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101 Ways to Nurture Your Real Self



1.Keep a daily journal.

2.Write down your dreams and nightmares.

3.Meditate and/or pray.

4.Take naps.

5.Give yourself rest breaks.

6.Draw (or do another visual art).

7.Dance by yourself.

8.Sing in the shower or car.

9.Buy yourself flowers.

10.Spend time in nature.


12.Learn to say no with a smile.

13.Speak your truth gently and clearly from your heart.

14.Ask questions; request an explanation.

15.Tell yourself and others what makes you happy.

16.Ask for what you need.

17.Be willing to negotiate.

18.Offer to help someone else.

19.Join a support group.

20.Ask someone to mentor you.

21.Say something kind to a stranger.

22.Clean a closet and give something away.

23.Take bubble baths by candlelight.

24.Play your favorite music.

25.Get a massage or exchange one.

26.Do stretching exercises or learn yoga.

27.Close your eyes and take deep breaths to center yourself.

28.Schedule artist dates alone. (See Julia Cameron's books.)

29.Listen to or compose your favorite music.

30.Bake bread, or multi-grain low-fat muffins, or anything you want.

31.Create a sacred space or altar with your spiritual treasures.

32.Design personal rituals and ceremonies.

33.Give yourself rewards (they can be cost-free).

34.Recycle and reuse; leave only footprints.

35.Learn basic science.

36.Practice critical thinking.

37.Keep your agreements.

38.Keep your word.

39.Dispute your negative thoughts to combat depression.

40.Do creative writing simply for your own pleasure.

41.Write poetry.

42.Make a list of things you're good at (100 minimum).

43.Take long walks--in nature, if possible.

44.Keep a (lovely) notebook of your ideas; decorate it yourself.

45.Learn to say, "Oh, well," when things don't go as you planned.

46.Remember: Worry works only when it leads to effective action.

47.Eat by candlelight-- even when you're alone.

48.Play with children's toys and crafts: clay, finger-paint, crayons.

49.Set realistic goals.

50.Complete projects.

51.Accomplish something you'll be proud of.

52.Defy your limiting beliefs: I can do that!

53.Compliment yourself; pat yourself on the back.

54.Thank yourself.

55.Ask for help when you need it.

56.Cook a good meal for yourself alone.

57.Grow fresh herbs—start with one potted plant.

58.Renew the pleasure of an old craft or former hobby.

59.Face a fear by doing something that's a little hard for you.

60.Allow yourself to be imperfect and only human.

61.Bake cookies and give them away.

62.Praise yourself.

63.Do a good deed.

64.Ask someone you admire to coach you.

65.Study an interesting topic for a year and become an expert.

66.Learn a new skill.

67.Make a donation.

68.Do more of what makes you feel good about yourself.

69.Offer to teach another person something you do well.

70.Write down your creative ideas.

71.Listen to the wind in the trees.

72.Carry an idea notebook.

73.Buy yourself some art supplies.

74.Create your own retreat.

75.Take a walk in the rain.

76.Introduce yourself to strangers you want to meet.

77.Have a pet and cuddle it—a sure source of unconditional love.

78.Read something inspirational or motivational every day.

79.Practice selfloving (See Betty Dodson's book).

80.Celebrate sensuality.

81.Make soup.

82.Rent a movie you love.

83.Become an expert on something.

84.Daydream and watch your creativity bloom.

85.Create your own tea ceremony.

86.Get up before dawn and watch the sun rise.

87.Post a quote that inspires you on your computer or mirror, where you'll see it every day.

88.Do a crummy chore that's haunted you and feel proud you got it done.

89.Call someone you know is lonely.

90.Send a love letter to a good friend.

91.Write notes to yourself for encouragement and place them in pockets of clothing you'll wear next season.

92.Write letters.

93.Read, read, read.

94.Curb your dogma.

95.Mail yourself the letter from your future self that you wrote at the end of Chapter 1 of Dream Back Your Life.

96.Buy yourself a down pillow.

97.Plant flowers.

98.Write a letter to your newspaper and make your opinion heard.

99.Give yourself permission to do something imperfectly.

100.Make a wish.

101.Reread a book you loved as a child.


Joan Mazza, M.S. LMHC