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Published on August 7, 2019

20 All-Time Best Motivational Books to Inspire You

20 All-Time Best Motivational Books to Inspire You

Sometimes going through life can be a little bit of a roller coaster. There are many ups and just as many downs as we journey through the high and low points.

Life becomes a little simpler when you accept that as we pursue our goals, there will inevitably be challenges and barriers along the way. This is why a few extra sources of inspiration, such as motivational books, never hurt anyone.

The following motivational books were selected because they can fulfill this need for you. These books will challenge you to question your current perspectives and grow in unexpected ways.

Overall, these motivational books will provide you with a source of inspiration great enough to light your internal fire!

1. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Fankl

    Psychiatrist Viktor Frankl’s discusses in-depth his experience with living in Nazi death camps and describes the lessons it taught him about spiritual survival. Frankl puts forth a convincing argument that avoiding suffering isn’t realistic. However, through choosing how we cope with that suffering and the meaning we ascribe to it, we retain the ability to move forward with renewed purpose.

    This certainly is a book for the generations that anyone can gain value from. Man’s Search for Meaning has been listed as one of the most influential books in America and has currently sold over 10 million copies in twenty-four languages.

    If you’re looking for motivational books that can help you learn about the value of ascribing meaning to suffering, this is one for you!

    Get the book here!

    2. You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero

      Of all the motivational books out there, this is a must-read for those who are into life design.

      Through this book, Jen provides her readers with simple exercises to help people identify their self-limiting beliefs, attitudes, and habits. She provides some great advice and does so in a humorous way to truly captivate her audience and motivate them to begin achieving the success they want from their lives.

      Jen’s goal is to help her readers truly understand why they have developed certain thought and behavior patterns. She helps us to focus on the things that we can change and accept the things which we cannot.

      Overall, the book offers a new comical approach towards inspiring and motivating its audiences, and can be enjoyed by anyone who decides to pick it up.

      Get the book here!

      3. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World by William H. McRaven

        If you want to change the world, start by making your bed.

        Make Your Bed is a book which outlines the lessons contained in a speech given by Admiral William H. McRaven. In this speech, he shared the 10 principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome the various challenges he faced throughout his career.

        This speech went viral, gaining over 10 million views as it clearly explained how anyone can use these lessons to better both themselves and the world around them. This book recounts tales from his service and offers simple and practical wisdom and words of advice and encouragement which will inspire readers to achieve more in their daily lives!

        Get the book here!

        4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

          The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho is a wonderful story about an inspiring journey towards self-discovery. Mysticism and wisdom combine in this classic novel that has sold millions of copies worldwide.

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          This story outlines the journey of a young shepherd boy who desires to travel the world in search of treasure but ends up discovering a vastly different type of riches than he initially imagined.

          Overall, this book encourages each of us to listen to our hearts, recognize our unique opportunities in life, and pursue our passions.

          Get the book here!

          5. Smarter, Faster, Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

            Charles Duhigg’s Smarter, Faster, Better outlines 8 productivity concepts that help certain companies and individuals accomplish so much more than others. This book outlines the differences between the perspectives of some of the worlds top performers and those who are less successful.

            These productivity concepts explain how everyday people can improve their everyday lives. Overall, this book can help anyone learn how to succeed and ensure that their average day is productive and not just busy.

            Get the book here!

            6. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

              Don Miguel Ruiz uses his book The Four Agreements to reveal the limiting beliefs that we commonly hold which rob us of joy and cause us to endure needless suffering. This book provides an insightful code of conduct which imparts its wisdom in an accessible manner to its readers.

              The Four Agreements encourages self-reflection and encourages us to do better within our everyday lives. This is why the book has sold over 6 million copies in the U.S. alone and has been a New York Times bestseller for over 8 years.

              Get the book here!

              7. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth

                In this book, psychologist Angela Duckworth, takes her readers on a journey to argue that the secret to being a success relies largely on an individual’s grit, a unique blend of passion and persistence.

                The insights offered by Duckworth in this book encourage us to never underestimate the power of consistent, long-term action towards a goal, especially when you’re passionate about it.

                Duckworth addresses the thoughts which commonly intrude into our heads when we fail and gives us methods to combat them.

