Life is unpredictable at times: you get a job, you get fired, you start a new business, and it shatters into pieces, you suffer from illnesses, ravenous for food that spoils your health, sit at your laptop daily, get a pain in your back, crack your favorite mug, etc. So many irritants challenge your mood and physical state, and it often becomes almost impossible to put yourself together without pillow crying. But here’s another situation: you’re doing well, both physically and emotionally, navigate stressors easier as you already know how to face difficulties, and follow a regime suitable for you. If you want to immerse in the positive outcome, a self-care checklist is your award-winning starting point. A daily self-care checklist will reflect your specific preferences, habits, and time considerations. It’s different for every person and there is no one particular list for the whole of humanity. Still, this article covers the ways to elevate the quality of your well-being and life in general with the help of important points you need to start checking out today. A self-care checklist – promote your life with simple steps.
What Is A Self-Care Checklist?
The self-care routine checklist is not about a spa retreat you can have with your besties or a nice new jacket you’ll show off to your co-workers. Let’s think big.
The National Institute of Mental Health states that self-care is the actions you do to promote your emotional and physical health.
This means that self-care encompasses nutrition, hygiene, lifestyle, environmental factors, financial situation, sports, and self-medication.
A self-care checklist is a literal list of deeds you follow, therefore, enhancing your productivity, physical health, and most importantly your emotional state.
So, in treating yourself you don’t only indulge in spa treatments or splurging money on stylish pants, you contribute to the quality of your life permanently.
What Are The Benefits Of The Self-Care Checklist?
Let’s clear out one thing: nobody must create a guide for daily actions. Some individuals feel completely okay with their life without using them. However, individuals who are not satisfied with the way they live may take advantage of the following: a self-care weekly checklist or self-care night checklist. It all depends on ones needs.
Why it’s important? Because when you follow a number of beneficial actions daily, you develop an internal discipline including healthy habits.
You see, motivation is not the core scheme to a better life. With the lack of discipline, a person may never lose weight, alleviate sweet cravings, or exercise regularly. But by creating a list of actions that you can notice on your wall, or a personal journal you build the discipline.
Besides, with an effective self-care checklist, you reduce your levels of anxiety and stress as you control your life and are already aware of what to expect from the current day.
How Do I Create A Self-Care List?
Creating a self-care checklist is personal for each individual. Some people desire to lose weight, while others want to promote healthy communication with their friends and family.
We all have our reasons to change our routine and here are a few things to consider for creating a powerful self-care checklist.
- Analyze your daily actions and habits. How do you start your day? By scrolling social media or skipping breakfast? Some people don’t even pay attention to these details and do them automatically. Take your time jotting down your unhealthy habits that spoil your physical health or mood. When you see your problems visually, it will get easier to eliminate them as you will know what to start with.
- Don’t jump into changes with big steps. Instead, make small steps when creating your checklist as you can lose motivation for expecting too much from yourself. For instance, if your goal is to start exercising (this should be in everybody’s self-care guide), you don’t have to rush for 1-2 hours of training for the first week. Instead, begin with 10-15 minutes of walking daily, or find videos on the Internet with short workout sessions. Gradually, you’ll move to weights, more resistance, and be able to complete intensive training for a longer time period.
- Make the list realistic and specific. Jotting down “I no longer eat sugar” means nothing and will more likely leave you disappointed. Instead, by writing something like “Only one candy bar per day” will not sound extremely restrictive and possible.
- Be kind to yourself. Making a self-care checklist is easy but hard to follow sometimes. A failure is not trashing one point on the list, a failure is giving up on the checklist because you didn’t do one good action today.
- Get someone to control your checklist performance. If it’s too hard for you to stick to a certain schedule on your own and you need help, ask your friend, relative, or a beloved one to keep tabs on you for a while. Another great idea is to write down one good habit per day and if you fail at it, you may create a punishment for yourself. Some people pay their friends a certain sum of money when skipping certain habits. Get creative and set an adequate punishment for spoiling certain points from the list.
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What Are The 8 Elements Of Self-Care?
- Physical needs
- Emotional needs
- Mental well being
- Environmental self-care
- Financial self-care
- Social self-care
- Personal growth
You’re aware now of how to create an effective self-care checklist for life improvements. The next thing you might expect is the exact list of self-care lists of women or men – a step-by-step instruction for daily actions.
Nonetheless, this article won’t cover the specific steps to take as we are different, our priorities vary, and some ideas might not be applicable to certain people. But we are going to scroll through the 8 elements of self-care.
The following areas of self-care are general and applicable to all individuals. Once you uncover the elements, you can adjust them to your daily regime and start making changes.
#1 Physical Needs
Physical self-care helps your body function well. It includes adequate sleep. Adults should sleep from 7 to 9 hours per. day. Poor sleep is linked to weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, and stroke (3).
Exercising is the second essential point in physical self-care as it promotes our muscle functioning and helps us perform daily actions more easily. Choose the activity you enjoy: it may be bicycle riding, running, cardio, or simple walking (5).
The third point here includes the right nutrition. Think of the junk food you indulge in more often than needed. Create a list of things you should avoid and a list of nutritional meals to incorporate into your daily routine. It shouldn’t be something luxurious and yes it might be hard at the beginning. But there are tons of tasteful and simple recipes you can google right now. No need for fancy lobsters or oysters. Meat, veggies, fruits, and enough hydration will be enough for the beginning (4). Plus, it will keep you healthier and more athletic.
