First off, it's important to remember that there is no “right” or “wrong” way to practice self-care. As the name states, “self’ is very personal to each individual and can be modified to each person's wants and needs.
What is a self-care list you ask? Well, it’s activities that help you look after your emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing. Big or small, it is tasks that help you take care of your overall health. For some, that might mean scheduling a full day of beauty appointments, along with drinks with friends. For others, it can mean silencing your phone for a few hours and binging on your favorite mindless tv show. It’s a way to relax, unwind, and take care of only yourself for a little while. You cannot take care of anyone else if you do not take care of yourself first. Also, whatever self-care looks like in your mind is okay. It doesn’t have to be the same as other people around you.
So when you’re trying to make yourself a personalized self-care routine, you want to make it feel less preformative and more restorative. There are a few things you want to keep in mind and they can also be modified as you grow and if your needs or wants change. Also, you don’t want to think of this self-care list as a “to-do list” and mindlessly go through the motions. This is meant to be a list to help you better take care of yourself.
Many think practicing self-care is a selfish thing. But taking better care of yourself in all aspects of your life, will uplift your mood, help you become more positive even in negative situations, and can also better your health. In doing this, it will also help you take better care of the people that are important in your life.
Ready to make your own personalized self-care routine? Here are some tips to help you create a successful self-care checklist that will check off all your wants and needs to improve you not only physically, but emotionally and mentally as well:
Don’t Overbook Yourself
Self-care isn’t meant to add more stress to your life by adding something else to your “to-do list”. You want to figure out an ideal and realistic breakdown of your time when creating your self-care checklist. There are 168 hours in each week. Start by breaking down your days and weeks in a realistic way. Write down your non-negotiables (like your job) that you can’t work around and their time range. In doing this it can help you figure out how much time you have in your day to invest in yourself, or if you can adjust your routine to gain more time to complete your self-care checklist (i.e. get up an hour earlier, make your lunch for the next day before bed, etc.).
It’s important to find balance and fulfillment in each thing that you do. Also remember, that the self-care list can be adjusted if you take on too much. The majority of people’s self-care checklist is a “work in progress” and is adjusted many times before they find what works best for them. It isn’t supposed to be a rigid schedule and can also be updated or changed as your life changes and you grow as a person.
Always be Realistic with your Routine
An unrealistic self-care list and goals are basically self-sabotage. Instead of going from never meditating at all to multiple hours a day. Try to start off with smaller goals and do them regularly to create a routine or habit. Then when you feel confident, you can expand your goal.
When you are coming up with tasks that you would like to make apart of your self-care checklist, don’t just think about the task in itself or how you’re going to implement it in your day. Think about what it will accomplish for you and how to create more time in your day. How about replacing meditation time with some of the time you spend on social media before bed? Not only will this help you accomplish a task on your self-care list, but it will help calm your mind before bed and more than likely help you sleep better. Most of all, it is important to be realistic when making time for your self-care checklist.
Identify Areas To Work On
It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all the complexities, but taking care of yourself really doesn’t have to require all that much. If you are not sure about what task to implement in your self-care checklist, ask yourself “Am I getting enough rest and nourishment daily?”. Most people aren’t, so from there take a look at what might need more attention in your life. Creativity, Relationships, Fun, Downtime? Once you’re able to identify what needs work in your life, you can start working on a self-care list to nourish yourself in each area.
Check-In With Yourself
Depending on your personality, you might find yourself scheduling out your self-care time by the minute or more sporadically throughout your week. Do what works for you and doesn’t create more stress in your life. But no matter how you complete your self-care checklist, make sure to check in with yourself at least once a week to see if your self-care tasks are working for you. Don’t be hard on yourself either. Even if you’re not able to check off every task each day/week on your self-care checklist, continue writing them down. Psychologically this will help you make progress.