German vocabulary to talk about health and self-care habits

German vocabulary to talk about health and self-care habits

by Maria Inês Teixeira

Updated November 7, 2022

What do you think about when you read the words “self-care”? Perhaps having some fun with your closest friends? Perhaps a tasty meal at your favourite restaurant? Others will think of a day at the spa, a trip abroad or buying a new face cream.

That’s the beauty of self-care: it can be whatever you want it to be. But how can you talk about self-care (die Selbstpflege) in German? If you’re familiar with our philosophy at Lingoda, we strongly believe you should be able to talk about lifestyle and personal preferences as soon as possible.

Talking about self-care in German

Let’s start with the body before we address the mind. These are some examples of self-care activities that help you stay active, cheerful and aware of your body. Just remember: the verbs on the list aren’t conjugated. All you have to do is conjugate them according to context and you’re good to go! 

  • ein Nickerchen machen – to take a nap
  • entspannen – to relax
  • sich ausruhen – to have rest
  • in Kontakt mit der Natur sein – to be in contact with nature
  • Sport treiben – to do exercise
  • ins Fitnessstudio gehen – to go to the gym
  • Wasser/Kaffee/Tee trinken – to drink water/coffee/tea
  • Spazieren gehen – to go for a walk outside
  • sich schminken – to put on makeup
  • eine Massage erhalten – to get a massage
  • zum Friseur gehen – to go to the hairdresser
  • Um die/meine Haut zu pflegen – to take care of the/my skin
  • eine Gesichtsmaske aufsetzen – to put on a face mask
  • gesund kochen – to cook healthy

Taking care of yourself psychologically and emotionally

A healthy heart and mind are just as important as a cared-for body. Nothing like some relaxing, nurturing self-care habits to bring us some peace and self-love! From now on, you’ll be able to talk about them in German, using the following expressions:

  • ein Buch lesen – to read a book
  • einen Podcast anhören – to listen to a podcast
  • Musik hören – to listen to music
  • ein Tagebuch schreiben – to journal / write a diary
  • etwas Neues ausprobieren – to try something new
  • meditieren – to meditate
  • schreiben – to write
  • Sprachen lernen – to learn languages
  • lernen, nein zu sagen – to learn to say “no”
  • Komplimente annehmen – to accept compliments
  • eine(n) Therapeut(in) suchen – to look for a therapist
  • mit einem/meinem Terapeut / mit einer/meiner Terapeutin sprechen – to talk to a/my therapist
  • beten – to pray
  • reisen – to travel

Vocabulary for socialising in German

Yes, we’re already aware that helping others can make us feel amazing. And that’s not the end of it: spending time with loved ones, talking to someone who will listen and even going out to eat can be self-care activities you enjoy. And how will you talk about them in German? Here you go!

  • Zeit mit meinen Freunden verbringen – to spend time with the/my friends
  • Zeit mit meiner Familie verbringen – to spend time with the/my family
  • sich freiwillig melden – to volunteer
  • spenden – to donate
  • einem Freund helfen / einer Freundin helfen – to help a friend
  • essen gehen – to go out to eat
  • spiele mit dem/meinem Hund – to play with the/my dog
  • spiele mit dem/meinem Haustier – to play with the/my pet
  • für jemand kochen – to cook for someone
  • ein Date haben/mit jemandem ausgehen – to go on a date

Taking care of your space

Many people associate self-care with caring for the physical space around them: organising, decluttering, cleaning and creating a beautiful home. If you’re one of the people who loves caring for their home to care for their mind, look no further! Here are some cool self-care habits for you in the German language:

  • einen Hausgarten machen  – to create a home garden
  • sich kümmern um die Pflanzen – to take care of the plants
  • das Schlafzimmer entrümpeln – to declutter the bedroom
  • Geschirr spülen – to wash the dishes
  • mein Haus zu erneuern – to renew my home

Und du? 

From now on, make it your motto to learn German by creating a highly customised experience. We suggest you prioritise talking about your preferences, hobbies and occupations as soon as possible. What are your favourite self-care activities and how can you express them in German? Share your ideas with us!

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