What is Self Care?
Self care is simply the practice of caring for your mental, emotional, and physical health. In today’s fast-paced, work-centric world we often forget or neglect to take care of ourselves. But that can have long-term negative impacts on your life and lead to burnout, sickness, and tension in relationships.
Why It’s Important
Self care has many benefits which include a better immune system, increased productivity, better self-esteem, and more self-compassion. Taking proper care of yourself has a wide-reaching impact to those around you as well. You’ll have more energy and compassion for others. Self care isn’t something selfish; in fact it’s the opposite – it’s necessary for you and your communities.
At the bare minimum, self care is composed of daily routine actions which create a healthy foundation for you to build on.
These are especially important when a mental illness like depression or a major stress is present in your life and affecting your ability to function or cope normally. Maintaining this bare minimum of self care can help reduce the stress, manage the depression, and ideally help you stay or become healthy.
Daily Self-Care Checklist
Here is a checklist of these foundational self care activities for adults that I recommend working into your daily routines.
- Eat the right amount
- Eat vegetables
- Take vitamins and supplements
- Drink water
- Get enough sleep
Mental & Emotional Health
- Talk to a friend
- Practice mindfulness
- Accomplish something (non-zero day)
- Leave the house
- Develop a routine
- Take a cold shower
- Brush your teeth
- Wear clean clothes
- Use clean sheets
BONUS for Relaxation & to De-Stress
If you accomplish all of most of the above checklist items on a regular basis, that’s great! You’re well on your way to mastering self care and self compassion.
Here are some additional self-care ideas to help you relax and unwind after a stressful day.
- Cuddle up with a pet or loved one
- Create something
- Listen to music
- Read a book
- Learn something
- Lay in the sun
- Have a spa day
- Take a nap
- Write a gratitude letter
Track Your Progress & Stay Accountable
Make a goal to turn self-care into a habit. If routines are difficult for you to maintain, stay accountable and track your progress. Set ground rules for yourself (such as not allowing yourself to skip more than one day in a row) and take advantage of “The X Effect” with habit trackers.