32 Self Care Ideas For Women in their 40s

Hey there, fabulous woman

Your 40s are a time of incredible power and self-understanding. 

Maybe you’re navigating career shifts, evolving family dynamics, or just discovering a deeper sense of what truly lights you up. 

Amidst the beautiful (and sometimes complex) chapters of this decade, carving out time for self-care becomes more important than ever.

Self-care in your 40s is about celebrating where you are and nourishing yourself on all levels. 

So, let’s dive into some ideas to help you prioritize YOU!

Nurturing Your Mind & Mindset

1. Journal about your experiences and what you’ve learned – you’d be surprised at how far you’ve come!

Girl, you’ve been through some stuff. 

You’ve probably got a whole collection of triumphs, heartbreaks, embarrassing moments, and lessons that have shaped who you are. 

Imagine taking some time to pour it all out into a journal – a safe space where you can process those experiences and uncover all the amazing wisdom you’ve gained along the way. 

Maybe you’ll rediscover forgotten dreams, realize how strong you truly are, or just have a good chuckle at those awkward teenage years

You might even be inspired to share your story with a friend or mentor others with what you’ve learned. 

The point is, your life journey holds a wealth of knowledge; don’t underestimate how powerful it can be to reflect on it.

2. Learn to confidently say “no” to protect your energy and time.

Listen, being a superwoman is overrated. 

In your 40s, it’s all about honoring yourself by saying “no” to things that drain your energy, feel like obligations rather than choices, or simply don’t align with what’s important to you right now. 

It could be declining that extra work project, saying no to a volunteering commitment that no longer excites you, or skipping out on those social gatherings that leave you feeling blah. 

Don’t feel guilty about it – you’re actually doing yourself (and everyone else) a favor by showing up as your best, most energized self. 

Learning to say those two simple letters – N-O – is an empowering form of self-care!

a woman lying down wearing a party dress

3. Meditation, even for a few minutes, can bring focus and clarity to busy days.

Okay, let’s be real – sometimes your mind feels like a runaway train, juggling to-do lists, worries, random thoughts, and maybe that embarrassing thing you said back in middle school

Meditation is like hitting the pause button on that mental chaos. You don’t need to become a yoga guru or sit cross-legged for hours. Start by finding a quiet spot, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath for a few minutes. 

Apps like Calm or Headspace can guide you if you’re new to meditation. 

With practice, you’ll be amazed at how much calmer and clearer your headspace feels, leaving you better equipped to tackle whatever the day throws at you.

4. Be kind to yourself as you would a dear friend. You deserve it.

Imagine this: your best friend is feeling down, stressed, or just had a less-than-stellar day. 

How would you treat them? 

You’d probably offer words of encouragement, remind them of their strengths, and tell them to cut themselves some slack. 

Now, it’s your turn to give yourself that same kindness. 

Instead of beating yourself up over mistakes or setting impossibly high standards, speak to yourself the way you would speak to someone you love

It’s a game-changer, and you absolutely deserve that kind of support – especially from yourself!

5. Online courses, workshops – expand your horizons and feed your curiosity.

Remember that feeling of excitement on the first day of school? You had a fresh notebook and a whole world of possibilities. 

Turns out, that feeling doesn’t have to disappear in adulthood! Seeking out new knowledge is an awesome way to keep your mind sharp, discover hidden talents, and simply spark joy.

Think beyond traditional classrooms – there are amazing online courses on basically anything you can think of, from learning a new language to mastering photography or diving into a fascinating historical topic.

Local workshops, community colleges, or even platforms like Skillshare and Masterclass are treasure troves of knowledge waiting to be explored. 

Embrace your curiosity, step outside your comfort zone, and watch yourself grow!

6. Schedule regular breaks from technology to be fully present with loved ones or just with yourself.

You know that feeling when you’re out to dinner with friends, but everyone’s eyes are glued to their phones? 

Kind of a bummer, right? 

Or maybe you’re trying to have a meaningful conversation with your partner, but the constant pings and notifications keep pulling you away. 

Technology is amazing, but it can also steal our precious time and attention. Scheduling intentional breaks from your devices is crucial for truly connecting – with yourself and with your loved ones. 

Try leaving your phone behind on a nature walk, having device-free dinners, or setting aside tech-free hours before bed. 

You might be surprised how much more present and engaged you feel without those constant distractions.

a woman posting wearing a brown jacket with specs

Prioritizing Physical Wellbeing

7. Focus on nourishing whole foods, regular meals, and plenty of water.

Think of your body like a high-performance sports car – you wouldn’t fuel it with low-quality junk, right? 

