How To Create Your Own Self-Care Checklist

Self-care is more than just sliding into a warm bubble bath: It's about the ongoing methods you use to improve your mental and physical health. From remembering to drink more water, to spending time with friends, to making sure you get enough sleep, keeping up with the tasks in your self-care routine can sometimes seem overwhelming—and that’s where a checklist comes in handy.

Everyone is different—the self-care checklist for one person won't always work as intended for another person—so everyone needs different activities on their list. No matter how personalized the list, though, the end goal is the same: extended mood improvement, ongoing happiness, and good health. What’s not to love about that?

With that in mind, what should you add to your self-care checklist? Here are some ideas to consider when building your one-of-a-kind version. You'll be on your way to becoming a calmer, more centered version of yourself in no time!

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Consider your most important needs

Self-care means understanding your own personal needs, and because those will always differ from other people, there's no one-size-fits-all solution for self-care. What do you want to make sure you're taking care of on a regular basis? In addition to foundational necessities like food, water, clothing, and shelter, you should consider what's important to you when it comes to health, employment, education, social status, relationships, and personal growth.

All of these needs work in tandem to help you feel the best you possibly can. Make a priority list of which needs you want to touch on with your self-care checklist and start whittling down ways to ensure all of these feel-good requirements are met.

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Understand how you'll practice self-care

Once you've outlined the needs you'd like to meet, take a look at how you'll put it all into practice. Does your schedule allow for the ability to block off additional time for self-care activities, or will you need to set a new routine to hold yourself accountable? These elements are important to consider because, despite best-laid plans, we don't always stick to goals without structures in place.

Focus on self-care activities that seem energizing or restorative, create fun calendars to help track your new behaviors and rituals, and keep a journal to see how far you've come. All of these practices will help guarantee that taking care of yourself remains top-of-mind. If that means setting an alarm every day to remember to take screen time breaks or waking up 30 minutes early to have some time to yourself before commuting to work, then so be it. Do what you can to make yourself happy, even if it starts with baby steps.

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Create your checklist

Once you've given plenty of thought to what kind of self-care you want to apply to your everyday life and created a basic activity structure, it's time to populate your checklist with ways to meet your self-care goals.

Your self-care checklist will be as unique as you. It could include taking a nap when you feel like you need a quick pick-me-up; deciding to take the time to eat healthier foods; or setting up lunch dates with friends to catch up instead of texting. You may want to add scheduling doctor visits, reading more books, or even saying "no" more often to the list.

This list could even be as simple as putting together a collection of daily reminders like "stop saying sorry so much" or "practice positive self-talk" to get in a habit of uplifting behaviors instead of focusing on the negative. Maybe you want to start disconnecting from technology a bit more or going on walks each day. Whatever this self-care looks like is entirely up to you!

There's no right or wrong way to build your collection of self-care activities. Your checklist will always be a hodgepodge of uplifting things meant to help you get to the place you want to be. And if that still means spending time in a piping hot bath or treating yourself to a donut when you really want one, that's okay, too.

In the end, it’s all about what’s going to help you live your best life, and sometimes, a few face masks and yummy chocolates don’t hurt.