Perhaps you want to start practicing self-care, but don’t know where to start? Self-care is a time-tested necessity to your daily routine. Building a self-care routine and curating calm and balance in your life is key to a life that you love. Keep reading to learn all about how to create a printable self care checklist!
What is self-care routine?
Self-care requires checking in with yourself and asking how you’re doing and what your body’s asking for. Some people use it to deal with difficult news stories, others just to maintain their happiness day to day. It not mean the same thing for everyone. Different people will adopt different self-care practices, and even your own definition might change over time.
There’s no way to say exactly what counts as self-care, because everyone’s definition is their own and unique. The rule is that it’s something that brings you more sustained joy in the long run.
To get started with a self-care routine, we suggest:
- Determine which activities bring you joy, replenish your energy, and restore your balance.
- Start small by choosing one behavior you’d like to incorporate into your routine in the next week.
- Build up to practicing that behavior every day for one week.
- Reflect on how you feel.
- Get support through sharing practices from loved ones, a coach, a licensed professional (like a therapist or dietitian), or through your healthcare plan, community, or workplace.
What self-care strategies work for you?
Recognizing what works for you is the most important thing to ensure that you’re really looking after yourself.
Here some useful self-care tips in case you weren’t sure of what actually worked for you.
- Maintain your friendships. Connect regularly with family and friends and do things together that you all enjoy.
- Get regular exercise. Try aiming for 20 minutes a day, even a 10 minute walk will benefit you.
- Keep a balanced diet. Eat nutritious food as this helps with energy levels and stress management.
- Ask for help and accept it when it is offered. This one may seem tricky however no one expects you to deal with whatever is going on in your life alone.
- Think of yourself as your own best friend. Be kind to yourself. Encouraging and rewarding yourself for getting through a difficult period or achieving a goal, however small, will reinforce your self confidence.
- Plan something to look forward to, whether that be a trip with your mates or an outing – even a holiday.
- Try to spend some quality time for yourself, away from the usual demands, even if it’s just 15 minutes a day.
- Get good quality sleep and hop into a routine. If you’re finding it difficult to get to sleep, try a relaxation technique or an app that helps you feel sleepy again.
How to make a self-care checklist?
There are multiple ways to make a printable self-care checklist, just as there are millions of ways to improve mental and physical health through a self-care routine.
Whether you are looking to integrate one concept or multiple, follow these steps to creating a checklist:
- List everything you already do in these areas, using the categories listed above.
- Identify which areas are your weakest and need the most of your attention.
- Decide on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule in which you will integrate specific activities for each of your chosen categories.
- Determine specific dates and activities that you will try, and schedule them on your calendar as you would a meeting.
- Schedule a check in point with yourself, when you will determine how you are doing and if you are doing enough or too much. Self-care itself shouldn’t cause additional stress to implement.
How do you practice self-care in Covid?
Infectious disease outbreaks, like Covid, can be scary and can impact on our mental health. But there are many things we can do to support and manage our wellbeing during this extraordinary situation.
In times like this it can be easy to fall into thinking traps and ruminations. Make sure you ‘switch off’ screens and limit the time you spend on social media otherwise you can feel overwhelmed. Keep up-to-date using only factual information from the World Heath Organisation (WHO) and Government websites.
There are so many ways for us all to keep in contact now – phone, Skype, whatsapp, social media, email. Use this time as an opportunity to catch up with distant friends or family who you’ve been meaning to contact for a while.
Make use of your windows and keep the curtains open in the day to let light in. You could even start to grow plants on your windowsill (sweet peas are good). If you have a garden, go out in it and if you don’t, you can go out once a day for a run, walk or cycle. This should be done alone or only with people you live with.
Self-care is difficult to do especially because excuses are easy when it comes to doing things that only (at first glance) benefit us. We must remember that self-care while directed to our own health is something that benefits all those who you love.
We focus on these external expectations that make us feel wanted and forget the internal turmoil going on in our minds, spirit, and manifesting in our bodies. We forget what makes us laugh and feel good. We forget the things that we loved to do for fun. And we forget what we really need because we are busy satisfying the needs of those around us.