With the rise of Instagram and the hashtag #selfcare, there’s also been a rising interest in self care as a movement. Leaving many wondering…What is self care? Is it something you do on a weekend? Or only when stressed? Is it all bubble baths, massages and yoga or does it got deeper than that? We get down to the bottom of what it really means to take care of yourself, with the ultimate self-care checklist.
Why Is Self Care Important?
There is so much pressure in today’s world and most people aren’t equipped to deal with long term stress. Lacking the education, tools and skills needed to properly take care of ourselves in all ways. Mentally, emotionally, spiritually and even physically.
Understanding how to get clarity on your needs and creating space for self nurturing rituals in your busy day to day routine is essential to maintaining peace of mind, balance and harmony in your life.
Left unchecked it can lead to lack of self worth, low self esteem, toxic relationships, poor health, burnout, sleep deprivation, insomnia, depression and anxiety.
What Is Self Care?
Let’s just start of by saying that self-care isn’t selfish!
It’s a way to understand and meet what your needs are – mind, body and soul. Empowering you to prioritize yourself by making daily choices that serve those needs.
Some self nourishing activities are fun and relaxing and some might not be so fun (like getting up early and going to the gym), but are just as necessary to your overall level of happiness and wellness.
Benefits Of Self-Care
1. Raised Sense Of Self Worth And Self Esteem
Do you have a habit of putting yourself last? When you make time to treat yourself as valuable as you treat others you are reminded that your needs are important. You are worthy, and deserving of love and compassion too.
2. Boosts Your Energy
Many women are stuck in a cycle of giving and nurturing others and then have nothing left over for themselves. When you are well rested and running on full, you’re actually able to give more, be more creative, better connected with more satisfying relationships.
3. Increased Ability To Manage Stress
No matter what, there will be times when life gets busy and stress happens. When you have a routine in place your energy levels – mentally, emotionally and physically are more able to deal with what life can unexpectedly throw at you. This helps to develop resilience, leaving you better able to cope without becoming overwhelmed and depleted.
4. Boosts Immunity
When you’re run down, overworked, not eating right and burning the candle at both ends, you’re more susceptible to disease and illness. Taking good care of yourself increases immunity and overall long term health and longevity.
5. Improves The Quality Of Your Life
How many times have you said to yourself “I’d love to do that, I don’t have time” or “I’ll get to it later”…or maybe you aren’t even sure what you really want and haven’t ever taken the time to find out what’s going to make you really, really, happy.
By getting crystal clear on your needs and wants and consistently making self loving choices, you get to find out who you are. You get to stop putting off life and start living your dreams now not “someday”.
Creating Your Self-Care Routine
Self-care is something you actually have to plan and make time for. Its also important to remember, that everyone is going to be different and your needs might change from day to day.
We’ve broken it down to 7 core areas to focus on, so you can achieve as much balance in all areas of your life as possible. The more clear you are on the areas, the easier it will be to see where you are feeling tired, rundown or experiencing unhappiness and needing some tender loving care.
This is probably the type of self care that you are most familiar with. However it goes much deeper than massages and mani-pedi’s, which of course are wonderful, there’s just more to it than that.
Physical self care is also getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising, paying attention to where you have an ache or a unmet need in your body. Listening to and respecting your body and all it does for you.
When you take good care of your body you will experience increased energy, motivation and physical pleasure.
Ideas For Physical Well-Being:
- Get playful! What physical activity lights you up? Belly dancing, yoga, swimming, dance around your living room, go running, take a bike ride, even a simple 20 min daily walk counts
- Indulge your senses – lay in warm sun, snuggle up with a cozy blanket, slowly eat a piece of dark chocolate, dip your toes in the ocean or walk barefoot in the grass.
- Have a nap if you’re tired
- Create a set sleep schedule
- Incorporate an extra serving of fruits and veggies into your diet every day
- Get up early and make a healthy breakfast
- Do anything that makes you feel good about and in your body – book a massage with beautiful essential oils, get your hair or nails done, create a spa in your bathroom
There is nothing worse than being emotionally drained and overworked! A lack of emotional well-being can manifest itself in all kinds of ways. From exhaustion and crying, to lack of energy and motivation. It can also show up as un-managed emotions like fear, jealousy, anger, shame.
Learning how to process your emotions and manage your emotional health is vital to your daily and long-term happiness. Take time everyday to check in with yourself and become aware of what you’re feeling and when.
Ideas For Emotional Well-Being:
- Many people experience emotional anxiety due to poor boundaries with others. Learn how to say NO to what you don’t want and YES to what you do want
- Be compassionate and kind to yourself as you process your emotions, they aren’t good or bad, they just “are”
- Spend a few minutes everyday writing in a journal, first thing in the morning or last thing at night is ideal
- Speak to a therapist, coach or trusted friend
- Listen to your favorite music
- Stay away from the news
- Practice meditation or mindfulness
- Ask for help if you need it
This is your mental, intellectual, creative and cognitive well-being.