In your 40s, nourishing yourself well is crucial to feeling energized and vibrant. This doesn’t mean boring diets or deprivation. Focus on enjoying plenty of colorful fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. 

It’s okay to indulge in those treats you love, but try to make those nourishing foods the foundation of your eating habits. Make sure you’re staying hydrated too – water is essential for everything from clear skin to proper digestion. 

Remember, it’s about enjoying the foods that make you feel your best, not about restrictive rules.

8. Aim for quality sleep; invest in good bedding and a consistent bedtime routine.

Okay, let’s get real – if you’re constantly sleep-deprived, everything else is harder. 

Prioritize sleep like it’s your job! 

Aim for a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, even on weekends, to keep your body’s rhythm in check. Invest in comfy pillows, blackout curtains, or whatever else helps you create a relaxing sleep sanctuary. 

A calming bedtime routine – think a warm bath, reading a few pages, or listening to soothing music – can signal to your brain that it’s time to wind down and prepare for restful sleep. 

Trust me, when you’re well-rested, you’ll be amazed at how much better you handle stress, focus, and just enjoy your amazing life.

9. Find joyful exercise, whether it’s yoga, swimming, nature walks, or dance classes.

In your 40s, exercise isn’t about punishing yourself or chasing a certain body type. 

It’s about finding ways to move your body that you actually enjoy! Maybe that means reigniting your love for yoga, trying out a fun new dance class, or rediscovering the simple joy of long walks in nature. 

Listen to your body, find what feels good, and make it a sustainable part of your routine. 

The mental and physical benefits of regular movement are undeniable – more energy, stronger muscles, reduced stress, and a big boost to your overall well-being.

a woman holding a placard stating "life is too short to spend it at war with yourself"

10. Treat yourself to a massage, physiotherapy, or acupuncture – your body will thank you.

Let’s be honest, our bodies have put up with a lot over the years. 

Whether it’s an old sports injury, tension from daily stress, or just the wear and tear of being an adult, don’t ignore those niggling aches and pains. 

A deep-tissue massage can work wonders on sore muscles, while physiotherapy can help you address underlying imbalances and prevent future injuries. 

If you’re curious, acupuncture can be an amazing way to reduce pain and improve overall well-being. 

Treating your body to these types of therapies isn’t just a luxury; it’s an investment in your long-term health and comfort.

11. Talk to your doctor about managing any hormonal shifts to feel your best.

Hey, hormones can be a wild ride! 

As we enter our 40s, fluctuations and shifts in our hormones are perfectly normal. 

But, if you’re feeling constantly exhausted, experiencing mood swings, or struggling with other troublesome symptoms, don’t just brush it off as “getting older.” 

Schedule an open conversation with your doctor or a hormone specialist. They can check your hormone levels, discuss potential imbalances, and offer ways to manage any symptoms that might be impacting your quality of life. 

This could involve adjustments to your diet, supplements, or in some cases, hormone replacement therapy. 

Feeling hormonally balanced can make a huge difference to your overall well-being.

12. Invest in Quality Skincare

Caring for your skin isn’t about vanity – it’s about embracing healthy habits that make you feel radiant. 

Don’t be overwhelmed by 10-step Korean skincare routines or the latest anti-aging fads! 

Focus on finding a few high-quality products that work for your skin type. Think of it less about chasing youthful perfection and more about a relaxing self-care ritual. 

Cleansing, moisturizing, gentle exfoliation, and always wearing sunscreen are your basics. If you enjoy doing it, toss in a face mask or a luxurious eye cream from time to time. 

The goal is to find skincare that feels like a treat rather than a chore!

a woman holding a placard stating "give peace a chance"

Elevating Your Spirit

13. Dedicate time to those hobbies that set your soul on fire.

Think back to what you loved doing as a kid or teenager. 

Maybe it was painting, singing, writing, playing a sport, or something completely different. It’s time to rediscover those passions that got lost in the shuffle of busy adult life! 

Taking time for your hobbies is like adding fuel to your inner fire. Whether you pick up an old guitar, join a crafting class, or finally start writing that book you’ve always dreamed of, dedicating yourself to something purely joyful is incredibly satisfying. 

Don’t worry about being perfect or comparing yourself to others.

Just let yourself get lost in the process and enjoy the simple pleasure of creating or doing something you love.

14. Explore mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment without judgment. 

It might sound simple, but with our minds constantly racing, it takes a bit of practice! 

Mindful walking involves focusing on the sensations of each step, the sights and sounds around you, bringing you back to the present moment. 

Mindful eating means paying attention to the flavors, textures, and experience of your food without distraction. 

Integrating mindfulness into daily activities like these can help you slow down, appreciate the small things, and manage stress more effectively.