                If the idea that success is about your perseverance and your ability to persist even when times get tough resonates with you, this is one of the motivational books for you.

                Get the book here!

                8. Mindset: the New Psychology for Success by Carol S. Dweck

                  Psychologist Carol Dweck outlines years of research in her book Mindset. She argues that the mindset we adopt is a huge predictor of our success and achievement. She believes that nearly every area of human endeavor can be influenced by the mindset we adopt and how we select to approach our goals.

                  She discusses the downsides of adopting a fixed mindset as well as the benefits commonly associated with adopting a growth-oriented mindset. Whereas one mindset believes our abilities are fixed, the other believes our skills and abilities can be developed assuming we are willing to put in the effort.

                  This is a highly motivating paradigm shift which can encourage amazing accomplishments.

                  Get the book here!

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                  9. Choose Yourself by James Altucher

                    Choose Yourself by James Altucher is one of the best motivational books around. James argues that the most valuable asset we have and the one which we should be investing the most time, effort, and resources into is — ourselves. This whole book is about how we can achieve success simply by choosing to invest in ourselves and our growth.

                    This book is sure to inspire and motivate you to invest in developing your talents further and would be an excellent resource for anyone with an entrepreneurial mindset.

                    Get the book here!

                    10. High-Hanging Fruit: Build Something Great by Going Where No One Else Will by Mark Rampolla

                      High-hanging Fruit by Mark Rampolla encourages us to reach higher in our life endeavors, especially business if we want to achieve more success and leave our mark on the world.

                      In this novel, the reader is encouraged to find ways to align their passion, purpose, and integrity to achieve success. These lessons can benefit anyone in any field of work and encourage us to stand up for our beliefs and what’s important to us.

                      Overall, Rampolla wants each of us to remain true to our ore values so that we can each reach our personal definitions of success and promote significant changes in areas of life we are passionate about.

                      Get the book here!

                      11. The Power of Positive Thinking: 10 Traits for Maximum Results by Dr. Norman Vincent Peale

                        This international bestseller has sold over 5 million copies worldwide and has helped many people live more fulfilling lives through adopting Dr. Peale’s message of faith and inspiration.

                        Not only does this book help people to achieve happiness and higher levels of life-satisfaction, but it also teaches us that each life is worthwhile.

                        This book instills a belief in one’s self and a feeling of determination and motivation to pursue our goals with power, control, and persistence.

                        Overall, it’s a great motivational book for those individuals seeking a boost of motivation in their daily lives.

                        Get the book here!

                        12. Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis

                          When it comes to motivational books, Rachel Hollis nails it!

                          Girl, Stop Apologizing was written primarily for a female audience she was trying to inspire. She wrote this book because all too often, she was seeing women failing to live up to their full potential due to the fear of falling short of perfection and not being enough.

                          In this New York Times #1 bestselling author, Rachel seeks to send a wake-up call to the women currently defining themselves through the lens established by other individuals, instead of how they wish to define themselves.

                          She encourages women everywhere to stop talking themselves out of their dreams and to begin fully pursuing them. To help her audience she provides a lot of great information regarding which excuses we should say goodbye to, which habits to adopt, and the skills that will provide you with the confidence to live your best life!

                          Get the book here!

                          13. Now, Discover Your Strengths By Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton

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                            This book takes a unique approach, claiming that not anyone can become anything they want, despite what we were told as children. However, when discussed in-depth, the opinion is quite freeing.

                            This book’s main purpose is to encourage us to ignore those routes which are likely to lead us to dead ends, in favor of pursuing those which we are passionate about and that are more likely to bring us greater success and happiness.

                            Why waste so much time trying to fix our weaknesses when we can double-down on our strengths and allow them to flourish and grow?

                            Definitely think about adding this one to your collection of motivational books.

                            Get the book here!

                            14. Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

                              This book, originally published in 1937, was written during the Great Depression and addresses the highly effective and important steps to take if we wish to encourage ourselves to become wealthy. Equally important, Hill outlines the steps we should avoid in this process as well.

                              Readers have continually enjoyed some of the timeless information, words of wisdom, and excellent advice that is presented by Hill in this book. This book is about so much more than getting rich; it’s about figuring out how to get what you want from life!

                              Get the book here!

