Our journey into the world of bucket listing began as a way to find added joy in our lives. We all know that life can be difficult at times, so it’s important to focus on your wellness whether that’s physical or mental health. If you’re considering making a bucket list, then you’re probably thinking about the big things like travelling or exhilarating sports such as sky diving. But what about items which promote positive mental health? Yes, life can get in the way, but this shouldn’t stop us from giving ourselves some kindness, so take a look at this self-love bucket list. Adding a few of these ideas to your list will help you feel a greater strength of confidence and recharge your system.
The Ultimate Self Care Bucket List
So, what exactly does self-love mean? Generally, it’s a way of healing by taking measures to care for yourself. There are plenty of activities you can try but remember that self-love isn’t a one size fits all. It’s important to put some time aside to work out what serves you and what takes from your well-being. Investment can come in the form of time or money; the point is to pay attention to yourself and work on reducing stress from your life and enhancing joy.
With that in mind here are bucket list ideas which are solely focused on your health and happiness. Remember that a bucket list doesn’t have to be expensive, so if money is a little tight then fear not because we have you covered.
1. Journal Everyday – Even if it’s for a Few Minutes
This is a practice that we do every day, and we find that it helps to create order in a world that feels a little chaotic. But you also have the chance to let go of any unwanted feelings onto the page, rather than store them internally. We bought ourselves a pretty but cheap note pad, so that we could keep it for the specific purpose of a journal. The only cost that you really need is your time and in reality, it’s only 5 minutes or so, because we tend to fill in one page of our journal.
There are many benefits to journalling which include improving mental health, encouraging self-confidence, boosting emotional intelligence, and helping to achieve goals. But if you’re looking to work on your most private fears and upset, why not write it down and then tear up the pages. By doing this you can really get everything out in the open, knowing that no one else will find your journal and read it afterwards.
Our advice is to take some time out every day to journal and look at it as personal relaxation time. We’ve journalled for a couple of years and find it a great way to work through our problems and thoughts. If you keep your journal pages, then you can always look back at past entries to see how far you’ve come.
2. Practice Gratitude
How you do this is completely dependent on you because working on your gratitude shouldn’t be a chore. The practice of gratitude is scientifically proven to enhance mental health and wellbeing. Studies have found that having a sense of positivity and gratitude can aid sleep, lower blood pressure, and improve your immune system.
You can either spend some time each day to sit and think about the things you are grateful for, or why not take it a step further and begin a gratitude journal. For this all you will need is a notebook and pen which we bought for a couple of pounds. We use the notebook as a gratitude book and journal, taking up one page every day to write down our thoughts.
The number of gratitude’s you write down or think about, is completely down to you. We chose three because it is enough to make us think about how lucky we are, but also not enough to be a chore. The best part of this is that you can grab a brew, sit, relax, and really focus on what makes you smile.
What you’re grateful for is again a personal thing and it will change daily. We have written down a huge variety of things, a beautiful meal, our friends, family, a cup of coffee, watching the sunset, technology, or your health. It’s the perfect way to remember how beautiful life is and that there is always something to be grateful for.
3. Spend Time in Nature
Sometimes the greatest bucket list items are the simplest ones, so spending time in nature is perfect for wellness and self-love. Studies show that being in nature is an antidote to stress, lowers blood pressure, enhances your immune system, and improves mood. Being in nature is the ideal way to reset, whether you’re picnicking in the park and taking in the green of the trees and grass, walking on a beach and listening to the ocean or strolling by a lake and watching the ducks and wildlife. It will surprise you how calming, meditative and grounded you’ll feel, as you take in the fresh air and sunshine. We take a daily walk along a canal route close to our home and we find it incredibly restorative, but it also gives us the opportunity to talk.
4. Buy Yourself Flowers
If Miley Cyrus can buy herself flowers, then so can you! We all know that wonderful feeling when someone buys us a beautiful bouquet. Then you have the joy of watching them bloom each day and the incredible scent that wafts throughout your home. Who says you have to wait for someone else to buy you flowers? You can enjoy that lovely feeling by choosing your own bunch and displaying them in your home. The best part is you can vary the types of flowers you choose and treat yourself to pricey bunches on special occasions. This is another small gesture to yourself as a reminder that you’re worthy of self-love and will hopefully generate a feeling of happiness.
