In the rat race for life, we often end up forgetting how to care for ourselves. The lack of a self-care checklist makes it difficult for us to pay attention to our needs. As a result of the neglect, we end up feeling dissatisfied, unhappy and are constantly complaining. Initially, this does not bother anyone but once it becomes a habit, things start to get ugly.
A year is made up of 365 days, each day is made of 24 hours and each hour is made up of 360 seconds. Little do we realize the time that has gone by until an emergency strikes. But it is crucial to understand that we need to invest some time to take care of ourselves as well. As a rule, we need to spare some time to pay attention to the physical, emotional and mental needs of our body.
Not just pay attention to these needs, we even need to figure out a way to fulfill these needs. This is what a self-care checklist is about.
What is Self-Care?
Self care is all about acts that you do to take care of your physical, emotional and mental well being.
Everyone appreciates the idea of caring for their loved ones. And why not? We love them, therefore, we are happy to take care of them. However, in the process, we should not end up ignoring god’s greatest gift to us and that is our body.
Yes! We need to take care of the physical as well as emotional needs of our bodies. The acts that we do in order to fulfill these needs are recognized as acts of self-care.
Many people often confuse self-care with being selfish. This confusion occurs because the line of difference between self-care and selfish behavior is extremely thin. This automatically increases the possibility of a cross over often without even realizing it.
Is Self-Care Personalized?
There is no generalized guide to self-care. You need to understand that anything and everything that you do in order to take care of your physical, mental and emotional health falls under the aegis of self-care. Interestingly, there is no set of rules that govern the types of self-care activities that one can indulge in.
For example, some may find it entertaining to indulge in a football match after a long day at work but for others getting more sleep may be a higher priority.
You need to identify what makes you happy and simply indulge in it. After all, if you find clubbing relaxing, it does not mean that the other person should also reciprocate your sentiments. It is okay to have different choices. What is important is to always find some time to take care of your needs and make a self-care checklist.
The Importance of Self-Care
Many of you may find it difficult to take out time to pay attention to your needs? This is normal. You are likely to be busy and therefore may avoid paying attention to your needs. But this ends up taking a toll on your physical and mental well-being. Here is a look at the reasons why self-care checklist is extremely important:
1. It helps you connect with your inner self
If you intend to have clear communication with the people around you, it is important to first connect with your inner self. When you indulge in good self-care, you give your mind the much-needed break.
Thanks to the break, the mind is rejuvenated and you will surely notice a surge in your overall productivity. When you slow down purposefully, you actually give your mind a chance to sharpen the focus on your goals.
A good self-care routine ensures that your body gets adequate rest. This activates your parasympathetic nervous system which in turn fortifies your immune system. The immune system emerges stronger and ensures that the body is protected against various types of diseases. It also reduces the stress in the body and leads to considerable improvement in one’s physical health.
2. Physical health improved
The body is like a machine. Just like any machine, if you give it a break, its longevity will only improve. But good self-care is all about spending time on yourselves. Do something that you like to do, no matter how small it is. For example, if you love to listen to music, spare 5 minutes to listen to your favorite songs during the day.
3. Your confidence gets a boost
When you start paying attention to your needs, it sends a positive signal to your body. You value yourself and the work that you do. This goes a long way in building your self-confidence even giving it a considerable boost. Always remember that you need to value yourself first before others begin to value your contributions.
4. You learn compassion
The concept of caring for yourself also teaches you to care for others. In fact, it is the compassion within you that stops you from becoming selfish.
Being compassionate towards others can only happen if you start being compassionate towards your needs.
5 Different Types of Self-Care
Different people may like to indulge in different things as part of their self-care routine. Similarly, there are different types of self-care as well. In the article that follows, we take a look at the various types of self-care:
1. Sensory self-care
This category involves paying attention to all your senses of sight, touch, smell, and sound. You need to focus on the needs of these senses. This requires you to be at peace and connect with your inner self. Occasionally, the trial and error approach may also work. For example, figure out what do you like more – the smell of fresh air or the view of the garden.
2. Emotional self-care
The best way to indulge in emotional self-care is to face your feelings. For example, when you feel like crying, just cry. Don’t stop yourself from crying just because you are worried about people thinking that you are weak.
3. Spiritual self-care
The realm of spiritual peace applies to the religious people as much as it does to the atheist audience. When was the last time you had a conversation with your inner self? Are you aware of what are the things that are important for you?
If the answer to this question is no, you need to invest some time in understanding what truly makes a difference to you. Try meditating because it really helps to connect with your inner self.
