It’s time for a Self-Care Checkpoint!
- Drink water
- Get something to eat
- Take a deep breath
- Relax your shoulders
- Start on your to-do list
- Text a friend
A self-care checkpoint is a point in your day when you stop and ask yourself the all-important question. “What do I need right now?”
And you’d think that would be an easy question to answer but it’s not always. So many of us struggle to verbalize what we need. Or there seems like an endless list and no way to meet all of those needs. I’ve learned (especially when I’m overwhelmed or stressed) to start small. I ask myself what I need and then I list 5-10 things. Basic stuff. To stretch, eat, drink water, take a deep breath, and maybe a few things that require more time and effort. Then I pick one or two of those things to do.
Then I check back in an hour and see what other needs I can meet. Self-care is a process. It’s not like we have this app installed in our systems that just automatically does the things (at least for many of us!). We have to make time for it, and somedays that’s easier than others. If it’s something you struggle with – here are some tips.
Ask yourself what your body needs
This is always easiest for me because physical needs are A) Easy to recognize. B) They’re easy to do because we usually default to taking care of our physical self more than we do the emotional self.
So what does your body need? Have you showered? Eaten? Filled up your water? Had some sort of movement in your day? What would make you feel good physically?
What are your stress levels at?
Now we want to check in with our stress levels. We usually put managing our stress on the back burner but it’s just as important as physical health. What can you do to relax on a small scale and then make that scale bigger? Each time you do a stress-relieving activity you’re increasing the distance between exhaustion, burnout, and breakdowns. Light a candle, relax your shoulders, take an epsom salt bath, or add magnesium powder to your water. Anything that helps stress, even a little bit, matters.
Do the hard stuff
Self-care is also not letting your to-do list build-up to the point you can’t handle it. It’s being able to find motivation to do the things that need to be done. Sometimes what you need is a little bit of encouragement to do something you’ve been dreading but you know you’ll feel so much better when you’re able to get that thing done.
Keep checking in with your needs. Keep trying to meet them to the best of your ability. Know that some days will be better than others and that’s okay. Your self-care matters.