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19 Quotes to Inspire Your Self-Care Routine

“Honoring your own boundaries is the clearest message to others to honor them too.”

Abbey Slattery
Contributor

Self-care gif

Practicing self-care is about more than bubble baths and massages. It’s about conscious maintenance of your whole health—mental, physical, emotional. 

If you’re struggling to carve out time for your own needs, consult these quotes from wise women who have struggled, and succeeded, with self-care. 

Read more: How to Create a Self-Care Plan That Actually Works

1. “My brain and my heart are really important to me, I don’t know why I wouldn’t seek help to have those things be as healthy as my teeth. I go to the dentist. So why wouldn’t I go to a shrink?”

—Kerry Washington, actress

2. “Lighten up on yourself. No one is perfect. Gently accept your humanness.”

—Deborah Day, author

3. “Talk to yourself like you would to someone you love.” 

—Dr. Brené Brown, research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work

4. “After adding everyone’s schedule on the calendar, I make sure that everyday I have some sacred time for myself, so I can recharge. I noticed every time I felt overwhelmed I would hold my breath. I had to learn to stop, relax and take long deep breaths and within seconds I would feel more clear and ready to deal with the situation in a more loving way.”

—Gisele Bündchen, model, actress, and environmentalist 

Read more: Self-Care for the 50+ Hour Work Week

5. “I always give myself Sundays as a spiritual base of renewal—a day when I do absolutely nothing. I sit in my jammies or take a walk, and I allow myself time to BE—capital B-E—with myself.”

—Oprah Winfrey, media executive, talk show host, TV producer, and businesswoman

6. “When you can’t find your purpose in a day, make it to look after yourself.”

―Dodie Clark, singer-songwriter

“We have to care about our bodies and what we put in them. Women have to take the time to focus on our mental health — take time for self, for the spiritual, without feeling guilty or selfish. The world will see you the way you see you, and treat you the way you treat yourself.” 

—Beyoncé Knowles, singer, songwriter, actress, and activist

8. “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.”

—bell hooks, author, professor, feminist, and activist 

9. “You know what? Especially with women, we are usually the caretakers of everyone except for ourselves. If I don’t take care of myself and I’m taking care of my daughter or my husband or whatever — I’m running on fumes. I have nothing left to give. Nothing. But when I take the time to take care of myself, to go to the doctor, go to a spa, get a deep-tissue massage, get adjusted by chiropractor … I feel like I can face life with a renewed vigor and renewed passion.” 

—Viola Davis, actress and producer

10. “Honoring your own boundaries is the clearest message to others to honor them too.”

―Gina Greenlee, author

11. “I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”

—Audre Lorde, writer, poet, and activist

Read more: When It’s Time to Take a Mental Health Day, & How to Ask for It

12. “I have a bath every single day of my life. And if I can have two or three — amazing. Nothing terrible is going to happen in the bath, so I always find time for that. I’ll take phone conversations in the bath, anything.” 

—Emma Watson, actress, model, and activist

13. “It’s okay to do nothing if you can once in a while. It’s okay to not be perfect, to not get it all done...take care of yourself. Do what recharges you.” 

—Leah Remini, actress and author

14. “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” 

—Maya Angelou, poet and activist

15. “Sometimes I give myself a break. So I will retreat a moment from the fray, just to breathe. Because what I’ve learned is that my immediate reaction cannot be the deciding reaction.” 

—Michelle Obama, attorney and former First Lady of the United State

16. “I believe that you take the action, and THEN the insight follows—I do loving things for me, stroke my own shoulder, put myself down for a short nap, and the insight follows: that I am a wild precious woman, a human merely being, as E. E. Cummings put it, deserving of respect, tenderness, protection, delight, and solidarity.” 

—Anne Lamott, author

17. “Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”

—Eleanor Brown, novelist, anthologist, editor, teacher, and speaker

18. “You aren’t doing “nothing” when you choose to put your wellbeing first. In fact, this is the key to having everything.”

―Brittany Burgunder, author and mental health advocate

19. “It is so important to take care of yourself. I drink a lot of water, eat mostly fresh fruit and vegetables, and do yoga once a week and go hiking every chance that I get. It is so important to take time for yourself and find clarity. The most important relationship is the one you have with yourself.” 

—Diane von Furstenberg, fashion designer

Read more: 13 Quotes on Achieving Work-Life Balance from Successful Women

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