                              15. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson

                                In this self-help guide, Mark Manson tells us to cut it out and to stop trying to be positive all the time so that we can figure out what we need to do to truly become better and happier people.

                                This book offers a refreshing take which counters the motivational books currently out there. Mark refuses to sugarcoat his lessons and tells it how it is through his brutally honest approach. Mark encourages us to accept our faults and limitations, the fact that life is not always fair, and that despite our best efforts, not everybody is going to win.

                                Overall, this book presents some great philosophical wisdom for our modern generation and has empowered many individuals to gain control over their actions and their life as a whole.

                                Get the book here!

                                16. Everything Is F*cked by Mark Manson

                                  Mark Manson follows his previous #1 international bestseller with this guide discussing the problems we currently have surrounding hope.

                                  Despite believing that we live in the best time in human history, Mark outlines that everything seems to be pretty messed up. There is global warming, corrupt governments, collapsing economies, and everyone is getting offended far too easily. Mark examines our relationships with money, entertainment, and the internet, and discusses that too much of these good things can destroy us.

                                  In this book, Mark challenges us to be more open and honest with ourselves and to connect more with the world around us.

                                  Get the book here!

                                  17. Hustle: The Power to Charge Your Life with Money, Meaning, and Momentum by Neil Patel

                                    Hustle offers a game-changing guide to finding success by encouraging us to outsmart the system. Too many of us feel like we’re fighting a system that’s stacked against us and forcing us to live unfulfilling lives. This book will encourage you to break free from the rat-race and begin achieving more success on your terms through projects you actually enjoy!

                                    This book will help you redefine what hustling means and will help you realize your best path to success is through taking charge of your dreams, creating your own luck, and staying true to yourself.

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                                    If you’re looking for actionable and practical advice that goes beyond simply motivating you, this is a book you will certainly enjoy reading.

                                    Get the book here!

                                    18. Unfu*k Yourself by Gary John Bishop

                                      This book presents a refreshing take on self-empowerment and provides an honest, no-nonsense, tough-love guide which aims to help you challenge and get over your self-limiting beliefs

                                      In this book, Bishop gives you the tools and advice required to overcome your self-imposed limitations and to begin creating your unrestrained best-self. He argues that commonly, it isn’t other people standing in our way nor is it our circumstances. Commonly, it’s our negative mindsets and beliefs which are holding us back.

                                      So if you’re looking for motivational books to help you get over these limiting beliefs, you will not regret investing in this novel.

                                      Get the book here!

                                      19. The 5 Second Rule: Transform Your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins

                                        In The 5 Second Rule, Mel Robbins reminds us of the vast amount of support we have received from individuals throughout our lives; and that this should push and motivate us to overcome the excuses we have created to impede our progress and achievement.

                                        Through discussing a variety of different habits and entertaining stories, Mel Robbins argues that it only takes us about 5 seconds to become confident, stop procrastination, overcome fear, and live overall happier lifestyles. Just like we can all hold ourselves back, we can also push ourselves forward.

                                        This is a motivational book that is great for anyone looking to quickly add a positive push to their daily life.

                                        Get the book here!

                                        20. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

                                          This novel which shared the wisdom Mitch Albom received from his college professor Morrie Schwartz, has sold over 12 million copies around the world.

                                          In this book, Mitch joins Morrie through the final months of his dying professor’s life every Tuesday to discuss the important messages of life in a truly beautiful and heartwarming fashion.

                                          In the end, the two come together to create one final class: lessons on how to live a good life.

                                          This book is going to inevitably touch your heart and inspire you in ways many other motivational books could never even dream of doing.

                                          Get this book here!

                                          Final Thoughts

                                          If you are able to pick up even just 2 or 3 of these motivational books, you will be well on your way to living a more inspired life.

                                          Happy reading and stay motivated!

                                          More Inspirational Books

                                          Featured photo credit: Florencia Viadana via unsplash.com

                                          More by this author

                                          Mark Lynch

                                          Featured Life-Balance, & Personal Development Author

                                          8 Things to Remember When You Can’t Do What You Need to Do How to Strive for Continuous Improvement and Growth 20 All-Time Best Motivational Books to Inspire You

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                                          Last Updated on September 17, 2019

                                          30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

                                          30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit

                                          I sat in the quiet, cold, white doctor’s office in Sydney, Australia. There was crinkly loud paper under my legs as I waited for my MRI results. I had been in pain for months and desperately wanted to know what was wrong. The doctor removed his glasses, pointed to the images, and told me I had a compressed disc in my lower back, narrowing of the spinal column and arthritis.