5. Have a Daily Mantra or Positive Affirmation
Having a daily mantra or positive affirmation can set your focus for the day, or help you reevaluate a situation. We have a daily mantra which is personal to us and revolves around our goals and dreams, but also affirming how we want to feel, i.e., happy, healthy and stress free. Having a daily mantra provides a multitude of health benefits, has been shown to change neural pathways, and it’s such an easy addition to your day.
You can simply say your mantra when you feel you need it, or as we do, take a moment each day to focus on it. Examples of mantras are ‘I am conquering my fears and becoming stronger each day’, or ‘I will have a good day, because it’s my choice.’
When it comes to self-love there is no greater item for your bucket list because this provides you with an opportunity each day to practice positive affirmations, instead of the usual negative self-talk.
If you’re not sure where to start, then we have a guide on 100 Positive Affirmations to Help Focus and Influence your Daily Life.
6. Take Yourself on a Date
The thought of going out socially on your own is terrifying, but that’s the reason why it’s an important self-love item. Most of us rely on a partner to take us on a date, but why not go on one by yourself as a treat? You can get dressed up and head out to a bar or restaurant, go to the theatre or head to the cinema and watch a movie with lots of popcorn. The key is that the evening should be all about you, and although it may feel strange at first, you’ll probably notice others around you who are on their own. The likelihood is that the more you do it you’ll find that you enjoy it, because you can focus on your meal or the movie without having to accommodate others. Ensuring that you love yourself can take some work, but you would put that time into any other relationship and the more you do it the more empowered you will feel.
Meditation is a technique used to help someone focus their mind to achieve a mentally and emotionally clear and calm state. It is a practice which is thousands of years old and has influenced a number of religious practices and traditions, so it must have some impact on mindfulness? We can confirm that from our experience it does, because we have seen significant benefits since we began meditating. By meditating for a few minutes a day, you can control anxiety, reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, and brain health.
Starting something like this is never easy and you will get frustrated at the thoughts which creep in as you concentrate. But they will calm and reduce the more you do it, and you’ll feel an inner peace which will transfer to your everyday life. Our advice is simply start and give yourself the time to focus and relax. Meditation doesn’t require you to sit in a lotus position in yoga gear, you could be lying down on the couch in your PJ’s. The intention of meditation should be the focus, not what you look like.
One of the great things about meditation is that it is free and can be done anywhere, so if you’re stressed and anxious then take some time out. You can google meditation or search on a streaming service such as Spotify. They have lots of guided meditations which are ideal for beginners, but you’ll also find plenty of meditation music to get lost in. Start small, maybe one or two minutes and work your way up. We currently do 10 minutes and use the Headspace guided meditation which helps us focus. If you’re looking for more information and thinking of adding it to your self-care bucket list, then head to our Meditation for Beginners guide.
8. Have a Technology Detox
Although it may fill you with dread because technology takes up every moment of our lives, this is a self-love item which is sure to benefit anyone involved. But you may be surprised how cathartic it can be because it will provide you with 24 hours or more of peace and relaxation. The best part of this is that you can take a break from the comparison trap which we tend to find ourselves in and can lead to a spiral of self-loathing.
What you do within those 24 hours is totally up to you, because it frees up more time to do fun things. Whether it is reading a book, doing a deep clean in your home, gardening, cooking, playing board games or doing jigsaws. You can always utilise some of the time to sit down with your family or loved ones and just talk about life and how things are going, or where you want them to be going in the future. It’s the ideal moment to sit back and take stock of life, away from the chaos of the everyday.
9. Take up a Hobby
This is one of our favourites, because self-care is about finding your passions and then adding them into your life. There are lots of hobbies available and we’ve detailed most of them in our ‘Hobbies Bucket List’.
If you prefer to stay at home, then why not learn a language or play an instrument. For those of you looking to make friends, then why not attend classes such as art or cooking. Most people start a hobby as a way to evade boredom and de-stress, but it’s also a great form of self-expression and creativity. There is an immense joy in starting something new and finding that you’re good at it. Hobbies can be relatively inexpensive once you get past that initial outlay and depending on what you choose. Also, who said you can only have one, we have a number of hobbies including learning Spanish, playing the ukelele, meditation, journalling and jigsaws.
10. Read a Book
Reading offers a raft of benefits and is the ultimate form of self-love, so why not add it to your list. It could be that you take a day to simply relax and read or you pick a specific book you’ve always planned on getting through. If you’re looking to develop your communication skills, confidence and find ways to reduce stress then what about a personal development book? One of our favourites is Tony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within.
