French Women Self-Care Ideas: 14 Top Tips!

Due to the COVID-19 and lockdowns, I’ve had more time to focus on my well-being and self-care habits. Yet many people during these awkward times fell into depression. Hence the need to pay more attention to ourselves. So NO, wellness movements are not just trends. Self-love and body positivity is indeed important for our mental health!

Most French women approach self-attention a bit differently. Their self-care practices look more like a way of living. We call it “La joie de vivre” a popular expression that translates to “The joy of Living”. They less overthink about it or overdo it. They tend to less strive for perfection which consequently decreases the impact of stress on their life. It’s a mentality that is embedded in our French culture and passed on from generation to generation.

Enjoy this list of top 14 self-care activities for a happier work-life balance à la French!

14 French Girls’ Self-Care Ideas

Adopt the French self-pleasure attitude

French girls practice self-care by adopting the self-pleasure principle. They indulge in what they like without any guilt. For example, I like a beer with my meal on the weekend or I please myself to a pastry once a week while heading to work.

1. Buy yourself some fresh flowers

Yep! If you love flowers then don’t wait for your friends, boyfriend, or hubby to offer you a bouquet. Take good care of yourself by treating YOU right!

2. Treat yourself to your favorite drink, chocolates, etc..

I love “mon chéri” chocolates so each evening, I treat myself to one chocolate with my infusion in front of a good movie. Instead of adding sugar to my cup, I eat a small portion of chocolate… That’s a good compromise, don’t you think?!

3. Sit at a café

Enjoy people watching, read a magazine, or invite a friend to chill at the “terrasse” of a coffee shop on a sunny day. I also love to do this on rainy days. I try a new café, check out their decoration, or visit a new part of town.

4. Offer yourself jewelry, a home decoration…

Talking about decoration, why not spoil yourself with that Christmas tree ornament you saw the other day? or those affordable earrings you spotted at the market?

Read the related article “10 French lifestyle tips!”.

Stick to your favorite daily self-care rituals


Identify what makes you happy and make it a regular custom. Here are some of my self-care routines.

5. Take a hot bath or shower

Spas are very popular in France. But I agree, not everyone can afford a thalassotherapy or a thermal spa weekend… but you can simply take a long bubble bath with your favorite scented candle, oil diffuser, and some relaxing music… Therefore, you can create your home spa center!

I call my bath time ritual, my little “luxury” me time. I really pamper myself to ease my mind.

Also, a hot bath has awesome health benefits and will relax you in no time!

6. Create a blissful bedtime routine

It is important to unwind in the evening and get a good night’s sleep. By creating a regular sleep routine, you restore your body, reduce your stress, regulate your mood, and boost your concentration. That’s why taking care of yourself in the evening is so crucial.

I have the habit of taking a bath, listening to soothing music, and reading my book to help me decompress. Then I fix myself a calming infusion or chicory coffee cup that will help me fall gently asleep.

7. Give your skin some extra love

Skincare products in France are so numerous! I’ve already mentioned above that French women love to go regularly to the spa for skincare treatments such as facials and massages. Moreover, nurturing their skin isn’t a luxury, it is simply another lifestyle habit.

I do home facials, body scrubs, and hair masks every weekend! I also lavish my body with lotion or oil every evening. Further, I take pleasure in trying new products and smelling their different scents.

Read the related article “Best French anti-wrinkle serums”.

Unique self-love tips


8. Do a home manicure

If you love manicures but can’t afford them, learn how to do it and entertain yourself with a home manicure once a month for instance.

9. Subscribe to a monthly beauty box, fashion or food box, etc…

If you can afford it, why not subscribe to a monthly beauty box, food box, etc… Those are interesting because they surprise you with their content. You don’t know what you’re gonna get. You send yourself a true gift!

Read the related article “My French-inspired winter body skincare routine tips”

Simple self-care tips

10. Slip into comfy clothes

When I come back home, I love to slip into comfortable and cozy clothes! But apart from wearing a T-shirt and hoodie, I also occasionally love those chic, stylish yet comfy pieces that have the power to boost my mood.

The French are fond of stylish lingerie like silk robes that are known as “déshabillé”. It brings a touch of luxury into their lives.

From sumptuous silk, and cashmere to cotton pajamas and knits, choose the fabric that best suits your personality!

11. Use less makeup

Be minimalist with your makeup. French girls keep it polished yet looking natural and fresh. Heavy face makeup is the trend but too much contour and foundation don’t enhance your beauty. Besides, it can harm your skin. Remember to embrace your wrinkles, and your uniqueness. Less is more! In addition, if you have sensitive skin, opt for organic cosmetics that suit your skin type.

Read the related article “12 French 100% organic cosmetic brands you should know about!”

12. Try a new recipe

There are plenty of simple ways to pamper yourself such as trying a new recipe. For instance, I cook something different about once a month. Try a new Asian, Italian, or French dish to tickle your taste buds.

Healthy self-care payoffs

When you work out, you increase the “feel-good” hormone called dopamine. This happiness hormone is stimulated when you strive towards a goal. As a consequence, you experience the pleasure of the reward.

13. Take a walk and stretch every day

The French walk quite a lot and that is due to the fact that they use their cars less because everything is within walking distance from their home. In each neighborhood, there is a grocery store, a bank, a bakery shop, and a post office nearby.

Moreover, it is part of their living habits to take a walk to the woods or to the park after a big meal to better digest.

I also highly recommend stretching which is another super effective way to gently mind for yourself. You cannot imagine how much you benefit from stretching every day. From boosting your energy, and building new muscles to increasing your flexibility and reducing your cholesterol.

Read the related article about all the health payoffs of stretches!

14. Embrace the French love for good food

It is simple: delight in preparing and sharing food! NO extreme diet and quality food! To the French, mealtime is one of the quintessential joys of the French lifestyle and culture.

