Self Care Checklist

It’s normal to forget ourselves in today’s busy, fast, and furious world. Because we have many responsibilities from home to the company. At least that’s the way it is for me. I don’t think it’s too different for you either. Like me, you should get up early in the morning and:

  • You have to go to the company and work 9 hours a day. Because you have to pay the bills.
  • You have to take care of your children. Because physically and emotionally they need you more than anything else.
  • You should take care of your spouse. Because you need each other in this difficult journey of life.
  • You must take good care of your parents. Because they are the ones who brought us to these days.

And so, we neglect our self-worth without even realizing it.

It seems like there’s no time to take a break and take care of ourselves during the day. Each item on the list is the necessary thing to maintain life. You have a busy schedule.

But does it have to be like this? Seriously, is there no time to take some self care?

Wake Up! There Is Always Time To Take Care Of Yourself

Actually, I know you know the answer. It is simple and direct: Yes, there is always time to take care of yourself. But unfortunately most of the time, this is easy said than done. Because somehow, we are pretty talented about losing track of time. And this causes us to waste all the free time we have on something else.

I bet you have these habits once upon a time I had also:

  • You don’t have 15 minutes to walk outside but you do have hours to check social media.
  • You don’t have 30 minutes to prepare something healthy to eat but you do have hours to order from outside and eat your food in front of the TV.
  • You don’t have 10 minutes to meditate yourself but you do have hours to surf the internet.

I can make this list longer. But I’ll stop here. Because you know what I mean. This is the cold truth: You are wasting your limited time that you can spare for yourself and raise self-worth.

Don’t Worry, You Can Keep Checking Your Precious Social Media Accounts

As I said, once upon a time, I had these bad habits. And I won’t lie, I still do have them. I still waste my time on social media, eat unhealthy foods in front of the TV, and surf the internet. But thanks to God, I managed to limit doing such time-wasting things and separate some time for self-care.

How did I manage to do that?

This is not a secret recipe. I did what everyone does. I made a quick search on Google and started to use a self care checklist. Yes, the one you can find on the internet on different websites.  Also, I tried different self care apps that helped me to keep track of this journey and see what I am doing. This helped me to make some adjustments during the process.

I did something different though. IMO, this is the most important part to reach success and start to take care of yourself. I customized the self-care checklist according to my needs.

I’ll share with you my self-care checklist at the end of this article. You can download the image and use it as you wish. I don’t think you will need to download though. Because after you read this article, you will be able to create your own, brand new self care checklist!

Before moving there, first I want to share with you my recommendations about how to create your own self-care checklist. Let’s Start!

Prepare Your Own Self Care Checklist

prepare your own checklist

There is nothing wrong with taking ideas from others. This is why there is a word for it: Be inspired. But keep this in mind, something that worked for someone else might not work for you. So, be inspired by the others but create your own self care checklist.

So, what to consider while you are preparing your own self care checklist?

Understand Your Needs

While I was preparing my self care checklist, I focused to understand my needs and asked these questions to myself.

  • What are the things that make me productive during the day?
  • What are the things that make me motivated during the day?
  • Is there anything that keep me awake during the day?

After I answered these questions, I saw that whilst I have some similar needs to others I also have some different needs than others. 

For example, I definitely need to sleep more than 9 hours. I know so many successful people around me that sleep less than 5 hours a day and work like hell. And everyone says it is enough to sleep between 6-8 hours a day.

I pushed myself a lot to follow this rule. Because I wanted to have more time during the day. Finally, I realized that I am sorry, but this is not for me. I need to take my sleep to be productive during the day.

So, I watched myself for a while. Tried to understand my ideal sleep cycle. Then I added “sleep at least 9 hours” to my self care checklist.

This is more than what everyone says, what every self care checklist includes. But it is okay. Because this is what I need.

Have A Backup Plan

This is critical. Because there is a huge possibility you’ll ruin your self care journey because of daily grinds. This is when your back up plan for self care checklist will take the stage. Let me explain how.