4. Physical self-care
Indulge in physical activities like yoga, running, walking or any other form of exercise that you enjoy. The adrenaline rush tends to relieve stress and fuel positivity in the body. A daily exercise routine of 20 minutes is also enough for this type of self-care.
5. Social self-care
Most of us are so bound by the work routines that we forget to catch up with friends and family or the people who matter the most. Sometimes all that individuals need is a nice warm hug. But if he or she stops interacting with the people around, such social interactions will cease to exist.
Therefore, social self-care is extremely important. You can spare some time on the weekends to connect with your friends and family, it will help you relieve the stress that you pile up during the week.
10 Interesting Self-Care Ideas
When it comes to self-care checklist, everyone may have their own ideas. This is absolutely normal. What is important is to remember to spare the time to indulge in these ideas and give your mind as well as body, a chance to rejuvenate.
Listed below are a few general ideas that can contribute positively towards your self-care routine. Feel free to give them a shot if they appeal to you!
1. Listen to your favorite song
This is extremely easy. Thanks to the online access, you can listen to your favorite music almost anytime and anywhere. Do it while traveling or simply take a quick five minutes break from your routine work to listen to the song/music that you like.
2. Go for a walk
Early morning walks are a great way to start your day. The peaceful environment just before the morning hustle bustle starts is a good time to connect with yourself. Just let your thoughts flow and you are sure to experience a certain sense of calm. You could also try cycling, yoga or any other form of exercise. In fact, research indicates that cycling is a great mood booster.
3. Write a diary
An important part of your self-care routine revolves around listening to what your conscience says. Therefore a good way to do this is to start writing a journal or a diary. All it takes is 15 minutes before you end your day. You can use the time to reflect on the day that has gone by, applaud your achievements and work towards evaluating your actions.
4. Do what you like
Some people like to sing, others like to dance, draw or even play with pets. You need to find out your favorite activity and simply set aside some time to indulge in it.
5. Opt for a spa day
The aromatic oils and soothing massages are often very relaxing for a stressed mind. You can include a spa appointment at regular intervals, as part of your self-care routine.
6. Do a digital detox
Most of us do not realize our dependence on smartphones and social media. We are so hooked that we often end up checking out social media updates frequently every hour. Digital detox or a day without social media is a good option to include in your self-care routine.
7. Laugh because you need to be happy
Happiness is the foundation of a healthy life. Look for reasons to be happy in the smallest events of your life. Research indicates that laughter is an excellent stress buster. It could be a joke you heard or a dress you wore, just remember to take your daily dose of laughter!
8. Eat your favorite foods
The food is very comforting. You could opt to spend an entire day eating all that you like. Order for pizzas, burgers, anything that you like! Occasional binging and cheating on dietary restrictions are not a bad idea. But remember to keep it in limits!
9. Admire yourself
When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and admired your qualities? If this is not something that you did in the recent past, you should do it. It is a great confidence booster.
10. Do charity
Helping someone in need is a great way to feel good about yourself. When you help someone achieve their happiness, it automatically helps you feel happy.
4 Tips to Make the Perfect Self-Care Routine
By now, most of us acknowledge the importance of self-care. However, it is still a challenge to find the time to implement a self-care routine. First things first, planning a routine and implementing it, will need a fair amount of effort. The initial teething troubles are normal but you need to pursue it with determination in order to experience the positive changes.
Here are a few simple tips to develop a self-care routine that you can actually follow:
1. Keep it simple
Your self-care routine has to include activities that are simple and easy to do, at least initially. Later on, when the routine becomes a part of your life, you can add the complicated stuff too. A simpler routine is always more tempting to follow.
2. Don’t do things you hate
If you are wondering how to make the perfect self-care checklist, follow a simple ground rule. Avoid doing activities that you do not like. It will keep you happy.
3. Plan in advance
The self-care checklist requires time. Therefore, it is best advisable to plan your routine well in advance and spare the time to indulge in activities that you like to do.
4. Keep it flexible
When planning a routine, you must keep some room for flexibility. There will be days when you may not find the time to pursue your self-care routine to the T. That is okay! Just remember to do whatever you can to pamper yourself.
On A Concluding Note
A self-care checklist is important. It will help you get rid of the negativity in your life. This, in turn, fuels a happy and positive environment from within. So, you must find the time to pursue it.
For many the goal could be initiating a self-care routine, for others, it could be an attempt to get back to their previous self-care routine. Irrespective of the goal, these tips will help you.
A freelancer by profession, Kavita writes on a variety of topics, mental health being one of her favorites. Fond of traveling, socializing and meeting new people, most of her inspiration for writing comes from real-life scenarios as well as experiences. Her motto in life has always been to look for a reason to smile.