Taking care of ourselves doesn’t always come naturally. It takes time and practice to get over the stigma that self-care is selfish- it’s absolutely not, by the way. I’ve created a self-care day checklist to make the process a little bit easier.
What Is Self-Care?
Let’s start with what it doesn’t have to be. Complicated. Self-care doest have to be full days at the spa or long weekends full of charcoal face masks and cucumber water. It definitely can be, if that’s what you want to do and what you have time for. Just don’t let the idea of overwhelmingly complicated self-care activities deter you from taking care of yourself.
Start simple and start small. Start with one thing a day, or one day a week, and build from there.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-care is “care for oneself.” Simple, right? Yep. It CAN be. But for some of us, that means lots and lots of practice. Not because the actual act of self-care is hard, but because putting ourselves first can be really difficult.
Overcoming the feelings of guilt can be the most challenging part of making a conscious decision to improve our mental and physical health and overall well-being. Normalize doing things that make you feel good physically, mentally, and emotionally, and then keep doing them.
When Should I Practice Self-Care?
Anytime. Maybe you take a few seconds alone in a room to gather your thoughts, or maybe you drink one extra glass of water a day. Remember, it doesn’t have to be complicated. The easier you make it, the more likely you will follow through.
If I’m having a tough week, I like to have a full self-care day checklist planned (check out the freebies below! No email required) and written out to use whenever I need it. I also like to keep a weekly checklist of smaller things I want to do every single day. It’s also a good idea to keep a running list of things that you can do for yourself when you have a few moments of free time.
Why Is Self-Care Important?
I can’t claim to be an expert (my famous last words), but I can claim to know the struggles of taking care of myself when I know I should, but it feels wrong for some reason.
Society tends to glorify overworking ourselves to the point of exhaustion while punishing or looking down on those who choose to slow down or take breaks when they need them. The problem with this is that society doesn’t necessarily care about the over health and well-being of its individuals. It doesn’t care about burnout. It doesn’t care that people are putting their work before their mental and physical health. So, that part is up to us.
We only have one body and one life on this teeny tiny floating planet in this massive universe. It’s truly an awesome thing. So don’t let it go to waste for the sake of society, thinking we all need to work ourselves to death to have a productive and successful life.
Why use a checklist?
You don’t have to, but it helps to hold yourself accountable. You can tell yourself that you’ll take better care of yourself, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll forget or make excuses unless it’s written down and put right in front of your face. You may not always need it, but remember the whole practice thing? It’s so much easier when you’ve put some effort into creating a list and having little boxes you can check off as you go, and it’ll give you a sense of accomplishment, awesome.
- Drink water
- Make your bed
- Eat a breakfast that makes you feel good
- Write in your gratitude journal
- Go for a walk
- Read a book
- Take a nap
- Listen to an audiobook
- Write some new affirmations
- Take a bath or shower
- Have a snack
- Make some tea
- Watch your favorite show
- Snuggle with your pet
- Dance in the kitchen
- Do Something you enjoy
- Call a family member
- Hang out with a friend
- Order yourself some takeout
- Spend time off of social media
- Sit outside
- Declutter your living space
- Help someone
- Try something new
- Spend time in nature
- Go to sleep early
Do this your way. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself and enjoy this life. It will take time, effort, practice, and patience. But it’s worth it. Slow down and take care of yourself. It’s okay to put yourself first. I challenge you to start doing so today.
Leave your favorite self-care ideas or your self-care day routine in the comments below!