Do you ever sit down at the end of a long day and realize how hungry you actually are? Or do you wake up in the morning feeling exhausted and make yet another promise to yourself that you will be in bed early tonight? Do you walk around feeling stressed or feeling like you are constantly in survival mode? These questions will help you pinpoint what areas you can change in order to improve your self-care. Think of this as a self-care worksheet!
First, ask yourself the questions on the numbered list below. Then, read the accompanying questions and explanations. Feel free to print this out even and circle or underline the few you want to change.
If you sign up for my newsletter/email list over to the right on the sidebar or through the popup bar (at the bottom of the screen), you will immediately get an email that includes my FREE printable goal planning worksheet. You can use the questions below to help you fill in some of the habits and small goals you want to accomplish for the new year!
OR if you already have a planner you love, there are usually some extra blank pages somewhere in the planner. You can utilize that to make a little goal/habit planning area. A new year just started! Many people are already thinking about what they want to do differently in their lives. Self-care is a perfect place to start!
Taking care of yourself will automatically help improve other areas of your life. If it results in you being healthier and less stressed, that may directly improve your physical health as well. That would positively affect you, your family, etc. Even drinking enough water daily can improve many things in your body like your skin, for example!
Taking care of yourself improves your mental health which means you can probably then be more patient with your family or kids. It may also mean you’re able to complete more projects since you feel less stressed or less overwhelmed daily. I find that when I take some time for myself it helps me feel more clear-minded which usually means I’m able to be more efficient at daily tasks.
1. Do you get 7+ hours of sleep a night?
Sleep is essential. Sleep deprivation can be detrimental to our physical AND mental health. Many people, myself included, have started to struggle with anxiety, or even panic attacks, after long periods of sleep deprivation. If you don’t have something out of your control [unpredictable] that is keeping you up at night (like a baby for example or even a job where you have to be on-call), then please make sleep a priority! I promise if you don’t get enough sleep regularly than you will run into more issues. Sleeping more may even fix some of the issues you are currently dealing with! Why not try it?
2. Do you eat a balanced, healthy diet?
When it comes to a “balanced” and “healthy” diet, those words can seem apparent. However, healthy eating seems to mean different things to different people. I suggest you do some research on healthy eating to make sure you are giving yourself more than adequate nutrition. That is our body’s fuel source. If we’re putting crappy stuff into our body, we’re going to get crappy stuff out of it i.e. our body won’t have what it needs to ward off sickness, infections, etc.
3. Do you drink enough water daily?
Water is also essential for our bodies. Your body can survive much longer without food than it can without water. More than half of our body is water! We need to be replenishing that frequently throughout the day.
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4. Do you have a skincare routine?
Our skin is the most important organ of our bodies. I’m sure you’ve heard that one before… But regardless of that, it’s true! We need to treat our skin well! On top of that, clean, healthy-looking skin does wonders for a person’s self-esteem. So if you’re struggling and aren’t completely happy with your skin, then evaluating your skincare routine could be a good step.
5. Do you get a day off or a break each week?
If you’re a mom, that means do you get at least a few hours or a partial day each week to be kid free and free of responsibilities? If you have no children but still have a job, do you get a day off each week from work and other major responsibilities and worries (like dealing with an elderly parent, dealing with rental properties, etc.)
6. Do you feel that your stress levels are “under control”?
If not, how come? Try to pinpoint what is causing the insurmountable stress so a plan can be put in place to start lowering your stress. This means you may have to spend some quiet time in a quiet place so you can really think about your life; meditate on it. If you really feel like there is nothing, in particular, causing it, you may want to speak to your doctor or even just try a natural supplement for stress (do some research!).
7. Do you get any exercise daily or weekly?
Exercise is so good for your body (says the person who doesn’t have a gym membership and definitely doesn’t workout daily [aka ME]… This is something I have to work on as well). Not only does exercise help you stay physically fit, but it also releases endorphins that make you feel happier, more positive. So exercise is good for your mental health also, not just your physical health. I’m sure you knew that but some might need a reminder or a little nudge towards implementing that habit.
8. Do you make time to get some fresh air or go outside?
This could go hand in hand with exercise as I talked about in the last bullet point. Maybe you could take a walk or run outside regularly. Then, you would be getting fresh air and exercising at the same time. Fresh air is good for you also. Did you know that indoor air can be even more polluted than outdoor air sometimes?? (Opening windows is probably a good idea! I try to do this occasionally but still…) Nothing beats fresh outdoor air like when you go camping and take a walk in the woods and everything just smells so good!
9. Do you take any vitamins?
Did you know that your body does not produce vitamins? Yet, vitamins are essential to our bodies. It is necessary to acquire these vitamins through our diet. However, today many people do not eat a balanced diet that allows them to take in enough of those vitamins. On top of that, it can be difficult to ingest the amount of food needed to acquire enough of each of those vitamins.
