Social media has transformed self-care into a hip, modern thing to do but the truth is taking care of yourself goes deeper than a bubble bath filled with rose petals, lined with scented soy candles. Since checklists keep you on track, making a self-care routine checklist is a no-brainer!
What is the basic self-care?
Taking care of your well being —physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually— is taking care of yourself. In simpler terms, taking care of all aspects of yourself is the definition of self-care.
Bubble baths and candlelit solo dinners only cover the physical aspect of self-care. Social media exalts the physical part of self-care while conveniently forgetting the rest which is equally important.
A balanced state of mind means that you’re paying attention, listening, and doing what is needed physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually to ensure that you’re good.
What are some self-care ideas?
Eating healthy foods, drinking enough water, and taking mental breaks regularly are some of the necessities that should be included on your self-care routine checklist.
Utilize Your Peak Hours
Being mindful about the hours that you choose to work is a big part of maintaining a healthy routine. A morning person, like myself, will accomplish more things in the early hours of the morning than they would once the sun is at its peak. On the other hand, a night owl will gladly stay up all night, accomplish multiple goals, and sleep all day to rest and rejuvenate.
Pay attention to your body, note when you’re feeling full of energy, and when you want to crawl under the covers.
This is your body showing you your peak hours, use that time wisely by doing the things you dislike but are obligated to do because your goals depend on them. Use your downtime to do the things that spark joy, happiness, and excitement. You’ll accomplish a lot more during your day.
Get More Sleep
I take naps throughout the day to keep my spirits high, and to stay productive. A half an hour nap does wonders for my mood and, sometimes, if I’m stuck on a problem, the answer will come to me in a dream.
Last week, I was stuck, I needed three ideas to write about but no matter how much I researched and wracked my brain, nothing came to me. I decided that it was time for a nap. I had gone all day trying to figure out what to write and I kept walking into walls so a mental break was needed.
I normally set a thirty-minute timer but on this day I decided to leave the phone wherever it was and sleep.
I woke up two hours later with three ideas of what to write about and how to start writing them. My dreams solved the problem that I had been battling all day.
I’ve come to realize that whenever I push too hard to create instead of letting the creative juices flow, I get trapped inside a brick box where the only way out is to stop and rest.
To be honest, I still struggle with listening to my body’s signals but I’ve learned to recognize the signs more quickly which has saved me from burnouts.
Getting more sleep is a must-do on any self-care routine checklist.
Developing a self-care routine
When creating a self-care routine, you have to truly focus on yourself. Following a set path laid out by others might go well for a while but it won’t stick until you’ve transformed it to fit your personality and life.
Different people have different preferences on different days. For example, I might find it relaxing to dance around the house in my birthday suit to any of Lady Gaga’s albums one day, or on another day I might enjoy complete silence, where the only thing I can hear is the sound of my breath.
My point is that my routine for taking care of myself might look different every time I do it. Some days, I need to focus on my physical well-being while on others my mental well-being needs more attention.
Don’t allow yourself to think that your checklist has to be strict and it must be followed step-by-step. You are human and your preferences change with your mood, your body, mind or spirit will let you know what you must focus on.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself before you decide on what to include in your checklist.
What do you enjoy doing?
- What activity relaxes you?
- Do you make enough alone time to be with yourself?
- What bores you?
- Are you working to improve any aspect of your life?
What to include on your self-care routine checklist
- Read a book
- Create a morning routine
- Take a bubble bath
- Do a face mask
- Burn sage or your favorite incense
- Drink water
- Binge-watch Netflix
- Go for a walk in nature
- Turn your phone off and ignore all social media for 24 hours
- Write in your journal
- Try doing something new and fun
- Dance around your house to release all pent up stress.
Include only the things that make you happy and don’t be scared to try new things. Use your self-care time to focus on yourself.