                                          I was 21, living in a foreign country and alone. I burst into tears and all the worst-case scenarios ran through my head. He told me I could never run again, and worse, I would need to stop exercising completely for an indefinite period of time. Sports, activity, exercise, running, being athletic and adventurous – that was my identity and had been for most of my life. I went home and crawled in bed. I felt hopeless, defeated and depressed. My boyfriend at the time, now my husband, came over and tried to cheer me up. But it seemed nothing could do so.

                                          My life as I knew it was over. If I couldn’t be an adventurous athlete, I wasn’t even sure who I was anymore.

                                          This wasn’t the first time I had been told by a doctor never to run again. In fact, it was the fourth. The first was at the age of 16 after my first knee surgery to fix a torn meniscus. The second and third times were in college. Once was my sophomore year when I was training for a marathon. I have always wanted to run a marathon (and still do), but had to stop two weeks short of the finish line as I developed stress fractures in both of my femurs. The other, my junior year, I found myself on the surgery table, removing part of my meniscus. The doctor once again, as others before him, told me that I should never run again. I nodded my head, healed my knee, strengthened my leg in physical therapy and once again hit the pavement and the sports field.

                                          Which leads us back to the doctor’s room in Sydney. This time it wasn’t my knee. It was my back. And the doctor told me if I chose not to listen this time, if I DID continue to run, that I could pinch a nerve, causing the potential for serious problems long term.

                                          Pain I could handle, but the thought of being paralyzed, or worse, was not a risk I was willing to take. Continuing to ignore my doctor’s advice and push through the pain was not an option anymore.

                                          It was time I started taking better care of myself and my body. It was time I learned what self-care looked like.

                                          I hate the term self-care.

                                          I have always cringed at the term self-care and therefore, any advice to follow it. Even today, the word still makes me uncomfortable. Something deep within me feels weak when I hear it; like I’m not tough enough or I can’t handle what life throws at me.

                                          Maybe it’s because I’ve always been an athlete, or because I was raised in a fast paced, entrepreneurial family. At six-years-old, I remember walking behind my dad at the store. He kept a fast pace. I yelled ahead, “Wait up Dad, slow down!”. His reply, “Hurry up, speed up, catch up, run!”

                                          So that’s what I did most of my life. I hurried up, sped up, caught up and ran. If I was in pain, I sucked it up and worked through it. If I was tired, I pushed through. If I was sad or upset, I pushed it aside and moved forward.

                                          In my mind, self-care meant slowing down, not progressing; for those who couldn’t keep up. To use a term from my grandpa, I thought self-care was for ‘sissies.’

                                          But what I didn’t realize until that wake-up call in the doctor’s office was that self-care is the very thing that allows us to do everything we want to do in and with our lives.

                                          It is what gives us the energy, strength and resilience to keep going.

                                          I want to emphasize something I wish someone had told me. Maybe someone did, but I needed them to take me by the shoulders, shake me, look me in the eye and say it.

                                          Self-care isn’t for sissies. Self-care is not for the weak. It is not a luxury. And it is not selfish.

                                          When you don’t take care of yourself, are too hard on your body, or don’t take care of your emotional needs, you are at much higher risk for burnout, a variety of mental health issues including anxiety and depression, physical injury and illness.

                                          Not taking care of yourself will always catch up to you. Sound familiar? Perhaps you’ve had a wake-up call of your own.

                                          Why Is Self-Care Important?

                                          Self-care is quite literally taking care of yourself. It isn’t just about getting a massage. It is any action you take to preserve and improve your health, wellness, happiness and fulfillment.

                                          We’ve all heard the saying, “you can’t pour from an empty cup” or “put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.” These are self-care. You cannot take care of others if you do not take care of yourself first. This takes on a whole new meaning when you also have kids and a family.

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                                            Self-care is doing what needs to be done so you can be balanced and energized to achieve all that you want out of life. Self-care nourishes your mind, body and spirit and allows you to thrive. It increases your happiness, ability to be successful and the quality of your life and relationships.