Let’s say you are similar to me. You can’t motivate yourself to do anything if you can’t take enough sleep. This doesn’t mean you have to give up if you can’t manage to sleep for 8 hours. There will be days you won’t be able to sleep 8 hours anyway. It is okay!

For those days, add an additional rule and write “sleep 1 hour during the day if you can’t sleep enough at night”. This will help you to not give up even though you miss night sleep.

I hear you say “How can I sleep during the day? I am working!”. You are right, it is going to be hard to do. But, if you don’t try, you will keep wasting your time. And this is not beneficial to anyone. Not to you, not to your boss, not to your family.

So, if you need to put your head on your table and sleep for a while, do it. In case someone asks you why you are sleeping, say you need it to be able to keep working at your best level.

I bet no one will tell you to not do it. Because everyone around you needs the best you.

Don’t Focus On Only Physical Activities

When it comes to self care checklists, sometimes I am seeing lists only focused on physical activities like sleeping, running, cooking, brushing teeth, etc. I am not saying they are not important. But focusing only on your physical needs won’t help you to get rid of mental clutter.

You need to spare some time to calm your brain so it can stop worrying and overthinking. And yes, this includes watching funny cat videos from Instagram. But if you are spending way more time on social media already, you can give a shot to meditation.

Plan Your Day

This might sound boring to you but planning your day has benefits as much as creating a self care checklist. You don’t need to plan your day punctually. I am not that boring to give you this advice. Hence, I am not doing that as well! But at least, I know what I am going to do in the day to take care of myself during the day.

For example, recently, thanks to one of my dearest friends, I discovered that I need to reduce my amount of coffee drinking. I needed to limit my coffee amount to one cup in a day (sad but true). According to researchers, It’d be better if I drink that one cup of coffee in the mornings.

So, this is one of the most cornerstone tasks of my self-care checklist nowadays. Every day I drink my coffee before lunch. I didn’t create any schedule to put this in my plan. I turned this into a habit and inherently it is in my daily plan.

Short story long, know what to do during the day. Plan it in your head. You’ll see that most of your self care checklist items will turn into daily habits.

My Self Care Checklist

my self care checklist

Here, I will share a self care checklist I customized according to my needs. This list includes activities that I am struggling with. It doesn’t include activities that I already do (like drinking enough water).

You’ll find a small explanation about each self-care activity. I hope this will help you to understand if that activity fits you or not.

As I mentioned several times, this list is working for me doesn’t mean it is going to work for you. You need to check different self care checklists and gather the information. Then, you need to ask questions to yourself and watch your behaviors to create a list for yourself. This is the only way to make this checklist affect your life in a positive way.

Here Are My Rules:

Get Enough Sleep: I Try to sleep at least 9 hours every day. If I can’t, I try to take a nap during the day.

Decide What To Wear Before Sleep: To not fall into mental clutter in the morning, I decide what to wear before sleep.

Take A Walk Every Day: To combine relaxing and exercising activities I try to walk for 30 minutes every day.

Watch Something Educational: To improve myself, I watch at least 30 minutes of educational video per day about something I want to learn.

Don’t Drink Too Much Coffee: To improve the quality of sleep, I drink only one cup of coffee. And if possible, I drink it before lunch.

Declutter My Desk: To focus on working more, I declutter my desk every day as much as possible.

Practice Saying No: To improve self-respect, I keep practice saying no to something I don’t want to do.

Take Enough Breaks: To stay productive, I take breaks from working as much as I need.

Start Working When You Feel It:  I Give myself enough time to start working. I Don’t use it as an excuse to not work though. I found my comfort-time zone, and I work between those hours.

Self Care Checklist Templates

Please feel free to download and use the template file I shared below to create your own self-care checklists.


This was all. In this article, I explained how to create a self care checklist to focus on yourself more. I wrote this article by leaning on experiences I obtained through my journey. Some of them might fit you, some of them might not. In the end, you can’t know without trying.

In case you try them, let me know the results in the comments section below. Also, please share with us your experiences to inspire people that are reading this article and trying to find different solutions!

Furkan Patan

Digital Marketer & Traveller. Blogger @HowToMotivateMe & @OlmeGormeden

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