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Last Updated on December 7, 2020
I’ve always said that self-care is one of the most important parts of every day. Here’s a guide on how to create a simple self care checklist.
Self-care means taking the time to pay attention to your own physical and mental needs.
A lot of people out there have told me that they don’t have the time; others have told me that they think self-care is a selfish thing to do. It’s often a difficult concept for medical professionals, or for people in high-stress careers to get their heads around.
Here’s a secret: I always make sure that there’s time for basic self care in the day.
It’s true no matter how busy that particular day might be. Whether I have five minutes or twenty to make something useful of, that’s marked out as my daily self-care time.
I recommend self-care first for any person who has to take care of others. It’s hard to take care of someone else when we aren’t healthy ourselves – and that’s why I do.
Having trouble? Even I do sometimes. A self-care checklist can help.
When you have a self-care checklist in a familiar place, there’s more of a focus to it within your day. When you see it, you’ll remember to check something off the list. This makes checklists perfect for chaotic, busy or stressful days.
Here’s why self-care is important – and what you can do to write an easy, practical self-care list for your own needs.
Self Care Checklist: The Basics
How important is self-care to your day?
It should be the first priority.
If you aren’t taking care of yourself, you’re giving conditions like depression or anxiety something substantial to feed off. Conditions like depression can hit harder when you’re underestimating your own self-care – so don’t.
If I’m not taking care of my own mental health, it’s hard to be a good partner, writer or friend to anyone.
A lot of people think that taking care of themselves is the selfish thing to do. If you don’t see it yet, self-care is absolutely essential.
What Is A Self Care Checklist?
A self-care checklist is something I think everyone needs in their day.
Having a little trouble keeping things in check? Check them off your checklist and make sure you’re being taken care of.
I guarantee that you’ll feel better when you do it.
Why Keep A Self Care Checklist?
It’s fun to make our way through accomplishments. I like getting badges when playing video games. It’s a human instinct.
A checklist makes you feel the same accomplishment when you’ve just checked something off the list. Even if it’s something small, it feels like a great accomplishment in your day.
I’ve found that it helps me get through difficult days – and sometimes it’s even helped for long stretches where keeping a handle on life was tough for weeks at a time.
Just like a simple to-do list, a self-care checklist can be enlightening to your life.
Writing Your Own Self Care Checklist
A self-care checklist is about making sure your own mental and physical health is taken care of even during the busiest, most chaotic days of your week.
On this list should be things that you consider part of your day to be healthy.
I like listening to music to unwind. That’s one of the things on my own checklist. I also know that I have to eat several small, balanced meals throughout the day – so I wrote that down.
Because I often forget to hydrate, I wrote that, too. Just that: HYDRATE, in large letters using a red pen.
Everyone’s self-care list might look a little different to the next. That’s the point. As long as it covers the basics of mental and physical health. Things like staying happy, staying focused and making sure you’re in the best health you can achieve.
Important Questions For Your Self Care Checklist
A self-care list should cover the most basic needs and necessities of being a healthy human first. Even if we don’t all stick to these rules all the time, people know what they are. For example, eating well and exercising.
Start your self care checklist with these basics.
If you don’t know where to begin, I’ve come up with 5 sample questions to start your daily self care checklist.
- Have I eaten something yet?
- Have I hydrated recently?
- Have I had a bath or shower?
- Have I checked my blood pressure today?
- Have I walked at least fifty steps?
These things might seem basic, but they are also easy to forget. I’ve had many bad days where I couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed, and a self-care checklist can help manage common symptoms of depression like this.
If yours looks a little different than my example above, that’s okay.
Next, I want you to put your self-care checklist to use.
Remembering That Mental Health Is Important
The whole point of a self-care checklist is remembering that your own mental and physical health is just as important as those around you.
Even if you spend your time taking care of others, you matter.
When you feel like you might lose focus during the average day, take a look at your mental health checklist. Bring your focus back. Do a couple of things on the list, and get back to your day easier.
Why See A Psychiatrist
Asking for help is the first step to acceptance, diagnosis and treatment of conditions like depression or anxiety.
Self-care helps to manage these conditions, but can’t cure them. Seeing a psychiatrist ensures responsible, effective management of your symptoms.
Why should you see a psychiatrist?
I’d say because it helps.
The Cost Of Seeing A Psychiatrist
I’ve seen many people put off important psychiatric help because they’re worried about what it might cost.
The cost of an appointment seems daunting. Added costs like prescribed medication can make seeking help seem like it has a hefty price tag attached to it.
Cost should never stand in the way of seeking help for important issues. Doing nothing costs more.
If you or someone you know needs help, cost-effective options are available.
Click here to learn more about the practical cost of psychiatric appointments and what some options are.
Need more self care tips? Check out these self care during quarantine tips.