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                                            When I look at it that way, not as something for the weak, but as something to help us live our best lives, then instead of becoming an ‘nice to have’ it becomes an important and essential part of life. In fact, I now know it’s the only way to live my fullest life.

                                              That’s why I’ve pulled together 30 ways to practice self-care so you can live your best life. I’ve got you covered from an integrative wellness approach – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.

                                              How to Practice Self-Care: 30 Ways to Take Care of Yourself

                                              Let’s start with the basics. These are self-care practices you can do daily. Many take very little time or energy, and most can be done in less than five minutes, some in less than one.

                                                1. Breathe

                                                Deep breathing increases circulation by bringing oxygen to your muscles and brain. This increased oxygen content leads to greater energy and healthier muscles, organs and tissues. Breathe deeply more often. What happened when you started to read this? Did you take a deep breath? Great, you’re already practicing self-care.

                                                2. Eat Well

                                                Your body is a machine and food is your fuel. Simple as that. I’ve learned two main things studying diets over the years and working with top health doctors:

                                                First, focus on eating real, whole, nutrient-dense food; avoid processed foods and refined sugars.

                                                Secondly, find what works for you. There are lots of options out there – pale0, Mediterranean, plant-based, you name it.

                                                3. Stay Hydrated

                                                The human body is composed of 50-65% water. Some parts of our bodies, like our brain, heart and lungs, are more than 70%. Drinking water is a simple, effective way to take care of yourself.

                                                Aim to drink eight 8-ounce glasses daily. It takes no extra time, energy and effort, so grab a glass and start hydrating.

                                                4. Sleep

                                                I used to wear it as a badge of honor that I didn’t sleep much. However, increasingly more studies are coming out on the importance of getting enough quality sleep[1] and, more importantly, the consequences when you don’t. Make sleep a priority. Your mind and body will thank you.

                                                5. See Your Doctor

                                                How long have you been putting off making an appointment, tolerating constant pain or dealing with something that just isn’t right?

                                                Most things can be dealt with if they’re caught early – and are much harder to manage if you wait. Grab your phone, schedule an appointment now.

                                                6. Express Gratitude

                                                In order to live a life we love, we must first love the life we live. Research continues to surface on the science and benefits of gratitude.[2]

                                                Being grateful is one of the simplest, yet most powerful, things you can do to take care of yourself. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

                                                7. Take Supplements

                                                Name what ails you and research or ask your doctor what vitamins, minerals, or herbs can support your health and well-being. For example, those with a B-12 deficiency are much more likely to experience anxiety and Vitamin D deficiency has been linked to all sorts of health problems.

                                                I take turmeric/curcumin to reduce inflammation,[3] and B2 and magnesium supplements recommended by my neurologist for hormonal migraines.

                                                Always make sure to check the quality and efficacy.

                                                8. Hug Your Kid, Spouse or Pet

                                                Hugging boosts your oxytocin levels (the love hormone), increases serotonin (elevates mood and creates happiness), strengthens the immune system, boosts self-esteem, lowers blood pressure, balances the nervous system and releases tension. Only a few seconds can put you in a positive mood.

                                                  9. Meditate

                                                  Yep, you knew this was coming, didn’t you? Check out how to meditate here . And, if you’re one of those people who think you can’t meditate (I feel you, I was one of you!), no more excuses. Try it.

                                                  10. Get Bodywork

                                                  I said that massage wasn’t the only form of self-care, but it is a good one!

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                                                  Bodywork is a staple of my self-care routine. Our bodies store emotional tension in ways that we don’t even realize, and bodywork allows us to release that tension.

                                                  Options include chiropractic, stretching, cranial-sacral therapy, myofascial release work, osteopathy and reflexology.

                                                  11. Take a Hike

                                                  Get the blood flowing. We all know the benefits of exercise. This might be a walk, run, hike, trip to the gym, yoga or stretching. Whatever you do, get your blood and body moving.

                                                  Feel like you don’t have time? Try this short, 4-minute workout:

                                                  12. Spend Time with Those You Love

                                                  Schedule a date night with your partner, a special day with your kiddo or happy hour with your BFF. We are biologically hardwired for relationships and connection.

