Taking good care of yourself can be difficult. Self-care is often overlooked in favor of work and other responsibilities. However, taking care of yourself helps you maintain your health and well-being, which allows you to accomplish more with your time and energy. If you’re looking for a checklist to help you identify the best self-care habits, this is it. You can use this checklist to ensure you have the best self-care habits.
1. Prioritize your health
When you’re committed to self-care, you’re investing in your health. And when you invest, it’s important to invest wisely. You wouldn’t invest $100 in a stock that was going down, right? So why would you invest time and energy into something that will not do anything for your well-being?
When you prioritize your health, you’re making sure that the things you do each day will make a difference in how you feel. This means saying no to things that aren’t important and yes to things that truly matter. For instance, this means taking a few minutes each day to exercise or making sure you set an appointment with your radiologist to get your mammograms done on time. It’s about making healthy eating choices, getting enough sleep, and managing stress levels.
2. Spend time in nature
Spending time in nature has a calming and healing effect on our minds and bodies. We become more aware of the world around us, feel more connected, and experience a greater sense of peace when we’re outside in the elements.
For many people, it’s an important part of their lives. Not only is spending time in nature beneficial for your health and mind, but it’s also good for your creativity! So make time to go for a walk in the woods, sit by the water and watch the waves roll in, or take your dog for a hike through the mountains. You’ll feel better about yourself when you get back inside!
3. Set aside time to relax and meditate
Many people have a hard time finding the time or energy to meditate regularly. But it’s important to make it work for you—the benefits are too good to pass up. If you have trouble fitting in some zen time, try making the process even easier by setting aside 10 minutes at the end of each day just for yourself.
This will allow you to get centered and decompress after a long day at work, school, etc. It’s also an excellent way to prepare yourself for sleep if you want a better night’s rest.
To begin meditating:
- Find a quiet place where you won’t be interrupted or distracted by noise or other stimuli (e.g., turn off your phone).
- Sit in any position that feels comfortable. It doesn’t matter if it’s cross-legged on top of your bed or sitting up straight inside an armchair.
- Close your eyes gently but firmly enough so that they stay closed without much effort on your part.
- Focus on your breath. Pay close attention to each inhale and exhale, noticing how they feel. If thoughts start creeping into your mind, gently push them out of the way and focus on your breathing again.
- Stay in this position for as long as you can. You’ll probably get distracted at one point or another, but that’s okay — just gently bring your attention back to your breathing when it happens. When you open your eyes, take a few moments to reflect on how the meditation session felt.
4. Spend quality time with family and friends
Spending time with the people you care about can be a great source of support and comfort. If you have supportive family and friends, they can help you feel less alone, less stressed, and more connected to the world around you. Additionally, spending quality time with family and friends can give you a chance to recharge your own batteries by giving them yours for an afternoon or evening out.
5. Do more things you enjoy more often
Although it might seem counter-intuitive, spending more time doing the things you enjoy can help combat stress. If you have a hobby or passion that is dear to your heart, take the opportunity to pursue it more often. It will give you an outlet for your emotions and frustrations while also providing a sense of accomplishment.
If you don’t have a hobby or passion, take the time to find one. You may want to consider taking an online course, reading a book on the subject of interest, or enrolling in an introductory class at your local community college or university.
6. Let go of negative people and relationships that no longer serve you
If you are surrounded by people who constantly complain, it can be easy to adopt their attitude and outlook on life. If you find yourself in this situation, you must take some time away from these negative relationships. You may even want to distance yourself completely so that they no longer influence your mindset or emotions.
It is also important to note that some relationships are toxic and should be ended. If someone constantly puts you down, makes fun of your goals or dreams, or tries to sabotage them in any way, it is time to say goodbye. You deserve better than this type of treatment from anyone in your life.
7. Establish boundaries when necessary
One of the most important self-care habits you can establish is to know when to say no, when to walk away, and when to stop talking. It’s so easy for people in our generation—especially those who are shy—to over-commit themselves. We feel like we owe it to everyone around us, and we want everyone else in our lives to be happy and fulfilled.
In this case, though, saying yes can actually make you less happy as well as drain your energy stores (both mental and physical). So remember that if someone asks you out on a date or wants your help with something at work or school or home, think long and hard before saying yes. You don’t need every moment of every day filled with activity.
As you can see, self-care is a lifelong practice that’s meant to improve your health and well-being. It can be challenging prioritizing self-care when life gets busy, but the more you practice it, the better off you will be in all areas of your life. The key is to remember that self-care isn’t just about looking after yourself physically—it also includes nurturing your mental and emotional health by taking steps toward positive change.