#2 Emotional Needs
Emotional needs are important as they affect our relationships with relatives, friends, co-workers, or partners. Mull over people who negatively impact your mood and avoid talking to them. Surround yourself with people you can sincerely share your thoughts and desires with. Affection, including physical touches, hugs, kind words, and other pleasant actions positively affect your mood.
In case you’ve got no friends or people who you like, consider a pet. They provide affection and companionship. Plus, they help you get outside and even mingle with other pet owners on the street.
Other good activities for your emotional self-care are:
- practicing gratitude
- listening to music
- highlighting one’s boundaries and implementing them (5).
Don’t forget to spend some solo time. Search for new hobbies or work on the old ones. If you feel bummed, don’t hesitate to talk to the therapist. A professional can guide you in your self-care checklist creation and implement valuable points.
#3 Mental Self-Care
Self-care for mental health includes everything a person does to sustain a healthy relationship with their mind (5). These involve activities that keep the mind focused and engaged. For example, brain-stimulating activities. Expanding your mind can have a lot of benefits for overall wellness. You can boost your cognitive skills by:
- learning something new
- doing a digital detox
- listening to a podcast
- getting regular exercise
- practicing mindfulness
- playing brain games to improve concentration
#4 Environmental Self-Care
Your environment tells a lot about you. You need to create an environment that motivates and teaches you self-discipline instead of distractions. Check out a few ideas on environmental self-care:
- Making your bed every morning
- Traveling and exploring different spots
- Tidying and organizing your workspace
- Decluttering your space regularly
- Listening to music
#5 Financial Self-Care
Cultivating a healthy relationship with money is vital for our mental health as it helps reduce stress and anxiety. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to keep track of your purchases and set financial goals. You might desire to buy a new car or simply travel to a new city. By saving a certain sum of money each month you upgrade your chances. Don’t strike for enormous sums. As was mentioned, take small steps. Each day save a sum of money equal to a cup of Cappuccino in the coffee shop. Sounds not too big but in a month you’ll be amazed at the results.
Additional ways to incorporate financial self-care are:
- paying taxes on time
- meeting with a financial advisor
- paying bills
- budgeting and saving money
- learning about money management (5).
#6 Social Self-Care
Social self-care is your ability to build healthy relationships with others. Social connections help us to feel needed and loved. Plus, they are also essential in developing and improving our communication skills. Reconciling with old friends or creating and maintaining healthy relationships with loved ones is an excellent way to maintain social self-care.
- bipolar disorder
These are examples of social self-care activities for healthier relationships:
- detoxing from social media
- spending time with friends and family
- keeping a date night on the calendar
- calling loved ones
- trying new hobbies and joining new groups to socialize with others (5).
Most importantly, you need to realize your boundaries and eliminate toxic people from your life.
We all want to be a part of some community. And the best community consists of people who respect, care, and aid your personal growth.
#7 Personal Growth Self-Care
You can lead a more authentic, meaningful life by taking time to expand and develop as a person. Think about your job. Does it make you content or do you simply do it for compensation? Think about your abilities aside from your profession and analyze other options in case of changes.
Don’t underestimate yourself and set new goals in case of dissatisfaction. Take up courses for a new profession, and read books that differ from your casual choice. Evolve in different spheres if you feel the desire.
But what if you don’t know what you really want? In this situation, all you need is recreation. Take time for recreational self-care and then move on with your goals.
If relaxation doesn’t help, a professional therapist or a person you trust can assist you in your personal growth journey.
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#8 Recreational Self-Care
Treating yourself requires relaxation as well. Recreation makes you invigorated for new challenges and simultaneously lifts up your mood. Weekly, try to get engaged in joyful activities, such as watching movies, playing with friends, painting, or mingling in video games. No matter what you choose, it should make you feel good about yourself as everyone deserves to rest. Or simply relax by doing meditation, muscle relaxation, and breathing exercises (2).
Your brain needs to recharge.
What Are Self-Care Barriers?
Many things can stop people from self-care. Maybe you’ll recognize some barriers that stopped you during your changes from this list:
- Feeling guilty and selfish. Often people who enjoy their lives and put themselves in the first place are called out for their selfishness. But you have the right to be selfish and live life the way you want.
- Lack of time. You may be too overwhelmed with responsibilities to take time even for a moderate walk around the park. But you need to learn how to relax because life is too short for eternal self-exhaustion.
- Lack of understanding. You may not always realize the benefits of self-care, therefore, resist trying it out.
- Thinking it is too expensive. Some activities, like going to a new country or taking up a hobby might squeeze money which may create a financial burden.
- A health condition. Individuals with a number of health issues may not be physically or psychologically applicable to certain self-care checkpoints. Thus, they should build more specific checklists for their conditions.
- Lack of support. A poor workplace, sarcastic relatives, or friends automatically discourage us from proper self-care.
The Bottom Line
A self-care checklist involves conscious participation in activities that enhance your well-being and your quality of life. It also helps reduce stress and boost your self-confidence.
Checklists are individual for every person but the most essential areas in self-care include physical, emotional, environmental, financial, recreational, social, mental, and personal growth.
Self-care activities take many forms applicable to each individual. With enough support and a proper plan, you can easily implement self-care into your life and relish its benefits.
A self-care checklist – promote your life with simple steps.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Associations between loneliness and perceived social support and outcomes of mental health problems: a systematic review (2018, biomedcentral.com)
- Caring for Your Mental Health (2022, nimh.nih.gov)
- How many hours of sleep are enough for good health? (2023, mayoclinic.org)
- Self-care: What is it? Why is it so important for your health? (2022, uab.edu)
- What are examples of self-care? (2022, medicalnewstoday.com)