CanStockPhoto/csp19422300
Source: CanStockPhoto/csp19422300

Self-care is more than bubble baths. It's about how you approach each aspect of your life. Below are different categories of self-care with questions designed to help you reflect on how you're doing in each area. This isn't a tool to make you feel guilty. Approach these questions with gentleness and curiosity.

You may want to print this out and make notes besides the questions. Resources for each section follow the questions. Enjoy!

Self-Care Attitudes

Are you able to take time for yourself without feeling guilty?

Do you believe you deserve self-care?

Do you know the difference between self-care and self-indulgence?

Do you realize self-care does not equal weakness?

Are you okay with slowing down sometimes?

Do you have a go-to list of self-care activities?

Do you make leisure time a priority?

Have you made self-care a habit?

Do you have a basic self-care plan, preferably in writing?

Resources:

Is Self-Care Selfish?

From Self-Indulgence to Self-Nurturing

80 + Self-Care Ideas

17 Self-Care Tips from the Experts

Greg Markway, used with permission
Source: Greg Markway, used with permission

Interpersonal Self-Care

Do you have a small group of people you can call on for support?

Do you spend time with people who make you laugh?

Do you nurture relationships with people who make you feel good about yourself?

Are you able to set appropriate limits in your relationships?

Are you able to seek out and accept help from others?

Do you talk problems and concerns out with a trusted friend or relative?

Resources:

20 Expert Tactics for Dealing with Difficult People

10 Reasons to Stop Judging Other People

50 Characteristics of Healthy Relationships

Be Kind but Don't Let People Walk All Over You

26 Ways to Love Yourself More

Greg Markway, used with permission
Source: Greg Markway, used with permission

Physical Self-Care

Do you exercise enough to work up a sweat several times a week?

Do you generally nourish your body with nutritious food?

Can you eat food you love without feeling guilty?

Do you feel comfortable in your own body?

Do you sleep and rest when you’re tired?

Do you unwind before bedtime so that you can sleep better?

Do you get outside each day?

Do you attend to your health care needs, such as getting preventative care and regular checkups?

Resources:

The 5 Best Ways to Manage Your Weight and Eating

What I Know About Weight

Restorative Yoga 

Greg Markway, used with permission
Source: Greg Markway, used with permission

Mental Self-Care

Do you regularly stimulate your brain learning new things?

Do you have an outlet for creativity?

Can you make a mistake without it being a catastrophe?

Can you generally manage negative mental habits like worrying?

Do you know and practice stress reduction techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation?

Resources:

Stop Fighting Your Negative Thoughts

50 Strategies to Beat Anxiety

Learn Mindfulness of Breathing

7 Types of Self-Care Activities for Coping with Stress 

Greg Markway, used with permission
Source: Greg Markway, used with permission

Emotional Self-Care

Can you identify and acknowledge your feelings?

Do you affirm your right to experience all of your feelings?

Do you know how to express your feelings appropriately?

Are you aware of how you “numb out” from uncomfortable feelings?

Do you have a plan in place for when you feel overwhelmed with feelings?

Do you practice self-compassion?

Resources:

How to Talk to Yourself

5 Steps to Better Emotional Hygiene

Greg Markway, used with permission
Source: Greg Markway, used with permission

Spiritual Self-Care

Do you pray, meditate, or practice whatever feeds you spiritually?

Do you have any serene place of your own to go when you're stressed?

Do you make time for reflection and contemplation?

Do you pay attention to every day beauty?

Do you have a gratitude practice?

Do you read inspirational materials?

Do you have a spiritual community?

Do you have a sense of meaning and purpose?

Resources:

What to Do When Gratitude is In Short Supply?

8 Easy Meditation Tips for Beginners

7 Things Not to Do When Practicing Mindfulness Meditation

A Surprising Way To Cultivate Contentment

Barbara Markway, Ph.D.
Source: Barbara Markway, Ph.D.

Let’s Keep in Touch!

Join me on Twitter  and  Facebook.

I am the co-author of Dying of Embarrassment, Painfully Shy, and Nurturing the Shy Child. Dying of Embarrassment: Help for Social Anxiety & Phobia was found to be one of the most useful and scientifically grounded self-help books in a research study published in Professional Psychology, Research and Practice. I’ve also been featured in the award-winning PBS documentary, Afraid of People. My husband, Greg and I also co-authored Illuminating the Heart: Steps Toward a More Spiritual Marriage.

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