Create your own self-care advent calendar: Step away from holiday busyness and look after yourself.

As a mom, getting into the holiday spirit doesn’t need to mean adding more to your to-do list, going to more parties, baking more cookies or getting that last-minute gift. Using the holidays as a valuable time to reflect and spend time taking care of yourself is a gift and a wonderful way to ensure your holiday time is indeed joyous. An easy and fun way to do this is to create your own DIY self-care advent calendar. 

Besides the widely available commercial calendars for kids, many kids including my own enjoy a home-made advent calendar. My sister made my kids a felt calendar which we fill with a note containing a fun holiday activity like bake cookies, look at Christmas lights, watch a holiday movie or a small ornament they can hang on their kids’ tree.

My kids enjoy this calendar so much, and it got me thinking about what would be just as fun for me during the holiday season. As Christmas gets closer, the kids get more excited, there are more events, school concerts, Christmas parties, people to visit and less quiet time, which I know is essential for my wellbeing. 

So, I came up with idea of a self-care advent calendar. It got me thinking about the different ways I could I care for myself over the holiday season. I asked on a couple of Facebook groups and got a great list of ideas, which I’ve incorporated with my own ideas below.


[bctt tweet=”Create an advent calendar for a woman you know who could use some extra care over the holidays. ” username=”wellness_spark”]

How to make your own self-care advent calendar.

To start with, here are my ideas for creating a self-care advent calendar without a lot of fuss or supplies needed. After all, you don’t want this to become a big, complicated, expensive project that would defeat the purpose! 

On the other hand, if you really love crafting, this might be a great project to immerse yourself in – just make sure creating a more elaborate calendar is fun and feels good for you.

Making the calendar.

  1. Are you creating a virtual calendar or a physical one? Do you want a list of activities or do you want actual objects to pull from each day?
  2. What supplies will you need, and which ones will you need to go out and buy? Remember: you can find calendars online that won’t require any supplies, so don’t feel like you have to purchase anything.

Types of Calendars


These types of calendars are great if you’re doing an activity-based calendar. You can create a great online calendar at that allows you to add pictures, text or videos for each day. 

I haven’t tried this program myself, but I’m thinking of ways I could use it with my kids. You can include inspiration quotes, lovely music, funny videos or any self-care activity.

Box or Basket

If you want to have a gift to open each day, consider small gift bags or drawstring bags that can be put in a box or basket. A fun way to do this would be to give your partner, kids or friend a set amount of cash to purchase the items on your behalf and fill each bag with a small gift. This way you get the same fun surprise each day as you did when you were a kid. 

The Jar Calendar

I liked the suggestion of putting the different ideas in a jar and choosing one each day. I would suggest that as you write down the ideas, you also gather any supplies you’ll need, so when you draw an item you can get started right away. 

If you have to go looking for the magazine you want to read or find the bath salts, you might be tempted to skip the self-care for that day.

Make it a group project.

Set up an afternoon with a friend or a group of friends to each prepare a self-care calendar for each other. This is another way to get in on the excitement of not knowing what to expect in your calendar. 

Even if you use the same gifts, you won’t know which one to expect each day – and the surprise is half the fun of the opening the doors on the little calendars!

Give the gift of self-care.

Create an advent calendar for a woman you know who could use some extra care over the holidays.

You could also plan a self-care advent calendar with your partner to enjoy individually or together.

Calendar goodies idea lists.

It’s important to make your self-care advent calendar personal to you. Include the items and activities you truly like and appreciate so you can get the best out of the experience. The lists below are just to get you started, but certainly add whatever you feel is best for YOU.

Physical gift ideas: 

  • skin care samples 
  • facial mask packets 
  • moisturizers
  • lip care 
  • lotions 
  • cooling or heating eye masks 
  • candles 
  • hair masks
  • chocolate 
  • tea
  • nice socks 
  • gloves 
  • Fancy pens or crayons
  • handmade soap
  • bubble gum or other tasty treats

Self-care activity ideas: 

  • write a letter to yourself
  • make a gratitude list
  • create a dream or vision board
  • go for a walk 
  • stretch 
  • meditate 
  • take a bath 
  • nap
  • do breathing exercises 
  • take a night off from technology
  • have a movie night
  • pamper yourself with a hand massage
  • paint your nails
  • read a book or magazine

For more self-care ideas, or to give the gift of self-care to someone you love, download my FREE 60-SECOND MOOD BOOSTERS: A SELF-CARE CARD DECK FOR MOMS ON THE GO!

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Simple ways to nourish your body and reduce stress.

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