10. Do you take care of your physical health?
Do you see a doctor annually for checkups? Do you have regular dental visits? Have you gone to the eye doctor in the last year or two? Sometimes it’s easy getting caught up in helping other family members with their health and doctor appointments that your own health goes on the back burner. Your health should be a priority as well though! If this is an issue for you, I urge you to call tomorrow and make some appointments (or even go to a walk-in clinic or urgent care if it’s a more urgent health issue).
11. Do you take care of your mental health and wellbeing?
It’s important to stop and think about your mental health not just your physical health. I think people don’t always take their mental health seriously since it’s not something tangible like physical health usually is… Chances are since you are here reading this article on self-care that you are now thinking about your mental health and wellbeing. That’s great you are taking some steps to take care of yourself in that way!
12. Do you feel like you have a good support system in your life filled with friends or family members?
Do you feel like you have someone you can call when you’re down or when you need a listening ear? Not everyone has such a support system. If you don’t, then maybe try to join some mom groups (if you have children) or start taking some local classes so you can find like-minded people to spend your time with. If you do have family and friends around, yet you feel like none of them truly are there to support you, then I urge you to call them; open up to them about how you are feeling. They may not know how you feel. Given the opportunity, they may want to reassure you that they are there to help you if you need it.
13. Do you have a hobby?
This would be something you enjoy to do outside of your work or family life. It’s important to have something in your life that makes you feel like you can’t wait to get some free time to spend on it.
I know finding a hobby can be difficult. Many hobbies seem to just be money pits essentially. There are ways to have hobbies though without spending outrageous amounts of money.
For example, I recently became interested in calligraphy. I bought a brush pen set when they were half off at Michaels and I bought a notebook there (around $20ish total). There are ways to make that hobby more costly like investing in expensive paper or more pen colors or trying other pen sets. On the other hand, I can try to be perfectly happy with what I got right now while I gain knowledge and learn the art of calligraphy. Then, slowly I can invest in better materials as I learn. While I’m still learning and my knowledge is limited, it doesn’t make sense to invest so much money into the hobby. I would first want to see if I planned to stick with that hobby for an extended period of time before investing more money into it.
What I’m trying to say is that there are ways to make almost any hobby expensive! But there can also be ways to make it budget friendly!
14. Do you feel like you deal with daily anxiety?
Some anxiety in life is normal. Life can be unpredictable and stressful. However, if you feel like your anxiety is a daily struggle that is overwhelming you, then you may need some assistance. If your anxiety seems to be affecting your daily life, then that means it is time to do something about it. Maybe you have been hesitant to see a doctor or therapist about anxiety. Doctors are there to help though! Sometimes that is the step you need to take.
15. Do you feel like your surroundings and living area are cluttered or overwhelming?
If you wake up every morning and think how everything is such a cluttered mess, then that is the area you could make your first change. I’m sure you’ve heard the expression, cluttered room, cluttered mind or something to that effect? If you feel overwhelmed by stuff, that can truly affect your mood and your mental health. I struggle with clutter sometimes.
One thing that really changed my perspective and kicked me into gear on decluttering was a book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. That book was really popular recently. So many people are familiar with it. But if you did not get a chance to read it, I highly recommend it. Even if you did get a chance to read it previously, maybe now is a good time to re-read it and re-start the process. I was actually thinking about re-reading this book soon too!
16. Do you get the chance to shower or take a bath as regularly as you would like?
Don’t laugh! I know that seems like a semi-ridiculous question. But when I had a newborn and toddlers, I definitely did not get to shower as often as I would have liked. I felt like I was in survival mode constantly!
At the end of the day, I only felt like collapsing and getting the two solid hours of sleep I could get before having to wake up with the baby. It was tough! Looking back, I’m honestly not sure how I survived those times with everything and so much sleep deprivation. I can tell you that I don’t know if I would be able to do all of that a second time over…
17. Do you have anything in your life that you are addicted to or that you overindulge in?
It can be anything, even something that is seemingly less severe than say alcohol or drug addiction. For example, people can be addicted to video games, their cellphone, or even food! Working and a career can even be an addiction for some. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the term workaholic. Sometimes we need to take a step back and examine our life. Overindulging or becoming addicted to anything usually is never healthy. If there is something like that in your life that needs to get under control, it may free up a lot of time and mental energy for other things that you feel are getting neglected.
My hope is the above list can function as some sort of worksheet. You can ask yourself these questions and jot down or make a mental note of a few of the areas where you could improve how you care for yourself.
It’s not that you don’t already know that you should be getting enough sleep or eating healthy. This can just serve as a reminder or maybe you’ll come to some sort of a realization after reading this.
If this post helped you or you have something to add, please feel free to leave me a comment below! Your suggestions tend to help me more than my blog post probably helped any of you guys 😆 Also, I love hearing from people! I try my best to reply to every single comment.
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