Self Care Habits

How to Create Your Own Inspiring Self Care Menu

Woman smiling after reading some Sunday affirmations

It can be so hard to get into the habit of practicing self care regularly — especially if you really need it. Luckily there’s something I’ve found that can really help you get into a routine. It’s called a self care menu!

In this guide, we’re going to take a closer look at self care menus. We’ll cover what they are, how to create your own, and what you could include on your self care menu. Ready? Let’s go! 

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What is a self care menu?

A self care menu is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a list of self care ideas and activities that you’ve put together in the form of a menu. It often features different sections, defined by how long an activity might take — just like a starter, main, or dessert on a menu.

Having a self care menu gives you a simple way to proactively take care of your physical, mental, and wellness needs. Without a menu or routine, it can be tough to remember to get involved with practicing self care. It’s the kind of habit you build over time, and a self care menu is a wonderful tool to help you do that.

How to create your own self care menu in 4 easy steps

We know what a self care menu is, but how do we create one? You don’t need to be a whizz with graphic design software or superbly creative — all you need is this short and sweet guide to help you make your own self care menu. 

1. Create a shortlist of self care ideas

Before you can build a menu, you first need to get a feel for what you might put on it. Just like you’d sample foods before adding them to a wedding menu, it’s super useful to put some thought into what your ideal self care routine might look like. 

Create a list of all the different self care ideas you can think of and put them into three lists — yes, maybe, and no. From here, you can refine your ideas list until you have a decent selection of things in your “yes” and “maybe” columns. These can be the items on your self care menu!

To simplify things and help you get started sooner, I’ve included some useful activity suggestions below — but you can also take a look at my self care day post for lots of great self care ideas. I also have a post all about self care on a budget if you want some pocket-friendly tips. Oh, and my master list of 50+ self care ideas you can explore too.

2. Split your ideas out into sections

Once you’re done sorting through your ideas, the next best thing to do is to sort them into categories or sections. This helps you create a menu that’s balanced and doesn’t focus too much on one type of self care. 

Split your self care activities into different branches — like mental health, physical health, self esteem / self talk, self reflection, and any other topic that’s especially important to you. Once you’ve done that, list your self care ideas under each heading. You don’t need too many for each, but if you want a more varied menu you can keep thinking of ideas until you’re happy. 

3. Decide which type of menu works best for you

Next up, think about what kind of menu would work best for you as a person and your daily routine. Some of us love a menu where everything’s all chosen for you and all you need to do is show up — but others prefer to pick and choose items off the menu depending on the day.

Consider whether you’re more a “set menu” person or an à la carte one. With a set menu, your self care menu would be more of an everyday self care routine — just with a different name. It might be themed to help you accomplish a certain goal, or balanced so you cover all your self care needs throughout the day. If you prefer the idea of having a selection you can choose from every day, then you can include a more random selection of options to give you some variety. 

Whether you’re having a set menu or à la carte, it’s helpful to split your self care menu into different courses. I like to split mine into starters, mains, desserts, and drinks. We’ll cover these in more detail later on.

4. Finalize your self care menu

With a list of amazing self care ideas and a menu format that you’re happy with, it’s time to put it all together. Here’s where you create your very own self care menu. 

Take some time to think about which self care ideas fall under which course on your menu. Focused, energizing activities work great as starters. More time-intensive activities are great for a main course. Something light and creative works well as a dessert. I also include a drinks section where I put any self care activity that you can repeat throughout the day — like drinking water, getting fresh air, and catching up with loved ones. 

You can create your self care menu in any design program you like. I love Canva* because it’s so simple and fun to use, with lots of pre-made templates and color schemes to help you put your own stamp on your menu. You could also just hand write one onto a piece of paper, or make it like a restaurant menu and use a chalkboard and markers. 

Fun ideas for what to include on your self care menu

Often the hardest part of making your own self care menu is knowing what to include. It feels like there are so many self care activities out there that it’s almost overwhelming to build your list.

Don’t panic though! I’ve put together this list of enjoyable self care ideas that give you that energized or “warm and fuzzy” feeling. Feel free to use this list to help you perfect your own menu! 


I love a good starter! How about you? In a restaurant a cheesy garlic bread is my go-to, but when it comes to self care I like to pick something upbeat and energizing. If you do too, here are some great self care starters.

  • Listen to a podcast (I love ones about productivity or running a freelance business)
  • Find and read self care affirmations (or download and print my affirmation cards!)
  • Read a chapter of a motivational book
  • Do some gentle stretching
  • Watch an instructional video on YouTube
  • Try a crossword or sudoku puzzle


When it comes to a main, I’m all about taking my time and enjoying the dish. That’s how I think a self care main dish should be too. Here are some longer activities that you could enjoy as the main feature on your self care menu.

  • Work on your bullet journal (I love these soft pastel bullet journals* by Talking Out Of Turn)
  • Watch a few episodes of your new favorite TV show
  • Plan your next self care Sunday
  • Try a new recipe or bake something delicious
  • Take an online class (for fun, or to learn a new skill) 
  • Enjoy a day out with a friend
  • Go for a long walk somewhere scenic
  • Put together your own self care box
  • Play some video games
  • Watch a movie
  • Create a super fun dessert, like one of these dessert popcorn recipes
  • Plan your dream vacation or adventure day
  • Do a fitness class


Ah, the dessert! I’m not a huge dessert person, but when I do have one it’s got to be one of my favorites. Here are some fun, light, and super enjoyable activities to add as dessert options on your self care menu.

  • Use a relaxing face mask
  • Scroll through your favorite social media
  • Doodle!
  • Dance to your favorite playlist
  • Write a gratitude list (or in one of these cute gratitude journals* from!)
  • Leave a comment for one of your favorite bloggers or Instagrammers
  • Watch your favorite streamer on Twitch or YouTube
  • Finish a page in a coloring book
  • Unwind with some yoga


You don’t need to include a drinks section, but I do because I like to have the reminder that some smaller tasks can be done throughout the day whenever you want to. Here are some of those self care activities that work at any point during the day.

  • Drink a glass of water
  • Catch up with a friend or family member
  • Reflect on what you’re grateful for
  • Eat a healthy (or enjoyable) snack
  • Take a pause for five minutes

What will you put on your self care menu? 

These are just some of the ideas that you could include on your own self care menu — the opportunities are endless! Use this list as inspiration to create your own themed or balanced menu that you can use to help you create a routine around self care.

If you create your own self care menu, I’d love to know! Let me know in the comments what you decided to put on yours, how it looks, and whether it’s working for you. 

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