                                                  Studies prove that people who socialize often have higher levels of happiness. This doesn’t have to be face-to-face; sometimes a phone call is all you need (and can fit in!).

                                                  13. Take a Vacation (or a Staycation)

                                                  More than 50% of Americans don’t use all of their vacation days. Take time off away from the routine of life. Make time to have fun, recover and reenergize.

                                                  14. Do Something Just for Fun

                                                  When was the last time you did something because it was fun or gave you joy? Not because it had a tangible benefit, purpose or ROI?

                                                  Crank up the music and dance. Laugh with your kids. Head to the bowling alley. Play a game. Write. Buy flowers. Follow your passions. Attend a fun event.

                                                  The real ROI? A better, more energized, happier self.

                                                  15. Treat Yourself and Your Body

                                                  When you look good, you feel good.

                                                  Get a haircut, have your nails done, enjoy a facial, manicure or pedicure. When we take care of how we look physically, we feel better emotionally.

                                                  16. Spend Time in Nature

                                                  Studies have shown spending time in nature has a wide range of health benefits including lowering your stress hormone levels.[4]

                                                  Get outside. Head to the forest, hit the beach or take a hike. Walking barefoot and ‘grounding’ can be especially healing.

                                                    17. Eliminate Toxicity and Negativity

                                                    Make a conscious effort to hang out with people who feed your soul and make you feel energized and alive. Eliminate or reduce the amount of time you spend with people and situations that drain you or leave you feeling exhausted.

                                                    Surround yourself with love, encouragement and positive energy.

                                                    18. Take a Bath

                                                    This is a simple and inexpensive way to take care of yourself.

                                                    Add in a little Epsom Salts, essential oils or that bath bomb you have lying around. Light a candle, sit back, relax and unwind.

                                                    19. Practice Self-Reflection

                                                    Self-reflection is about taking a step back and reflecting on your life, behavior and beliefs.

                                                    Take time regularly to hop off the hamster wheel of life. Think about what’s working and what’s not, acknowledge your wins and successes; identify what to keep and what needs to change.

                                                    Try journaling or check out tips for self-reflection here: How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life

                                                    20. Feed Your Mind

                                                    Learn something new! As humans, we have a need to use our full cognitive capacity. We are here to grow and evolve and learning is a huge piece of us feeling energized and alive.

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                                                    Take a class or online course. Read a book. Listen to a podcast.

                                                    21. Lend a Hand

                                                    We also have a need for significance, contribution and making a difference. Among many other benefits , volunteering has been shown to help people feel healthier and happier.

                                                    22. Unpack your Baggage

                                                    Self-care is about taking care of your whole self. Often this means dealing with emotional trauma, past events or limiting beliefs.

                                                    See a therapist. Talk to a coach. Have the conversation you need to have with that person you’ve been angry with for decades. Find a way to move forward.

                                                    23. Be Adventurous

                                                    Get outside your comfort zone. Be brave. Challenge yourself.

                                                    Whether that be a backpacking trip, trying a new activity, or pushing yourself physically, mentally or emotionally, you’ll feel proud, confident and strong.

                                                    24. Tidy up!

                                                    There’s a reason Marie Kondo has become a sensation. When we seek minimization in our homes, schedules, and lives, we feel more at ease and less stressed.

                                                    Try simplifying one area of your life and experience a new level of peace. Have a read on Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, it may inspire you a lot!

                                                    25. Feed Your Spirit

                                                    How are you feeding your soul? This can be anything that relates to you feeling inspiration which means, ‘in spirit’.

                                                    Connect with what makes you feel close to something deeper, bigger, higher – or makes you feel more connected to yourself. This might include meditation, spiritual or religious study.

                                                    26. Get Creative

                                                    We all have a need to grow, use our creativity and express ourselves fully. Find your creative outlet. Paint, dance or take photos.

                                                    Not artistically creative? Ask questions, problem-solve or build something.

                                                    One of my daughters loves building. When she ideates, draws up plans and brings them to life, she is noticeably happier and more confident.

                                                    27. Be True to Yourself

                                                    Self-awareness and being true to yourself are essential to living a happy, fulfilled and successful life; therefore, these are critical elements of self-care.

                                                    Listen to your inner voice. Identify what you need. When we are out of alignment with ourselves, we are more stressed, overwhelmed and at higher risk for health issues.