15. Treat yourself to a bookstore date, a museum visit, anything that fills your cup.

We get it. 

Life is full of commitments, schedules, and constant “doing” for others. Carving out intentional time for just yourself is a non-negotiable part of self-care. 

Think of a solo date as an opportunity to get back in touch with what truly recharges you. 

Maybe it’s wandering through your favorite bookstore and getting lost in a new novel, exploring an art museum that inspires you, or simply enjoying a long, uninterrupted walk in a beautiful park. 

The activity itself is less important than the feeling of unhurried time dedicated to simply enjoying your own company and doing something that fills you up.

16. Spend time with friends who make you laugh.

There’s something magical about a good, deep belly laugh. 

It instantly boosts your mood, relieves stress, and just makes you feel lighter. Make time for the things that make you laugh! 

Hit up a comedy club night with friends, download some hilarious podcasts (there are so many great ones out there), or simply make a point to connect with those people in your life who always have you in stitches. 

Laughter is an instant pick-me-up and a reminder to find the joy in everyday life.

17. Nurture the friendships that uplift and ditch the ones that drain you.

As we navigate through our 40s, it’s natural for friendships to evolve. Some relationships naturally fade away, while others deepen. 

Take a mindful look at your social circle. 

Ask yourself: do I feel energized, supported, and genuinely happy after spending time with these people? 

If the answer is a resounding “yes!”, nurture those friendships like the treasures they are. However, if you consistently leave certain friendships feeling depleted, uninspired, or burdened by negativity, it may be time to create some distance. 

Protecting your energy and surrounding yourself with positive, supportive people is a powerful act of self-love.

a woman holding a placard stating "attractive"

18. Volunteer your time and learn to give back

There’s something incredibly fulfilling about using your time and skills to make a difference in your community. 

Find causes that align with your values – perhaps mentoring young people, volunteering at an animal shelter, or helping with a local food bank. 

Giving back not only benefits others, but it also reminds us of the greater world outside of ourselves, sparks feelings of gratitude, and connects you with like-minded individuals. 

It’s a beautiful way to boost your own well-being while contributing to something positive.

Indulge and Pamper

19. Try soothing bath ritual that are luxurious in nature

Forget those quick utilitarian showers

It’s time to elevate your bath into a pampering ritual. 

Draw a warm bath, toss in some Epsom salts (amazing for muscle relaxation) and a few drops of your favorite essential oils (lavender is classic for calming vibes). 

Dim the lights, light a candle or two, queue up some soothing music, and fully sink into relaxation mode. 

This isn’t about cleaning yourself; this is about transforming your bathroom into a personal spa and giving yourself permission to simply unwind.

20. Try an at-home spa – Facials, massages, pedicures…

Sometimes, you just need to outsource some of that self-care! 

Treat yourself to a full-on spa day if your budget allows it. Facials, massages, the whole nine yards – it’s an amazing way to reset and feel rejuvenated from head to toe. 

Can’t swing the spa? 

No worries! 

Recreate the experience at home

A luxurious face mask, a DIY foot scrub with sugar and coconut oil, a long soak in the tub – even small pampering gestures can make a big difference in how you feel. 

Prioritize that feeling of being cared for!

21. Upgrade your loungewear

Let’s be real – some days, the best form of self-care is curling up on the couch in your comfiest clothes. 

But ditch those ratty sweatpants and stained t-shirts! 

Invest in some cozy loungewear that makes you feel both relaxed and good about yourself. Think soft fabrics, flattering cuts, and maybe even a hint of color or a fun pattern. 

When you look good, you feel good, even if it’s just for a cozy night in.

22. Treat yourself to fresh blooms

There’s something about fresh flowers that instantly brings joy and life into a space. 

Whether it’s a full-on bouquet from the market or a few simple stems picked from your garden, treat yourself to the vibrancy and beauty of nature. 

Place them somewhere you’ll see them often – your kitchen table, your nightstand – and allow those bursts of color to uplift your mood throughout the day.

23. Travel, near or far

Travel shakes us out of our routines, brings new experiences, and expands our perspective. 

It doesn’t have to be an extravagant international adventure (although that’s always nice!). 

Even a weekend getaway to a nearby town you’ve never explored, a staycation at a cozy hotel in your own city, or simply driving to a scenic spot you’ve never been can work wonders for your soul. 

Changing your environment can offer a powerful mental reset, spark creativity, and leave you feeling refreshed. 

Adventure awaits – big or small!

Busy woman watching laptop in living room

And a few more…

24. Try a professional photoshoot

Think about how amazing it feels when you have a photo where you absolutely love the way you look. 

