The Difference Between Pampering and Self Care

You often see self care Sunday hashtag captioned under a face mask/bubble bath image on Instagram. Although this is in a sense self care as the person may need some quiet or alone time, but really it is an indulgence and falls under pampering. In this post I am going to look at the difference’s plus how each person’s needs are so varied too.

So the definition I found for Self Care is:

In health care, self care is any necessary human regulatory function which is under the individuals control, deliberate and self initiated.

The definition for pampering is:

Indulge with every attention, comfort and kindness. To spoil.

Self care as mentioned in this post, can be many things that probably go unnoticed in your day as part of your routine. What is necessary for one person, could be unnecessary for some and a luxury for others. I have asked two of my friends to tell me a few of their pamper needs and some of their self care needs, plus my own list to show how varied or similar these can be.

My self care needs contain things like:

  • eating well
  • drinking plenty
  • going to sleep at a reasonable time
  • hugs
  • being clean
  • clean clothes (I’m not a scruffy teen anymore!)
  • paying bills on time

My pampering needs are things like:

  • bubble baths
  • face masks
  • fragranced candles
  • eating takeaways
  • drinking wine
  • buying clothes

My best friend Rachel from Rocking2Stomas lists are as follows:-

Self Care:

  • affirmations
  • journalling
  • meditating
  • yoga
  • time out
  • reading
  • connecting with water
  • walking


  • face masks
  • long baths
  • foot baths

My good friend E also helped by offering their lists:-

Self care:

  • go for a walk
  • talk to a friend
  • read a book
  • spend time with the ones you love
  • take a nap
  • take time to meditate


  • get nails done
  • get hair done
  • nice long bath
  • get a massage
  • make your favourite dessert
  • get a takeaway
  • do something just for yourself
  • retail therapy

There are elements that are similar in all of our lists but some differ too. The length of these lists don’t signify which we deem to be more important just what we actually acknowledge as pamper or self care. Up until recently I thought having a bubble bath was self care because it ticked a lot of my needs but in reality does it need to have bubbles? Not really but it is a small indulgence I can do every so often and I am worth being pampered as are each and everyone of you.

What do you think the difference is? What do you use for pampering or self care?


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