                                                    Here are 11 ways to be true to you: How To Be True To You When Life Pulls You Off Track

                                                      28. Set Boundaries

                                                      This is important to healthy relationships, a strong sense of self-esteem and healthy life. You must know what you will and won’t accept.

                                                      Identify where energy is leaking out from your life. If you continue to give when you have nothing to give or say ‘yes’ when you mean ‘no’, you will continue to suffer.

                                                      Know, acknowledge and honor your limits and boundaries – physically and emotionally.

                                                      29. Escape

                                                      While avoidance and numbing can be detrimental, a little escape can help recharge your batteries.

                                                      So watch that reality TV show without guilt, catch the latest movie, delve into that novel, or head to the museum. What transports you and completely allows you to shut off?

                                                      30. Be Nice to Yourself

                                                      Be kind, patient and understanding. Treat yourself like you would a close friend. Speak to yourself as you would someone you love.

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                                                      You are enough. You are doing enough.

                                                      Give yourself a break, a little more love and a lot more compassion.

                                                      You are doing a great job – time to tell yourself that.

                                                      Start Taking Care of Yourself Now!

                                                      Now you have 30 ways to take care of yourself! However, you may still have nagging thoughts in the back of your head about why you can’t.

                                                      Ditch Your Excuses

                                                      Here are the most common excuses I hear with a strategy to help:

                                                      I don’t have time for it.

                                                      How many hours per day do you spend watching TV or on social media? Some studies show that the average adult spends over four hours watching TV and over two on social media. What if you took just half that to take care of yourself? Or 1/10th?! We all have the same 24 hours in a day.

                                                      It’s what you choose to do with that time that counts. Many of the suggestions above require no time at all. Take a breath, drink an extra glass of water, speak nicely to yourself, grab an apple.

                                                      I don’t need it.

                                                      Trust me, if you don’t take care of yourself now, you’re going to get that wake-up call one day, if you haven’t already.

                                                      I guarantee it’s going to take a lot more time and energy to fix what’s broken than to take care of it along the way. You have a responsibility to do this for yourself.

                                                      I’m too tired.

                                                      Great! Take a nap. Then you’ve done your self-care for the day. No joke.

                                                      Too often when we are tired, we drink coffee, reach for a sugary snack or find some other way to distract ourselves.

                                                      Self-care is different from day to day. Some days it will be harder than others. Each of the items on the list are meant to GIVE you energy, not take it away. You’ll be amazed at how much more energized and awake you feel after one of these practices.

                                                      It‘s just too hard.

                                                      One big reason people don’t get started is because they think it’s going to be hard. Don’t fall into this trap and do nothing at all.

                                                      Choose something that feels simple and easy to do – and do it. There is no step too small.

                                                      Know Your Motivation

                                                      It’s not the action of self-care that’s most important. It’s about what you get by taking care of yourself.

                                                      What is the real value or importance of self-care in your life?

                                                      To be a better mom, look good, be healthier, have more energy, reduce your stress levels, feel better, see your grandkids graduate from college, get that promotion, sustain the business you’re building, perform at your very best?

                                                      Know your why so you can tap into the motivation for taking care of yourself. If you’re doing this because you ‘should’, it just won’t happen or be sustainable. You must do this because you see value, purpose and benefits at some level. What are those for you?

                                                      Final Thoughts

                                                      “Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to life” – Jim Rohn

                                                      Self-care is about doing what makes you feel good – mind, body and spirit.

                                                      If you remember only one thing:

                                                      Do more of what makes you feel good, brings you energy and joy and do less of what doesn’t.

                                                      Had I taken better care of myself in my late teens and my early twenties, I might have avoided two knee surgeries, stress fractures and arthritis. Had I taken better care of myself in my thirties, perhaps I could have avoided anxiety and a near breakdown . But that was my journey and it led me here. And I have to say, I’m pretty happy where here is.

                                                      So now, in my forties, while I still may cringe at the term, I pay attention to and practice self-care. And I often wonder if maybe, just maybe, I continue to take good care of myself, I may just be able to run that marathon one day after all.

                                                      More About Practicing Self-Care

                                                      Featured photo credit: Samantha Gades via unsplash.com

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