Sure, self-care can include full-day spa treatments or head-to-toe makeovers, but most of us don’t have the time or budget for them. And self-care is too important to leave as a rare, sometimes thing. 

Luckily, any small thing you do for yourself counts
if it feels like self-care to you, it is!

To show just how easy it can be to make space for self-care any day of the year, we asked the Silver Hills Bakery team to share their favourite simple ways to put themselves first. 

Try any of the 50 small, doable self-care ideas here that feel like a fit for you!

Celebrate Chocolate O’clock. Daily.

Keep a stash of dark chocolate at your desk or bag and reward yourself with a square or two for anything from checking something off your to-do list to simply making it to 3 PM. Let it melt in your mouth and truly savour it.

Feed the birds.

It’s amazing how this little ritual of feeding and watching the birds can give you a minute to reset! (“may my heart always be open to little birds who are the secrets of living” e.e. cummings)

Remember to eat lunch.

(Preferably not at your desk. Bonus points if you do it before you’re hangry.)

Plant / ground yourself.

Walk barefoot on the grass, lay on the ground, and let the Earth do its magic.

Read a real book, not an e-reader.

And if you’re not a book lover, read a comic. Even gazing at the 12 photos in your wall calendar is a good break.

Start a journal.

Paper or phone app will do. Writing down your thoughts will help to better articulate how you feel.

(If you have fur family) Take a break to pat your dog or cat,

talk about how your day is going, give them a treat, and tell them what an adorably good beast they are.

On a clear night, take a break from your to-do list,

lay down on your patio or the ground and stargaze for a few minutes.

Take a deep breath.

Sit up straight, breathe in deep through your nose as long and steady as you can, hold it for a second and let it out slowly through your nose.  Do this five times and you will feel better, and your mind will be clearer.

Phone a friend!

There’s nothing better than spending some time catching up with a friend and laughing, sharing, or crying about your week, month, or year. Don’t text, email or DM them on social. Phone them and have a good chat.

Move your body—even if only for 5 minutes.

Dance like no one’s watching while doing the dishes, take some time to stretch, or act like a kid and spin in a circle for a minute. Anything to move your body throughout the day. (Especially if you work a sedentary job).

Give yourself permission to have downtime.

Every waking minute of your day does not have to be productive. It is okay to just read a book, aimlessly scroll Pinterest, watch a show, stare out the window, or close your eyes and daydream. Dust and dishes can wait.

Adjust your standards to match your energy level.

In an extra full week or month when you feel pulled in more directions at once than usual, give yourself permission to let some things go. Instead of burning the candle at both ends and the middle for the sake of a spotless home, make friends with the dust bunnies for a while. Live with a little more clutter. Fold the towels later. No one will die if you don’t stay up past your bedtime to pair the sock pile. Catch up on the chores on the other side of this bout of chaos.

Find the glimmers in your day.

What’s a glimmer? Typically referring to small, faint, or fleeting flashes of something, glimmers can signify tiny moments of hope, positivity, or improvement in one’s mood or outlook. They’re like small sparks or glimpses of something brighter amid difficult or challenging times. (For example, you got to have bubble-gum ice cream today, the sunrise was breathtaking, or something as simple as you felt accomplished by tiding a messy part of the house).

Be kind to a stranger.

Smile at others, say good morning, lend a helping hand.

Volunteer your time.

Giving back to others in need is a win-win.

Get outside.

Go for a walk around the block, twice (or 10 times!) if you need to.

Relive your happy memories.

Take out that photo album you made 20 years ago and take a walk down memory lane.

Pray, meditate, stare into space.

Tap into your spirituality whichever way you prefer to find that quiet place that brings you comfort, joy and guidance. It can be for a minute or 60, it doesn’t matter as long as you can find solace in that ritual.

Take a bath.

Light some candles, dim the lights, use your favourite bath salts and lay back for a few. If you have kids, get your partner or another family member to take care of them for that time.

If you’re a compulsive hand-raiser and feeling overwhelmed by commitments, sit on your hands the next time someone asks your group for volunteers.

Let someone else step up for a change. Refraining from saying ‘Yes’ to things you won’t have time or energy for can be as powerful as saying ‘No.’ (And there’s always another bake sale…).

Spend time complimenting your kids (or partner, friend, parent, or co-worker). Small words of kindness takes only seconds of your time.