Now, imagine taking it a step further with a professional photoshoot designed to capture your essence and celebrate where you are in life. 

A skilled photographer can see your beauty through their lens, guide you on poses, and create images that make you feel confident and radiant. 

It’s about more than just getting pretty pictures; it’s about embracing your unique beauty and strength at this point in your life and having tangible mementos to treasure.

25. Try restorative therapies

As we navigate through our 40s, taking care of ourselves at the cellular level becomes increasingly important. 

Restorative therapies can support your overall health and well-being in exciting ways. NAD IV treatments aim to boost cellular energy, potentially improving mental clarity and physical stamina. 

Red light therapy uses specific wavelengths of light to promote collagen production, skin health, and potentially even reduce pain and inflammation. 

These therapies may sound a bit out there, but if you’re curious, do your research and talk to a health practitioner to see if they might be a good fit for your self-care journey.

26. Find your signature scent

Scent is incredibly powerful. 

It can evoke memories, create a mood, and even boost confidence. Finding a signature scent that you truly love becomes an extension of your personality. 

Don’t rush this process! 

Have fun exploring different fragrance families – floral, fresh, warm, or spicy – and discover what resonates with you. 

Once you find your perfect scent, a spritz can be a simple yet powerful way to feel put-together, make a subtle statement, and elevate your mood throughout the day.

27. Embrace your sensuality

Too often, sensuality is seen in a superficial way. 

True sensuality is about connecting with your own body, appreciating its sensations, and embracing pleasure in all its forms. 

This could mean rediscovering the joy of movement through dance, treating yourself to a luxurious massage, exploring mindful self-touch, or being more present during intimate moments with a partner. 

It’s not about fitting into a particular mold, but about discovering what makes you feel alive, beautiful, and empowered in your own skin.

28. Reevaluate your goals

Our 40s are a time of amazing self-awareness. 

It’s okay if the dreams and goals you held in your 20s and 30s no longer quite fit. Take some time for honest reflection. 

What are you truly passionate about now? 

Where do your untapped talents lie? 

Are there new dreams emerging? 

Don’t be afraid to pivot, try something new, or let go of goals that no longer serve you. 

This is your chance to design a life that aligns with the woman you are today and the woman you’re becoming.

a woman holding a placard stating "you are strong"

29. Seek therapy without stigma

Taking care of your mental well-being is just as important as taking care of your physical health. 

If you’re struggling with anxiety, past traumas, unresolved issues, or simply need support navigating the changes in your 40s, there’s absolutely no shame in seeking professional help. 

A therapist can provide a safe space for processing your emotions, help you develop healthy coping mechanisms, and offer guidance on your self-care journey. 

Therapy isn’t about weakness; it’s about courageously investing in your overall well-being.

30. Celebrate your body

In a world that profits from our insecurities, it’s a radical act of self-love to truly celebrate your body. 

Take time to appreciate all the amazing things your body does for you – carrying you through life, allowing you to hug your loved ones, experiencing pleasure and joy. 

Those stretch marks? 

They tell stories of growth and change. 

Scars?

They are badges of resilience. 

Shift your mindset from focusing on flaws to focusing on gratitude for this incredible vessel that takes you through your life.

31. Find your tribe

There’s something special about connecting with like-minded women who are navigating this same amazing decade of life. 

Nurture those friendships with women who lift you up, make you laugh, understand your struggles, and celebrate your wins. 

If those connections aren’t readily available, seek out groups or communities – online or in-person – where you can form bonds with women who support, inspire, and help you grow.

32. Remember, YOU are a priority: Self-care isn’t selfish; it’s a necessity for a happy and fulfilling life.

This one needs to be repeated often! 

Our 40s can be filled with so many demands on our time and energy. It’s easy to fall into the trap of always putting everyone else’s needs first. 

Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. 

Making self-care a non-negotiable priority isn’t about selfishness; it’s about making sure you have the energy, strength, and joy to show up fully for yourself and those you love.


a woman with short hair with a surprised happy pose

Your 40s are a remarkable chapter – a time of incredible power, wisdom, and the freedom to prioritize what truly lights you up. 

Self-care isn’t a luxury during this decade; it’s the fuel that allows you to thrive. 

Whether it’s carving out time for quiet reflection, indulging in pampering treats, saying “no” to protect your energy, or seeking out knowledge that excites you, you deserve to put yourself at the top of your to-do list.

Don’t wait for a special occasion to practice self-care. 

Make it a consistent part of your routine as you navigate this amazing stage of life. Remember, taking care of yourself is the greatest gift you can give to both yourself and those you love. 

Now get out there and shine!

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