreciated beyond the max. 🌟💫💛

  1. I believe in what you have recommended Dr Andrea. Specially the suggestion on setting boundaries and silence. All these recommendations seem simple but are so relevant and generally neglected.
    Stay blessed always Dr Andrea 🙏🌹🙏

    1. As an Human Resources professional you get these twelve practices especially.

      And the bonus is that both — Day 6: Silence and Day 8: Blissful Boundaries will not only enhance personal health and peace, it will also enhance the well-being of our relationships.

      “Absence makes the heart grow fonder”.

      Let people miss you.


    1. Thank you so much! I hope you have a chance to practice self-care during the holidays and give back to yourself the way you give to others. Health, Peace, and Happiness are the best gifts of all. 🎄♥️🎁

    1. Merry Christmas to you too Eliza! Curious to know, which of the 12 self-care techniques resonates with you the most? And if not on this list — what brings you calm and peace during the excitement of the holidays and uncertainty of our times? I would love to know. Andrea 💭 🎁 🧘‍♂️

      1. I use #1-8 daily, the other 4 not so much… esp. the movies… haven’t been in an enclosed public place since March 2020. I miss movies, concerts and restaurants, but at least I live in a beautiful rural area that sustains my soul. ❤

        1. I love it! Your daily wellness habits Eliza underscore the power of simple things — on repeat. Especially nature. Bounty that is merely steps away. .. Reminds me of one of my favourite quotes: “Into the forest I go, to lose my mind, and find my soul” 🌳👑💚

  2. Day 4: Movement is medicine is my favourite Dr. D!

    A self-care routine that is so easy to bypass during the holidays. But what I have found over the years, that walking, strolling, running, going to the gym is the exact medicine I need to keep me level and connected to both myself and others during high social times.

    Curious to know — what’s your top 3 on the list you shared?

    Loved the video at the end of the blog post about inner peace and silence (Day 6) too. The quote you included in the description of the video says it all.

    1. I love that you answered my question with a question ⁉️

      My top 3 are:

      Day 1: Mindful Mornings

      Day 4: Movement is Medicine

      Day 5: Fresh Air

      And if you click on each of the Days 1 through 12 in the post, you will find links to other blog posts and videos from the past 5 years that go into more detail on each of the self-care techniques. Including our shared favourite — Day 4: Movement is Medicine 🏃‍♂️🏥❤️

      Most of all, it is wonderful seeing you here Alexis! Especially considering all that is going on with the pandemic. Wishing you and your fellow nurses a double dose of health & wellness during 2022. Thankful for all of you do! Dr. D

  3. Wishing you a happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and new year Andrea to you and yours.

    Love this post and rate the movement is medicine idea in particular. I really have neglected my physical health now for a while and need to get going.

    I love your morning stretching routine ❤️🙏🙂

    1. Margaret, your comments always give me a sense of being connected in present time — despite the Atlantic Ocean that separates us 🇮🇪♥️🇨🇦

      Thank you for sharing the parts of this psychology post & magazine article that hit home for you.

      I would suggest that together we ease into movement with stretching — in mind body and spirit each morning. If only for five minutes at a time.

      In doing so we combine Day 1, Day 2, and Day 4. And celebrate one of my favourite quotes “Better to bend than break” and palm tree images 🌴 from my TEDx and recent virtual psychology events for teachers 🌱


      1. Aw Andrea,
        Thank you for your lovely comment about connectedness in spite of ‘the sea dividing us’ as mum r.I.p soul say with reference in her case to the Irish Sea.
        🇮🇪 ❤️ 🇨🇦
        Thanks for the video and recommendations.
        I hope to visit them tomorrow Boxing Day.
        A peaceful day today to you and yours 🙏❤️

    1. Merry Christmas to you and your family too! When you post photos of your grandchildren on your Instagram page, it always brings joy to my heart. So I can just imagine the moments you share with them in St. Mary’s.

      Day 5: Fresh air is big for me too! Rain, snow, or sunshine. A stroll around the block (better yet, in the park :.) changes everything. Especially now. A reminder that the answer to our problems is rarely found “in the problem” but in the s p a c e we create for ourselves.

