For this month’s mindfulness post, I wanted to talk about a the tricky subject of self-care. Most of us are already familiar with the phrase “self-care.” It means putting yourself first by doing things that make you happy, things that feed your soul right down to your core being.
For as important as self-care is, it can be easy to call anything self-care when it really isn’t: “I’ll eat some ice cream tonight because today was so crappy,” might not be the best form of self-care. It is as much about indulging in occasional treats as it is about being healthy and kind to your body. See? It’s tricky!
Make A List
I have found that the best way for me to focus on daily self-care is to make myself complete a self-care checklist every day. Stick with me, because it’s not as complicated or as dreadful a task as it sounds.
Each week in my planner I jot down a small list of things I like to do for self care. These are tried-and-true things that make me feel good. Examples include: reading in the morning, meditating for fifteen minutes, going to the gym, making a gratitude list, among others.
Then, each day I make a point to do at least one of those items on my self-care checklist, as you can see in my planner for today:
I made a list of ideas ahead of time, should I need them. I started the morning off reading in bed (so luxurious) and I jotted down a quick gratitude list. Note that I included chocolate as an option – not the healthiest self-care suggestions but a little indulgence is okay now and then so long as you can keep it to a minimum.
It’s. That. Easy.
By keeping a self-care checklist, you can make it easier to prioritize yourself. Sounds appealing, right? Keeping a list in your planner, or calendar or even on the bathroom fridge, helps you track what you are doing and gives you a sense of accomplishment once you check something off.
A little tip: Notice you’re never checking off “go to the gym?” Chances are, you subconsciously don’t see that as a category of self-care, and that’s okay! Don’t add it to your list next week, and instead replace with with “go for a power walk” or another form of exercise that is more appealing. Self-care checklists really give you the opportunity to see what works for you and what doesn’t. They are personal in a way that some mindfulness activities are not.
Self-Care checklists are something new I’m incorporating into my routine to remind myself to stay mindful every day. It does take some planning, so finding the time to actually sit down with my calendar and write out ideas takes some effort. In the long run, I think it’s worth it. If you are going to use a planner like me, the good thing is that if you forget to write down your self-care checklist one week, you can always flip the page back to last week’s or the week before to get ideas 🙂
What About You?
Would you try a self-care checklist? What are some of the ways you practice self-care? Tell me in the comments!