You could of course pick from one of the many other categories such as classics, romance, sci-fi or non-fiction. To make it extra special think about where you’ll spend the day reading, whether it’s in front of a cosy fire, from bed or in the garden shaded from the sunshine.
11. Watch the Sunrise
There’s something cathartic about getting up incredibly early and watching the sunrise. It makes you appreciate the day and realise how lucky you are to be alive, is there any better self-love moment than that? You can do this on your own or with your friends and family, but make it extra special and cuddle up somewhere cosy in your garden with a brew and take in the magnificence of the sun at its finest. You’ll find some added peace in starting the day that way, especially because everything is so quiet. It’s an ideal time to think about what you are grateful for which will hopefully positively impact the rest of your day.
12. Create a Self-Love Playlist
Music is the ideal way to change your mood, so why not create a playlist to inspire you. Whether you need to up the vibe and feel happiness or slow it down to relax and meditate. Most streaming services offer the option to make a playlist, so you just have to think about the songs which create that self-love feeling. On our daily wellness list, we have dance therapy and it’s as simple as it sounds, because we just put on a tune and dance away. You’ll be amazed how much lighter and happier you feel after dancing for just a few seconds. If you have no idea what songs you want and you’re using a streaming service such as Spotify then search for the mood you want to create, and you’ll probably find playlists already created for you. This is a wonderful wellness bucket list item because it merely costs you time, but it can add a huge amount of joy to your life.
13. Have a Spa Day
In other articles such as our ‘At Home Bucket List’, we mention the option of spending the day pampering yourself with a home spa day. This is a great option but we’re looking at a little self-love in this article, so to make it truly bucket list worthy lets go to a spa and treat ourselves. If you’ve never been to a spa, then take some time to save up and book into somewhere for the day with access to the facilities and a couple of treatments. Most of the time you can buy a day pass and use their amenities such as the pool, sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. But treat yourself to a relaxing massage and facial because it is the epitome of self-care. During the day you’ll find every worry simply melt away and it feels as though you’re hidden away from the world and all your stresses. It’s probably not something you can do very often, but sometimes a treat is the ideal way to remind yourself that you are important too.
14. Go on an Adventure
Getting away from the everyday can have a huge impact on your emotional life, so why not plan a weekend getaway, a hike somewhere new or a trip to a new restaurant in another town. Whether you’re going on your own or with family and friends, having the opportunity to break from your normal routine is the perfect way to de-stress and take a moment to re-evaluate your goals in life. Pushing boundaries on your trip can help build confidence, so you may want to add in something new and fun to try such as bungee jumping or zip lining. But simply going away on your own could be an option because as lonely as it may seem, you’ll find another level of empowerment when you do things alone. The key to this item is that you do whatever you want, whether it’s taking a long walk, going to a museum, or simply staying in watching TV and napping. Self-love is about ensuring that you take time out to consider your emotional health and growth.
15. Go to Therapy
When we discuss wellness and self-care, we think of a variety of activities such as a massage or meditation. But the one that most people don’t consider is getting mental health support through a therapist. For many the thought of going to therapy can seem intimidating, plus it’s a little expensive, especially when you have to do it on a regular basis. But it’s the ideal self-love item because as well as giving you a safe space to work through your issues, it also provides an opportunity to learn more about yourself. You’ll probably find that by sitting with a professional and working through your problems in detail, you can handle life in more productive ways, which makes it worth every penny. If you are limited by funds, then there are cheaper online options and toolkits. You may find that the therapy works because you’ve combined it with a number of these self-love bucket list items.
16. Perfect Your Morning Routine
Most people know that this is the most important part of the day and yet most of us just clamour out of bed and rush last minute into work. How about working on changing that by having a morning routine which energises your body throughout the day. Getting up at the same time every day is essential because it helps your body clock adjust.
Drink a glass of water before you begin, to hydrate your body and protect your skin for the day. Then start to move your body, whether you begin by stretching and then move into some form of exercise such as Pilates, Yoga or simply taking the dog for a walk. If you can, make sure you do something you enjoy, this could simply be listening to a podcast as you sit outside in your garden taking in some sunshine and nature. Give yourself enough time to make a nutritious breakfast, something simple such as overnight oats can be incredibly easy to prepare and tastes delicious.
