A Self-Care Quick Reference Checklist
The concept of foundational self-care is not a novel one: These are the critically important, yet oft-neglected, health and wellness pillars (physical, mental, spiritual) that support our ability to do, well… pretty much everything else. There is already a multitude of resources relating to the importance of self-care out there on the world wide web, as well as empirical research on its depth and breadth of tangible benefits. So this is not going to be an exhaustive summary of that. Many people already know this on an intellectual level (but we also know this is often the first place to slip), the difficulty is in remembering and prioritizing your own self-care during challenging and busy times. It may be easier to check-in and tend to your self-care by referring to a simple phrase and acronym:
MAINTAIN YOUR NESST:
- Nutrition – mindful dietary choices; healthy and whole foods, plenty of water
- Exercise – schedule regular time for movement activities you enjoy including a range of heart rates
- Sleep – aim for a solid 7-8 hours per night. Monitor/reduce caffeine intake, turn screens off at least 1 hour before turning-in, and keep your sleep space sacred/free of things like ‘to -do’ lists. Guided meditation techniques as you fall asleep can support relaxation and curb pesky thoughts.
- Self-Compassion. Include the practice of self-kindness rather than self-judgment, correcting these erroneous or limiting thoughts as they arise
- Time for You – If you can, schedule a few moments that are just for you. This can be meditation and mindfulness, telephone or video chats or distanced patio visits with friends, listening to music, a soak in the tub, journaling, art… whatever is literally for your enjoyment only