12 Steps to Self Care

Because 10 steps to self-care just isn’t enough!

Self Care Weekend Ideas to Live Your Best Life

January 25, 2024

12 Steps to Self-Care
Alicia Butler

Alicia Butler is pretty much perfect when she isn’t procrastinating, dealing with crippling anxiety, or avoiding conflict. She drinks a bit too much, doesn’t buy into the hype of those green drinks, and has a chaotic sleep schedule. 

And like most women with self-help blogs, she also doesn’t have any credentials in clinical therapy. That’s why she sticks to poking fun at the self-care industry with pithy posts about our society’s weird obsession with productivity.

I’m childless, so you might assume that I have a lot of time to spend on self-care. 

But because I’m also single and I don’t get those sweet, sweet dual-income tax benefits, I’ve also got to work a lot. So, a lot of the time I’d normally spend on self-care ends up going to that. 

Aside from what others might tell you, self-care is actually really, really hard. Especially in this economy.

Luckily, I have a blog, totally mostly devoted to the topic of self-care. Which makes me the perfect person to give blanket advice on how everyone else should do it too. 

So, here are 12 steps to self-care to inspire you to take some much-needed time for yourself. Plus, they’re also totally unique and definitely not ones you could ever think of on your own:

1. Treat yourself

2. Watch inspirational videos

3. Set boundaries

4. Try therapy

5. Find a hobby

6. Avoid drama

7. Help others

8. Prioritize solitude

9. Practice gratitude

10. Meditate

11. Surround yourself with positive people

12. Just say “no”

This post may contain affiliate links, so if you buy something after clicking on a link, I might (fingers crossed!) just get a little commission. Good news: I only recommend products that I love! Which means you can feel good about all of my recs.

12 Steps to Self Care

These 12 steps to self-care will leave you refreshed, renewed, and rejuvenated. 

They’re the quick fix you’ve been trying to find inside all of those little clear bins at The Container Store. The missing piece you’ve been searching for to magically fix your life. 

1. Treat Yourself

By that, I mean fill the void.

You’ve probably got a Starbucks gift card in the back of a drawer somewhere, don’t you? Really, nothing says “self-care” like 12 pumps of sugar-free vanilla syrup and a cake pop.

Don’t have a Starbucks gift card? Just order a venti water, sit at any table, and treat yourself to the free wifi. 

If you’re the type of person who’s like, “Oh, I can’t. I just struggle to treat myself,” cut it out. Because no one is buying it. 

It’s always the people who “feel bad about treating themselves” who are going around and getting gold leaf facials.

But if you really can’t seem to scrounge up a forgotten gift card or if late-stage capitalism is preventing you from self-care, just add a lot of stuff to your Amazon cart and then move it to your “Save for Later” list. 

If you worry about Amazon’s environmental impact, just remind yourself that you’re not actually buying anything. 

2. Watch a Lot of Inspirational Videos

But probably not Netflix because there’s a good chance you can’t afford it now that you got kicked off your ex’s aunt’s boyfriend’s account. 

Instead, turn to YouTube, where you find yourself lost in self-help videos that lead you to wellness trend videos that lead you to organic eating videos that lead you to tradwife videos that lead you down a rabbit hole to a Qanon on-ramp. 

3. Set Boundaries

By setting boundaries, I mean telling people that you can’t actually watch their kid today like you said because you’re “setting boundaries”. 

If they look at you funny, tell them your therapist told you to do it. And watch their faces change as they start to suspect that you talk about them to your therapist.

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4. Try Therapy

It’s basically where you’re allowed to spend an hour 50 minutes sh*t-talking everyone in your life. For realsies.

If your therapist tells you that you’re the drama, just get a new therapist. So you can sh*t talk your old one to your new one. 

5. Find a Hobby

Preferably making signs with phrases like “Live, Laugh, Love”  or “Bless This Mess”. But don’t forget to drink wine while you make them.

If you can’t get your hands on sustainable reclaimed wood, just make a self-care vision board or a self-care jar.  

Realize you’re more into the wine than the craft and start a book club. 

