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I don’t know about you, but my life is super unpredictable.
It is full of celebration one day. But then the next day, I encounter new challenges or obstacles. I try to plan out my “ideal month” or my “perfect week” but it never seems to go quite as planned.
Therefore, this year I made a personal goal to take at least 5 minutes a day for me.
Why? Because I want to be the best version of myself. If you’re reading this, I’m guessing you want to be the best version of yourself too :).
That’s why I made this 10 steps daily self care checklist. Keep reading for my favorite tips on how to prioritize yourself, become more grounded, find balance, and impact your own life in a positive way!
1. Follow a Healthy Diet.
Your food is your fuel.
It provides your body with necessary nutrients and gives you the energy you need to make it through the day! And did you know food also has a big impact on your mood and mental health?
Eating a well-balanced diet is directly related to your well-being. But it’s not always easy. It can be difficult to find time to cook well-balanced meals each day. So, consider meal-prepping once to twice per week, or having some quick and healthy snacks on hand!
Here are some of my favorite healthy foods that can provide energy, boost mood, and help you feel more balanced!
- Nuts & Seeds
- Dark Chocolate (in moderation, of course :))
- Green Tea
Experiment with a few of your favorites, and be mindful of how you feel later that day!
2. Drink Water As Soon As You Get Up.
Don’t underestimate the power of hydration!
Staying hydrated is essential to your health & well-being. It helps you flush toxins from your body. AND it helps stabilize your mood to keep you moving throughout your day. This is why it’s the first item on my daily self-care checklist.
I highly recommend carrying a water bottle with you at all times! I LOVE stainless steel bottles like this one. My water stays cold throughout the day and I’m never left feeling thirsty. I also love the fact that this water bottle is BPA-free and also phthalate-free and made of food-grade stainless steel.
Keep your water on your nightstand so you can take a sip before bed and also have it ready for you in the morning! Take it with you in the car, at work, and around the house with you as you’re doing laundry! If you’re used to drinking flavored or carbonated beverages, consider adding your favorite fruit or veggie to your water for some extra flavor. Lemon, lime, strawberries, oranges, and cucumber are common choices.
Or go the extra mile with this fruit-infused tumbler for some extra tasty H2O!
3. Get Enough Sleep.
Good sleep is SO important! It gives your body and mind a chance to recharge at the end of the day. If you wake up feeling rested, you’re much more likely to have a positive and productive day ahead!
One of my favorite tips? Get into a routine. We often emphasize getting into morning routines, however, establishing good evening routines is just as important! Don’t wait until your brain is exhausted and you’re falling asleep on the couch. Instead, set an alarm to start getting ready before you’re too tired to brush your teeth. This will create a routine that sets you up for success AND it will give you the much-needed extra minutes of rest!
Getting adequate sleep can also reduce feelings of anger or irritability. Getting enough sleep can give you that extra stability you’re looking for!
Eliminate distractions at bedtime and create a relaxing environment to promote restful sleep. Listen to sleep sounds as you’re falling asleep or drink a cup of warm herbal tea to help you fall asleep faster.
4. Exercise Daily.
As you already know, exercise has many health benefits. It can help you lose weight, prevent chronic disease, stay mobile, boost your metabolism, strengthen your immune system… the list goes on!
But did you know exercise can also reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression?
It can be SO hard to get started with a workout. Binge-watching a Netflix show can sound much more appealing than putting on workout clothes and going for a run.
BUT once you get started, it’s worth it. I know that once I’m finished with a workout, I NEVER regret it. I’m always left feeling happier, rejuvenated, and more energized.
Why are we left feeling this way? Because when we exercise, our bodies produce endorphins which are essentially happiness hormones. These hormones reduce feelings of pain and help you feel more positive and relaxed.
5. Try Meditation or Yoga.
Ancient practices like yoga have been long linked to emotional and physical well-being. Yoga helps align your body and mind. Creating a sense of self-awareness and appreciation of oneself.
Yoga practice can leave you feeling more grounded and balanced after a stressful day. Yoga also incorporates breathing practice – known to help reduce anxiety. Slowing your breath helps calm and relax the body, lowering stress levels.