Are you feeling stuck in any area of your life? Are things getting boring and stagnant? Being open to new ideas and keeping your brain stimulated and engaged has so many amazing long term health benefits.
Ideas For Intellectual Well-Being:
- Take an interesting class
- Learn a new language
- Travel somewhere new
- Fuel your creativity and take up a new hobby
- Learn how to play an instrument or pick up one that you’ve put aside and re-learn it again
- Do puzzles, crosswords or suduko
- Put a brain game app on your phone
- Read daily
Relationships – With Yourself & Others
Do you have a good relationship with yourself? Are you loving and kind to your yourself? Do you value and honour yourself?
How you treat yourself and the choices you make sets the tone for how others will treat you as well.
Do you spend time with people that lift you up and support you or those that are toxic or draining?
We all need some type of connection, to know that we are not alone and to let ourselves be supported and seen. The people that you surround yourself and the type of relationships that you build make a huge impact on your life.
Ideas For Relationship Well-being:
- Make choices daily that honor yourself and your needs
- Celebrate your successes
- Learn, set and reinforce healthy boundaries
- Connect with an old friend
- Go for brunch with a friend that lifts you up
- Smile and say hello to someone next to you in line
- Join a meetup group or create your own
- Learn something new, take a class and meet a whole new group of people
Whatever you happen to believe, nourishing your spirit isn’t about religion.
It’s about knowing your values and connecting with your inner world, that part of you that is your soul.
Understanding what matters the most to you and brings meaning and harmony into your life.
Ideas For Spiritual Well-being:
- Learn what your values are and make daily choices that align with them
- Practice gratitude
- Spend time outside and connect with nature
- Listen to a guided meditation or practice mindfulness
- Take a technology break
- Chant a Mantra
- Spend time with your pet
Your personal space has the ability to make you feel like you can take on world or distracted and stressed. How do you take care of your space? Is your environment cluttered and overwhelming or peaceful, joyful and inspiring?
Ideas For Environmental Well-Being:
- Set a timer for 10 minutes at the end of the day to clear any clutter
- Don’t let things pile up: do the dishes, the laundry, open and organize your mail and bills
- Do a bi-yearly purge of old clothes and any unwanted items, sell or giveaway
- How do you want to feel? Make your home and work space reflect it.
- Buy fresh flowers or decorate with air purifying houseplants
- Light scented candles
- Use a salt lamp or crystals like Amethyst, or Selenite to balance the energy and bring positive vibes into your home
Tips For Your Self-Care Checklist
Start off by going through the seven areas and writing down a list of all the things that you want to incorporate into each area.
Use the suggested ideas or add your own. Whatever is going to make you feel happy, well cared for, harmonious and balanced. Keep this list handy and easy for you to refer to.
Let your routine be simple, fluid and flexible. Your needs are going to change daily, monthly and yearly. And honestly What’s the point in creating a self care routine if its unmanageable and stressful?
Train yourself to take note when you are feeling run down and tired and then ask yourself what you need right now.
Keep asking until it feels right for you.
Creating a Simple Daily Self Care Checklist
What to consider:
- How you sleep
- How you fuel your body
- How you move your body
- Things that bring you joy
- How you connect: Spiritually, Socially, Emotionally, Intellectually
Here are some examples of how you might incorporate self care into your day:
How you sleep:
- Have a set bedtime and wake up time
- Relax in a hot epsom salt bath before bed
- Use a cool mist diffuser with lavender essential oil
How you fuel your body:
- Make a fresh fruit smoothie for breakfast
- Snack on nuts and fresh fruit during the day
- Eat a piece (or two!) of dark organic chocolate
How you move your body:
- Rise 20 minutes early and walk to work
- Take an evening yoga class or hit the gym
Things that bring you joy:
- Sing in the shower as you get ready in the morning
- Buy fresh flowers on your way home from work
- Get a massage
- Play with your dog
- Listen to a 10 minute guided meditation first thing in the morning or just before bed
- Read a soul inspiring book like, The Power of Now and practice presence
- Listen to an inspirational podcast on your way to work
- Sign up to learn Spanish
- Call a friend, laugh and chat and about your day
- Cuddle with your pet
- Snuggle with your boyfriend or partner
- Write in your journal
- Read a book on how to set boundaries
There is no right way or wrong way to create your list. This is just one way that you can check in with yourself to see if you’re meeting your core daily wellness needs.
Ultimately self care is all about serving you, in the highest most loving way possible. Valuing and feeling more connected to yourself so you can have stronger relationships and a more satisfying life. I hope you use this self-care checklist as way to balance living healthier, more relaxed and joyfully everyday.
You deserve it!
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