The French diet is all about eating whole foods over processed foods. It is about taking the time to enjoy a cooked meal. French women keep the “health-pleasure balance” by avoiding diet foods and snacking. From time to time, they satisfy themselves with goodies without abusing or over-consuming what is unhealthy.

Read the related article “Why are the French people so thin?”.

In conclusion

“La joie de vivre” pretty much sums up how French women do self-care! Above all, the way they attend to themselves is a state of mind, a cheerful enjoyment of life.

In fact, to the majority of the French, living life is not just about work work work, and spending a fortune on beauty treatments. It’s more about slowing down and savoring the simple little things of life within your reach and means.

Read here the related article “Chicory coffee health benefits: why the French love it?!”.

How do you do self-care? Please share your thoughts below!

If you enjoyed this article why not share it and pin it for later?

Affiliate disclosure: my content may contain affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something, I make a small commission at NO extra cost to you and that will help me pay for the cost of maintaining my website and writing more helpful content. Thank you for your support!

You may also like...


  1. I love your self-care ideas, and the one about no makeup appeals to me most. I love the days I don’t need to wear makeup, as you save so much time in the morning not having to put it on and you can focus on other things, as well as get a more healthy skin.

    Being able to read my book at bedtime to wind down after the day is another of my favorite self-care things to do.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Right, no make up is great!! Thank you for your comment! 

  2. Daniel Tshiyole says:

    Why is it called the French women self-care idea haha? I will be sure to pamper my partner to this. Our anniversary is coming so I am sure that she will appreciate it. I will be sure to also share this article with my brothers so that they can also pamper their partners. Thank you for this amazing article!

  3. Sariyah says:

    I absolutely love this so thanks a bunch!

    I enjoyed reading through this and definitely going to be adding a few of these to my routine especially since I’m always stressed! 

    I think the ones I would enjoy the most would be cooking or more baking something new, I love the invention of something new, and also sitting in a café or going for a walk is super calming usually!

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Glad you enjoyed it so much!! Yes trying something new is always exciting and self-rewarding! Thank you for your comment!

  4. Al Perry says:

    Hi, Anne-Caroline.

    I love the article about self-care. I promote it myself, but not in such splendid detail. Our culture here in the US, and especially where I live in Silicon Valley, is far too absorbed in constantly working. The ideas you give are wonderful, even if I am an old guy. I love when my wife has no make-up, and her bath-time is sacred and makes her a happier woman.

    Your site in general is one I am bookmarking. My wife also teaches dance, ballet and lyrical. She danced on Broadway years ago, and just loves teaching now. Your Barre for men article is awesome. I take barre classes as part of my fitness regime. I am always the only guy, but it’s a demanding workout.

    Anyway, keep up the good work, your self-care article is welcome and needed. We could all use “La joie de vivre.” Thanks for promoting Self-care, and your many articles for creating a healthy temple.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Hello Al! Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing your thoughts! I can only imagine how busy the people who live in Silicon Valley are. I am glad you enjoyed my site and reading a few other articles like the one about barre for men. Happy you do take barre! It is a challenging workout indeed!!

  5. LineCowley says:

    I really enjoyed reading this article on self care tips and ideas for women. French women always seem to look so polished and groomed, and I am sure it is because they do use these ideas and pampered themselves more, than I often allow myself. 

    Relaxing in a hot bath, after a long day or doing some serious work in the garden, is one of my ultimate ways of treating myself. It’s time that I indulge myself more. Thanks for sharing. 

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Yes I love hot baths too!!!! Thank you for your comment!

  6. Lizzy Stabel says:

    During times of lockdowns and other hard times, it really is important to take care of yourself. And the French women seem to be doing this well, haha. Thank you so much for these 14 self-care ideas, and I will do already 2 of these today: taking a long hot bath and a fine glass of red wine. I’m looking forward to it!

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Mmmmm hot bath and red wine!! Haha sounds perfect !!! 

  7. kiersti says:

    I am always concerned with self-care and self-love. With that said, Artile does exactly that. I’ve been on a self-care journey for a few years. As a woman, I can attest that self-care is extremely beneficial to one’s confidence and overall happiness. I love your idea of taking a hot showeer. A nice hot shower can drastically alter one’s mood. Thank you for your informative and beautiful article.

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you for your comment! Yessss hot showers or baths are so effective to boost up your mood and relax your mind!! 

  8. Uttering ‘La joie de vivre’ sounds so relaxing! I found myself imagining indulging in several of the listed activities. The simplicity of self-love or self-care as described this article is amazing. I only wish that I could experience the French lifestyle and culture. I am certain that many ladies would enjoy these recommendations. 

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you for your comment! Yes “la joie de vivre” is a state of mind. Taking care of yourself is not being selfish! It is a healthy habit.

  9. Women should always be aware of their mental states. Not only seeking outside assistance but also from the inner guts.

    A cup of favorite drink, a comfy dress, and many other petite moves could serve as leverage to bring a refresh to our daily routine. A good mood can embrace all our undertakings. Let us start now to care for ourselves!

    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Totally agree with you! It is important to learn how to listen to our needs and moods! Thank you for your comment! 

  10. Ernest says:

    Thank you for the beautiful post Anne. Your self-care ideas are brilliant but simple enough that anyone can follow. I will definitely recommend my wife to read your post. Among the self care ideas there are few things that can do good for a man too, like treating one self for a drink or an ice-cream. Get the sugar intake compensated by reducing sugar in your coffee instead. 

    Great ideas!!


    1. Anne-Caroline says:

      Thank you Ernest for your comment! Yes, self-care is simple, the hardest part is to convince ourselves that we need to take the time to pamper ourselves and that it is a healthy habit to do so!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *