How to check in with yourself to make sure you’re practicing self-care

Taking care of your basic needs, or “self-care” is an important part of therapy. When we aren’t sleeping, are over- or under-eating, physically ill, or not moving our bodies, our emotional baseline gets out of whack and we are less equipped to cope with daily life stressors and mental health symptoms. Here’s a quick check-in to make sure you are practicing self-care and aren’t making yourself more emotionally vulnerable:

  1. How is my sleep? Too much or too little can impact us negatively. Do I need to implement some sleep hygiene techniques?
  2. What is my diet like? Food fuels us. How am I fueling my body?
  3. Am I moving my body? Our bodies are made to move. Movement can look different for different people. What makes your body feel good? Here are some ideas to stay active during social distancing
  4. Am I physically ill? If so, what do I need to do to treat this illness effectively?
  5. Am I taking my medication(s) as prescribed? If not, how can I get back on track? Do I need to follow up with my medication prescriber if I feel like my medication is not working? Whether or not I’m prescribed medication, am I making sure not to self-medicate or numb with drugs or alcohol?
  6. When was the last time I connected with nature and got some sunlight?
  7. Am I connecting with loved ones and getting my social needs met? We are inherently social beings (even those of us with social anxiety or who identify as introverted!) and need human connection.

Attending to these basic self-care needs will set you up for success and help you be more prepared to face your fears and do hard things.