We currently have a set routine which includes meditation, journal, exercise, and some breath work. It can help foster good habits which can create a successful day and life. But whatever routine you decide on, make sure it works for you and more importantly that you stick to it.
17. Stick to a Nighttime Routine
Yes, the morning is important, but you can really support health habits by ensuring you follow a productive nighttime routine. Firstly, you set an alarm for waking up, but have you considered the same for going to bed. Restorative sleep is essential for good health, so having a regular bedtime routine can help. Keep the lights low which will help with melatonin production, take a warm shower, and treat yourself to a nice warm drink such as green tea or camomile. Some people swear by a skin care routine to help improve your skins appearance, but also because it can feel quite meditative and help you relax.
The key to your nighttime routine is that you feel calm and peaceful which will help you ease into sleep. Try to keep the workouts for earlier in the day as this can affect your ability to sleep.
18. Try an Alternative Treatment
If you’re looking for something a little different, then why not treat yourself to an alternative treatment. Now we have tried acupuncture which we enjoyed, but there are plenty of others available. Have you considered Reiki, massage therapy, reflexology or even float tanks. Many of these options help reduce stress and inflammation, which can in turn improve immunity. Whether you have the treatment once, or you continue with it on a regular basis, you’ll feel more confident because you’re dealing with the stress in your body and its impact on your mental health. The fact you are taking your health into your own hands can only help you feel empowered.
19. Cook a Healthy Meal
When you eat cleaner you just feel better, mainly because you know the amazing things the nutrients in your food are doing to your body. No one is saying the odd treat is a bad thing but imagine how incredible you’ll feel and how much energy you’ll have if you eat lots of vegetables, fruit, and salad. The best part is that some of your treat meals can be made healthy, especially with the addition of plant-based meats that are available in the supermarket.
Preparing the meal and cooking is quite cathartic so you can use it as a way to relax after work. To make it even more bucket list worthy, why not head to a farmers’ market to pick out the produce you want, so you know it’s fresh.
20. Take up a New Type of Exercise
Exercise is the ultimate form of self-love because it is the most important thing we can do for our health. Not only does physical activity prevent a raft of diseases, but it improves your brain health, helps manage stress, maintain weight, and strengthens bones and muscles.
The best part of this bucket list item is that you can choose any type of exercise you want so that it fits into your day, and you can find something you enjoy. There is a misconception out there that exercise is a chore, when in fact it’s actually a lot of fun. Whether it’s Zumba, swimming, football, yoga, weight training or something a little easier such as walking, you’ll still enjoy the many benefits that exercise provides.
If you plan on joining a class then you’ll also have the opportunity to make new friends, which is an added bonus because being social helps improve your mental health.
21. Reflect on the Way you Speak
Although exercise is the ultimate form of self-love, it doesn’t influence our bodies and minds as much as the way we talk to ourselves. So, reflecting on the way we speak to and about ourselves should be something we all focus on. How do you describe yourself? Are you a people pleaser, or do you feel able to say no when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do. The voice in your head significantly contributes to what happens to you and how you feel throughout the day, so take some time to sit with your thoughts and determine if they offer self-care or self-destruction. If it’s the later then there is plenty you can do to combat this and most of them are in this amazing list. Whether it’s therapy, a journal, gratitude’s, or a mantra, all these items can change your perspective which will impact that self-talk. Should you feel you need more support, then motivational podcasts are a great idea and even books.
Why Create a Self-Love Bucket List?
The question is why not? Most of us begin our bucket lists for a reason, whether we’ve suffered from physical or mental health problems, survived a trauma or even loss. People tend to view bucket lists as places you want to travel, but that’s not what they’re there for. Bucket lists provide an opportunity for growth, and hopefully an ability to see your own worth. Yes, sometimes work is needed to get there, but the results make it worthwhile.
Of course, we imagine your list will be filled with incredible destinations and exciting activities, but why not add a few of these self-care items in too. Having these as daily or weekly practices can enhance your life, health, and mentality, which can only lead to you achieving more than you dreamt of. The great thing about self-care is that what works for one may not work for another, so take your time and try out the various practices; we’d recommend that you give them a little time before deciding if they work for you or not.
If you struggle with self-love or care, then even more of a reason to embrace it and this list. Remember this is a journey and not a destination, so start off small and step out of your comfort zone.
Hopefully we have inspired you to begin, because life is stressful enough and you deserve some time for self-compassion.
If you’re looking for inspiration, then check out our Instagram page.