Meditation is another great way to focus your energy, breathe mindfully, and let go of any built-up anxiety. Practicing daily meditation gives you the opportunity to focus on yourself and be present in the moment. Through this practice, focus on your points of strength and acknowledge what may be weighing you down.
Yoga and meditation are both great additions to a daily self-care checklist. Realize your potential and get in touch with your inner self!
New to meditation? Check out this free guided meditation for beginners!
6. Learn When to Say No.
We often impose pressure on ourselves to say yes to everyone, and everything! This overwhelms our lives. And ends up adding things to our day that we don’t really want to do. Over time, this takes its toll on us.
The good news?
We can learn to set some boundaries. This isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. We can remind ourselves it’s okay to say no. And it’s okay to prioritize ourselves and do what WE want from time to time. Even if it means saying no to our loved ones on occasion.
Remember that when you are practicing self-care and setting aside some “you time” – you are more relaxed and balanced. As a result you become a better partner, parent, colleague, and friend.
When you find yourself tempted to say yes. Take a moment to pause, and evaluate the impact of the decision you’re about to make. What will happen if you say yes? What’s the worst that can happen if you say no? Weigh your options and do what’s best for you and your family.
7. Take Time Off.
It’s important to remember to pause – and take a vacation or holiday every once in a while!
Vacations don’t have to be far away or expensive. Getaways can come in many forms – a visit to a family member, a pool party with your neighbors, or a relaxing 4-day weekend at home to work on your favorite crafts.
Whichever you choose – remember to spend some time away from work or school to decompress. Spending time away from the day-to-day chaos to think, be alone, and the process is essential for your mental health.
One of my favorite tips? Completely disconnect – even for a day. Turn off the electronics and spend some quiet time outside or with your loved ones without distraction. This can be so freeing and rejuvenating!
8. Spend Time with Family and Friends.
Sometimes, all that you need is to vent and talk about your feelings.
Find someone you trust – and let it out! It can be very therapeutic to talk through things that are on your mind. Asking friends and family for advice and help you reflect. And when you’re finished, can leave you feeling lighter and freer!
The worst thing you can do? Let anger, stress, or frustration build up inside of you. My biggest piece of advice is to address any obstacles or challenges as they come. Putting it off only weighs heavy on your mind – which is not recommended.
Have something more serious or confidential weighing on your mind? Don’t be shy to ask for help from a professional! I’ve done this before and was SO glad I did. I encourage you to do the same. Find a local psychologist, group, or outpatient program if you feel it’s right for you!
9. Care for a Plant.
I know, it might sound a little crazy. But a plant brings joy and positivity to your life – and your home. If you don’t have space for a full garden, consider a potted indoor or outdoor plant! There are literally hundreds of options to choose from. Some big, some small. Some are better for the shade, others do great in the sun.
Having something to take care of activates feelings of self-worth and positivity. This is a huge part of developing a daily self-care checklist and self-care routine.
10. Take Care of Your Body.
It’s important to take care of your body inside and out.
While it is very important to spend time focusing on your inner-self, as we’ve discussed, there are things you can do to focus on your outer self as well.
Start by taking a refreshing shower each and every morning. This will start you off feeling refreshed and more awake for the day. When you get out of the shower, don’t forget to apply lotion or cream. By nurturing your skin and pampering yourself, so you will feel even more refreshed!
Another tip? Consider setting time aside each week for a DIY at-home spa treatment! Make your own products or purchase your favorite store-bought products. Paint your nails, use a clay face mask, do your hair, or experiment with new make-up. Whichever leaves you feeling self-confident and positive!
Daily Self Care Checklist Wrap Up
Self-care doesn’t happen naturally. It’s a choice.
But the good news is, you can make the choice to begin self-care today. And creating a daily self-care checklist can help keep you on track! It’s never too late to start. And once you invest just a little bit of time, you’ll see results right away!
Experiment with a variety of the tips above to find the self-care practices that are best for you. It’s a journey worth traveling. And along the way, I’m confident you’ll see the best version of yourself!
I believe in you.
Now go out there and conquer the world ahead of you! Embrace your newfound confidence, find self-love, and explore new opportunities!
Be happy. Be Zen.
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