If you are anything like me and appreciate a list to guide you when completing tasks, you’ll love this Self-Care Checklist.
Why you need a self-care plan?
What’s that old saying? “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. This is especially true when it comes to self-care activities.
It is pitifully easy to let areas of your routine slip when life vamps up. Who needs sleep, when you have this big project at work due? Daylight? What is that!? This one is particularly jarring to me right now since they put privacy screens on the windows at work so now I permanently look at a white foggy window with a hint of light. I digress.
So you need a self-care system, to keep the importance of self-care at the forefront of your mind. I personally tend to have self-care goals in my bullet journal. My bullet journal is, for me, a self-care journal from cover to cover.
Not everyone has the time or motivation to bullet journal though, I get that. Therefore I created what is essentially a self-care pdf for you guys for two reasons.
Firstly it is a helpful reminder to do certain things as a self-care routine is easy to leave by the wayside on a busy day.
Secondly, it is a helpful self-care awareness tool. After you have filled it out for a week, it should be clear which items on the self-care list that you find overwhelming or easy to bypass. It gives you something to aim for in terms of how to improve your self-care.
Why have a daily self-care checklist?
You may have heard terms like “Self-Care Sunday” and “Self-Care Day” which are lovely ideas but I feel that they completely miss the point of self-care. They are surely referring to more of a pamper session, which may make you feel better in the moment but won’t contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing that you should be aiming for. Sleeping well on Sunday won’t allow you to catch up for the six dreadful nights sleep that preceded it.
I am all for feeling pampered and gorgeous and wonderful for one day a week, but I think having a strong foundation is more likely to provide you with all the benefits of self-care.
I think you are better to add a pamper day into your self-care calendar every few weeks rather than have that day be your soul time for nourishing and rejuvenating yourself.
Self-Care Week, Every Week!
I initially struggled to come to the understanding that self-care management was less about pampering and more about ensuring that you are generally looking after yourself better all the time.
That is what self-care habits should encourage. A general sense of wellbeing that isn’t knocked because you are out visiting your family on a particular Sunday. Thereby missing your usual self-care schedule and leaving yourself more frazzled than normal.
How do you go about incorporating self-care into your day, every day?
I truly think that the answer lies in going back to the basics.
How many of us can honestly answer that they are getting all the basics right? Sleeping a decent amount, drinking water, eating vegetables and all that jazz.
The way I look at it is, if you were looking after a child, you would not brush off concerns that they hadn’t had a bath for a few days or only eaten beige food for weeks on end.
In order to really begin to look after ourselves, it’s best to start with the basics and then build upon them.
I have also tried to ensure that it isn’t too prescriptive. For example, I haven’t put “Get 7 hours sleep” as some people only need 6 hours to feel good, whereas others need 8 hours.
If you aren’t sure what is right for you then you should start where you are and set a goal to make a small change. Once you achieve the goal, evaluate whether you feel better or worse and adjust.
Eventually, the aim is for you to have a personalised self-care practice that works perfectly for you.
I know that people jump up and down to tell you that what they are doing is right and the only way to do things. Everyone is different. Veganism might be perfect for someone, but you might feel better if you eat a more Mediterranean diet with chicken and fish.
I am not about to tell you that you need to be doing x or y or even z, because quite frankly, what do I know about your life? You should have self-care tools at your disposal, certainly. I want to give you guidance on how to fit them into your life. What those tools look like though? That’s totally up to you!
My Weekly Self-Care Checklist
Here it is then, isn’t it fantastic? If I do say so myself.
Sign up to my email list to get access:
Down to the actual self-care worksheet then. I’m going to run over some of the fields with you just so it is really clear.
The Basic’s section should be pretty obvious. As stated earlier, I haven’t been prescriptive, so you can decide what is the right amount of each thing for you. Or even if there needs to be a specific targetted amount set. Completely up to you.
Each section also has a couple of extra lines for you to add things you might want to add. For me, I would add medication to my basics. I didn’t want to include it on the printable as not everyone has daily medicine as I do.
Keep In Touch – Which just means to speak to a friend or acquaintance. You might not need this reminder if you are incredibly social. As I am an introvert, I struggle in this area and I know I am not alone. Also, people are busy and a quick check-in conversation sometimes can be harder to make happen than it should be. It never hurts to reach out and say hello to someone. It might be just what they needed.
Contact Family – I put family as a separate section as sometimes they can be tougher to talk to than friends. I am certainly not good at speaking to my brother so a reminder again is nice. If you don’t have a proper “family” so to speak, then just contact a member of your support network.
Show Partner Some Love – Taking your partner for granted is so horrendously easy to do. Some extra love and attention always puts a spring in their step. I apologise but I am so loved up lately. Unashamedly blissfully loved up…. SO much so that I didn’t even think of all the gorgeous single folk out there when I created the pdf. Feel free to throw vegetables at me. If you are running solo, then telling someone important to you that you appreciate them works just as well.
Alone Time – It does wonders and even the most extroverted people need a little bit of time to themselves every now and then.
Read – I am a huge bookworm as you know if you read my super cheap hobbies post. After saying I wouldn’t tell anyone what to do, I am now breaking my own rule. Everyone should be reading. It’s such a fabulous way to relax and/or improve yourself. I’ve added it now, so there!
Learn – Don’t overthink this one. I literally mean when people say “You learn something new every day!”. It can be something very small but it still counts. I just wanted a prompt so that if you have been stuck in doing a mind-numbingly dull task all day, you might want to put a TED Talk on just to give your mind a bit of a stretch.
Journal – Another thing I think everyone should be doing, though again, what capacity is up to you. Even a quick scribble of 3 good things about your day and 3 bad things is a journal practice to my mind. Really do not overthink it or think you need to spend hours “Dear Diary”ing your every mundane move that day.
Finance Check-In – Oh ho! Don’t switch off! Money is a massive stressor to a lot of people. People try to head this off by not looking! Driving with your eyes closed. I understand and have been guilty of it myself. The worst part, it makes things worse. I sorted my money situation out a few years ago and the number one thing that made a difference to my finances in a really positive way – paying attention. So have a quick peek and make sure there are no fires you need to put out. You’ll feel better, I promise. I am sure I will talk budget to you (Sexy, eh?) sooner or later, but for now, just look every day if you can.
Laugh – I don’t know what might make you laugh but if you go a week without ticking this box, it isn’t the best sign. If laughing is too much, then track your smiles. Too few smiles or giggles, then you need to try to bring the joy back into your existence, but only you will know how to do that.
Otherwise, I have left this section blank as my fun might not be your fun. I have already inflicted reading and journaling on you after all.