Excerpted from The Happy Healthy Nonprofit: Impact with Burnout by Beth Kanter and Aliza Sherman Copyright 2016 Wiley http://bit.ly/happyhealthynpbook
Self-care is incredibly important for all our individual health, but not everyone knows what is or how to start. One first step to take is to start a self-care checklist! You can customize your own self-care plan to fit your own needs and personality.
Use the time you spend going through the list below to highlight actions that resonate with you to include in your self-care plan. You can assemble a mix of things you can do in the morning, throughout the day, and at night.
How to use the checklist:
As you go through the list, mark the practices that you really want to do with a star. Sometimes, it can be easier to start with things you are motivated to do rather than the “must do’s.” You’ve got to start somewhere!
Remember: These are all suggestions, and there can be some activities that you may not be able to or have the capacity to do. Just do what you can and whatever makes you the most comfortable.
Rating for Frequency (how often you practice each self-care habit):
3= I practice this self-care habit daily or almost daily
2= I practice this self-care habit occasionally
1= I practice this self-care habit once in a while
0= I never do this
Sphere 1: Relationship to Self
How you relate to and take care of yourself makes up your first sphere. Without prioritizing self-care, all other spheres can fall apart. Here are ways you can attend to your personal well-being.
_Seek medical care when needed and able
_Get enough sleep
_Eat healthy food
_Attend to personal hygiene
_Wear clothing I like
_Exercise or a physical activity
_Take a walk through nature
_Play a sport
_Have a spa day
_Take deep breaths during the day
_Take a nap
_Don’t put too much to do on my plate
_Take a mini vacation or weekend trip
_Go for a drive with no destination in mind
_Make time for self-reflection
_Watch a movie or TV show I love
_Make time to do needed chores
_Read a book
_Do something new or that I’m not an expert in
_Listen to music
_Solve a puzzle or brain exercise
_Set boundaries with toxic or negative people
_Give myself positive affirmations
_Allow myself to cry
_Keep a journal
_Try an artistic activity
Sphere 2: Relationship to Others
Your relationship to family, friends, and acquaintances offline and online makes up your second sphere. In life and at work, you cannot avoid interacting with others. Your behaviors, habits and well-being impact and influence others, and the reverse are true as well. Here are ways you can attend to your relationships.
_Schedule dates with my partner or spouse
_Schedule activities to do with my children
_Schedule time with my family
_Schedule time with my pets
_Stay in contact with friends near and far
_Stay in contact with important people in my life
_Ask for help if I need it
_Allow friends to do things for me if they want _Schedule time with a friend
Sphere 3: Relationship to Environment
The environment around you makes up your third sphere. Environment is a major force in your life, but you may not be aware of it tremendous effect on you every day. While you may not be able to significantly change your environment, you can make small changes, like those listed below, to create a cleaner, safer space for yourself to improve your health and well-being.
_Declutter my home
_Declutter my desk
_Clean something in my home I’ve avoided cleaning
_Add plants to my home or office
_Start a garden
_Use an aromatherapy diffuser (Be cautious of allergies)
_Take a different route to work
_Ride a bike
_Visit a park or zoo
Sphere 4: Relationship to Work and Money
Your fourth sphere takes up a lot of your time and attention and can cause stress when you don’t have good boundaries and emotions around work and money. Caring for your work relationships, and caring for yourself while at work can vastly enhance your wellbeing.
_Take a lunch break away from my desk
_Take time to chat with co-workers
_Make quiet time to complete tasks
_Get help from co-workers or boss when needed
_Have a system for effectively managing time and workload
_Set limits with clients, colleagues, and co-workers
_Arrange my workspace
_Take vacation time when earned
_Have a professional peer group from which to get support or inspiration
_Strive to juggle work, family, and personal activities
_See a financial advisor to map out a financial plan
_Open a savings account
_Bring lunch to work
Sphere 5: Relationship to Technology
Navigating the new sphere of your relationship with your technology can be challenging because you may already have developed bad habits around your tech. Here are some ways to implement tech wellness.
_Take technology breaks when needed
_Unplug from work email and social media for an evening or weekend
_Don’t check work email or social media first thing in the morning and/or right before bed
_Take breaks from the computer for stretching and moving around
_Get a standing desk
_Get a glare shield for my computer screen
_Unfriend negative people from my social media feeds
_Unsubscribe from email newsletters
_Use an app to track my habits, how often I check my phone, or how often I move around
Now that you’ve gone through the ideas in this list, try out the ones you want first, then what you think you need to do!
You can also take our “Do you think you’re practicing good self-care” quiz here. To be in a healthy relationship, we need time for ourselves and our own interests, but even when we’re single, our work or school schedules can get in the way of us truly taking the best care of ourselves. Just remember to do what you can, and do what makes you the happiest.
If you need some help with creating this plan or have any questions about self-care or your relationship, reach out to one of our Advocates. They are available 24/7/365 and completely confidential. You can call 1-866-331-9474 or 1-866-331-8453 TTY, text LOVEIS to 22522, or chat online by clicking the “Chat Now” button above.