6. Avoid Drama

By muting every person you know on social media who makes you slightly uncomfortable. 

But make sure to follow a few dumpster fires on TikTok. Just as a reminder of how bad things could be.

If you need some inspiration, might I suggest the lady who got busted for digging unpermitted tunnels underneath her home by posting videos of the unpermitted tunnels she dug underneath her home?

Whatever you do, don’t start following that nine-month cruise. You’re going to be disappointed. Clearly, the lack of drama on this cruise is why the job title “Reality Show Producer” exists. 

You’d think people could create their own drama already. 

But the craziest things that have happened so far on that boat are rich people getting treated better than less rich people and the ship running low on wine.

Or, as I like to call it: Tuesday. 

Just drink a martini already, people. And get this drama party started.

7. Help Others

If celebrities have taught us anything, it’s that you should help others — but do it publicly.

Charity work is always a good option. But it doesn’t count if you don’t post a lot of photos of yourself doing it on social media.

Better yet, consider starting a self-care blog or Instagram account. Because everyone wants advice from someone who has no authority or credentials to do so. 

8. Prioritize Solitude

By locking yourself in the bathroom for at least an hour a day. 

If it’s during the gift-giving season you can lock yourself in your attic and tell everyone you’re “wrapping presents”. 

Or, say you’re going to the store for eggnog and “forget” to return for a few hours. Spend the time driving around, listening to “Hello” by Adele on full blast. 

If everyone wants to know where the eggnog is when you get home, tell them how unhealthy it is. And that you would never put partially hydrogenated oils in your body. 

9. Practice Gratitude

Because Oprah says so. 

And because a lot of other high-earning individuals have mentioned it’s the most helpful part of their practices. Is it easier to be grateful for what you’ve got when you have your basic needs covered two yachts and a jet?  

Sure, but according to billionaires, everyone can be grateful for something, right?

Make it part of your “Billion Dollar Morning Routine”. Because what works for billionaires will definitely work for the other 99% of us. 

If you find the simple act of gratitude difficult, strategically place your dog’s toys around the living room and pretend it’s a Golden Globes acceptance speech. 

A friend of mine recently decided that in response to Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes, she decided she’s going to do a “Year of No”.

She’s now basically winning self-care.

10. Surround Yourself With Positive People

But definitely not people who are “better” than you. Unless they personally know the hostess at Spago. 

According to experts motivational speaker Jim Rohn, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. 

So, spend a lot of time with anyone who has a trust fund. Or at the very least, access to healthcare.

11. Meditate

Or, at least sit in a dark room alone for an hour. Tell your roommates kids they can’t bother you because you’re meditating. 

Spend the first 15 minutes obsessing over why you can’t meditate.

Accidentally fall asleep for 45 minutes. Be sure to use a meditation app with a soft gong timer so you’re not ripped ruthlessly from your slumber. 

Emerge surprisingly a little bit more relaxed and give yourself a pat on the back. You’ve just leveled up. 

12. Just Say No

Because, boundaries! 

A friend of mine recently decided that in response to Shonda Rhimes’s Year of Yes, she decided she’s going to do a “Year of No”. She’s now basically winning self-care.

You’re never going to be the self-care goddess Ronise is. And don’t even think about trying to make her one of your five closest people to absorb some of her self-care wisdom by osmosis. Just… no. 

You can at least incorporate some of her self-care energy into your daily life by saying no on the reg.

But if you’re a woman, you’re going to need to “do it nice”. Because people aren’t used to being rejected by the fairer sex. 

Use a lot of smiley face emojis in your texts when you say no. That way, people are less likely to call you a b*tch.


No, I can’t get coffee with you 😀


No, I won’t donate to your kid’s fundraiser 😉


No, I don’t want to be your bridesmaid! We’re not even that close! 😘


See how that’s so much better?! 

Exclamation points also help. But don’t use them too often. Because then people will call you “ditzy” or “unprofessional” behind your back.

Every time you’re about to say yes, consider saying no instead. While you’re at it, feel free to just say no to these 12 steps to self-care.