      Cheers to a 2022 filled with a deep sense of knowing.. “Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” However you interpret the quote — I see it as a sign to let go and trust our journey. Grateful to share it with you! My WordPress penpal, fellow creative, and teacher. ♥️ 📕 💭

      1. A healthy perspective. I’m always excited to see you your posts, vicariously cheering you on in your ventures. All the best to you for the New Year. We are thrilled to be awaiting the birth of a fourth grandchild in June.

        1. Congratulations to you and your family VJ! Another example of how life.goes.on. Despite everything. In the most glorious of ways. June 2022. What a summer it will be! ☀️💛

          1. Thanks Andrea. I am bursting with joy for them. My son will be such a good Dad, and I know he’s wanted this for quite some time. Even my 95-year-old Mom says she’ll have to wait around to hold the baby, lol.

  4. Hello Dr. Andrea
    Twelve wise and wonderfully liberating tips – thank you for sharing! I do fortunately practice these and marvel at the benefits they produce. In short, I could not live (happily and in a state of health) without them.
    Just as a matter of interest, I also take a Saturday off. Away from all the activities I usually perform. I sleep in, I don’t exercise, I stay away from my computer. I go out with my wife to have a meal at our favorite, tavern, visit the library, our favorite bookshop, and a walk along the seafront.
    We come home, have a nap, then read…
    I love and look forward to Saturdays!
    Whatever this season means to you, Dr. Andrea, your family, and your followers, my wish is that it will be fulfilled.

    1. What an incredible practice in soul, self, and marriage care! Thank you for sharing this Saturday ritual Peter. I sense the energy and awe of this weekly practice by your words alone.

      I also really appreciate your encouragement and support. It goes a long way (more than you probably know) in motivating me to keep sharing on my blog and in the drive magazine.

      May your 2022 be filled with simple pleasures, relaxing Saturdays, and aha moments of insight. For as you have shared here, and on your blog. It’s the moments that make life worth living!

      Dr. Andrea ☀️

  5. I love your ideas on self-care! How many of us actually consider how to care for our hearts and bodies in the middle of the craziness of holiday bustle? Thanks for this insightful post. The hard one? Silence. Being quiet is so hard in such a loud world. And sound too often allows me to be distracted or not focus on what is really going on inside. Hope your Christmas was wonderful and that your new year will be filled with more new and wise insights!

    1. Thank you Dayle for taking the time to read and comment.

      I appreciate your reflection on which of the self care techniques hits home for you.

      It’s often the one that is hardest – is the one we need need to the most.

      Which is why your words remind me that this is exactly what I need too.

      Daily — a space to tune in — in silence — to heart ♥️ and soul 🦋

      Happy New Years! May you continue to find time to write.

        1. It’s all good! I am still following you and loving your writing. Such a crazy world as far as technology is concerned. And no apologies ever needed. We always find each other again — in life and online, when we are meant to. And we are meant to, here, again on January 1, 2022. New Beginnings. And re-starts. 🗓 ☀️

  6. It’s nice to come to this place of cozy positive energy and wonderful, practical ideas. Best wishes in the new year and beyond!

  7. Andrea, I absolutely LOVE these twelve days of self care. What a gift for Christmas and for every day of the year. All of your practices are so important and as I sit here right now, breathing in the fresh air, looking up at the blue sky, relishing the simple things, perhaps the one I need to work on is turning off the phone distractions for 12 hours! Wishing you a wonderful 2022 and sending you lots of love and hugs from afar. ❤️

    1. Happy New Year Miriam!

      What a delight to open up my blog and read this comment from you.

      Your magazine articles, photo shoots, and videos are a testimony to this Self-Care Article.

      And the good news, the one self-care habit that you vow to work on in 2022 requires less of you, not more.

      — DAY 8: BLISSFUL BOUNDARIES with no tech for 12 hours straight

      In case you need some extra motivation, I plan to do the same 1-2 days a week. 🚫📱💻🚫 The present moment calls my name …

      Andrea ☀️ 🌳 ❤️

      1. Wonderful! I love what you said Andrea that “the one self-care habit that you vow to work on in 2022 requires less of you, not more.” How very true. Here’s to blissful boundaries and living in the now. Big hugs xx 💙😊

    1. Thank you for the support and encouragement Dr. Mullen!

      I started my thriving under pressure blog in 2015 to support my psychology students.

      I followed up in 2018 I with a TEDx Talk of the same name — Thriving Under Pressure:

      Wishing you a strong start to the new year!

      Dr. D 📖 ✨

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