It makes them feel fabulous, then it makes you feel fabulous too! It doesn’t have to be Pulitzer Prize worthy; it just has to be heartfelt. “Love your hair today!”, “Proud of you for ….”, “You look happy, and I love it!”, “You’re so cute, I could squeeze you to death!” (Okay maybe not that! (Unless you’re complimenting a pet or a baby 😀)).

Make yourself that sandwich that your mom always made for your lunchbox.

Enjoy the ritual and revel in the nostalgia, then close your eyes and take a big bite. Aaaah, PB and J…brings it all back and makes me smile every time! What’s your nostalgic sandwich?

Make a cup of your favourite tea and put on a feel-good movie, even a kids’ movie!

One where you don’t have to think but just get to enjoy, laugh, and relax.

Get your hands dirty! Garden for 20 minutes.

Finger paint. Or knead some dough in baking.

Close your eyes and give yourself a face massage.

Rub your temples, your jaw, your eyebrows.

Puzzle. Knit. Whittle. Craft. Tinker. Mend.

Solve a problem with your hands to get out of your head.

Take a walk without technology.

No podcasts, no music, no talking on the phone. Just you! (Some call it ‘Silent walking’).

Write down affirmations to remind yourself to be positive and kind to yourself.

These can be in the form of sticky notes next to the bathroom mirror or on a wall calendar—any places you will notice each day.

Surprise a friend, co-worker, or family member with a small gift.

Whether it be a small box of chocolate, a flower, a homemade meal, etc., surprising them will make everyone’s day a little brighter!

Set up Do Not Disturb Mode on your phone.

Use the time limits and Do Not Disturb settings on your social media apps and smart phone. Then actually stop scrolling when you meet your limit.

Make a new recipe.

Pick up a new vegetable at the store and find a way to cook it into dinner! Enjoy every moment as you create a tasty meal.

Head to the playground and spend some time on the swings!

Set your phone to have a dimmer screen late at night and early in the morning.

Practice gratitude.

Take a moment to think about things you’re grateful for. You can jot them down or simply reflect on them mentally.


There’s something so lovely about mixing dough, kneading bread, and then enjoying the tasty treats!

Take a moment for you.

Take five minutes in the morning to do something you love before starting your day.


Have a sing-along, loud like no one can hear you!


Enjoy a 5-minute guided meditation. These are free on several apps.

Change up your meals.

Keep it fun. Have breakfast for dinner.

Start a Favourite Things List of everything tiny and huge that brings you joy.

Add to it any time you experience or remember something that makes you smile. Pull it out and read it when you’re feeling down, discouraged, or need help remembering there are good and beautiful things in your life. (Still love jelly beans, your childhood teddy bear, crunchy autumn leaves, the smell of your grandma’s pie, your toddler’s giggle, Squirrelly bread, the crackle of a campfire, and the mixed tape or playlist your best friend made you in high school? Maybe things are better than they feel in a rough moment). What goes on the list? Food, places, movies, music, people, art, books, smells, memories—your list, your rules! (Use that special notebook you were saving. Or keep it in the cloud so it’s with you wherever you need it most.)

Find a hobby just for you.

Have something you do that is only for you—a hobby, a craft, an activity, anything you enjoy that you do without your partner or family or friends*. Encourage them to find their own, too. (*It’s okay if you make friends through your thing once you get there. Just start out solo so it’s something you don’t have to share if you don’t want to).

Enjoy a night in

Throw on your favourite movie or a few episodes of your favourite comfort TV to unwind. (And focus on that, no simultaneous doom scrolling).

Take time to reflect.

At the end of each day, reflect on what you did and your highlight. Share this with your loved ones and ask them the same question.

Embrace your inner child.

Allow yourself to be child-like. Squeeze clay, colour and paint without purpose.

Ground yourself.

Hug a tree! Actually hug the tree!

Prioritize sleep.

Try to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night to recharge and feel refreshed for the next day.

Take in the world around you.

Look up and see what’s way above you. Look at the sky, stars, or clouds, and find shapes.

If you enjoy cleaning, pick a spot to reorganize or sort through.

Sometimes the calmness of being focused on a task with a rewarding finish brings a lot of joy!

Take 5 minutes to decompress.

Rub your feet, or even better, have them rubbed for you! Just 5 minutes is enough.