Understanding The Art Of Self Care + Your Own Self Care Checklist

You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” used a lot lately. It’s become a popular buzzword in the media and in personal development circles. However, you still may be unclear on what it means. While the concept does involve taking care of yourself, it actually goes much deeper. Read on to learn what self-care is, why it matters and how to get started doing it.

What is Self-Care?

I have talked about the definition of self-care in a previous post. However, this is a more in-depth explanation of its essence and importance. Self-care covers a lot of areas with regard to caring for yourself. It involves nurturing your body, mind, and spirit. It focuses on building yourself up so that your internal resources don’t become depleted. It also includes maintaining long-lasting connections and relationships. 

Essentially, self-care is being as good to yourself as you would be to someone you care about. It requires you to show yourself some compassion and encourages you to be vulnerable with others, while also asking for help you when you need it. What doesn’t fall under the umbrella of self-care are self-destructive coping mechanisms such as using drugs, drinking, gambling or retail therapy. These things only make you feel good in the short-term. 

The Benefits of Self-Care

There are lots of benefits to practicing self-care. Embracing this concept can be difficult for those who’ve always placed emphasis on the welfare of others. However, giving all your energy to those around you without filling your own leaves you depleted and empty. That’s no way to live. 

Instead, spending time and effort on yourself rejuvenates and energizes you. Taking time to indulge in your own interests demonstrates your worth, leading to improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on the world. It teaches you a lot about yourself and provides you with insight into what you need to be the best version of yourself. 

Self-care helps you better cope with stress and to prioritize what’s important to you. 

You’ll be better able to take care of others when you also take time to meet your own needs. 

Easy Self-Care Practices

There are countless ways to add self-care into your routine. The key is to choose activities that are most enjoyable to you and provide you with the most benefits. Going for a walk in nature is great for those who enjoy the outdoors. Other forms of exercise like yoga, running or going to the gym work well, too. Physical self-care is just as important as emotional self-care

Spending time with friends can be rejuvenating, but so can saying no. Allowing yourself to decline invitations or favors when you’re feeling run-down is a big part of caring for yourself. Treating yourself to a favorite, affordable indulgence like a movie, manicure or ice cream cone are all good examples. As is taking a bath or meditating. These are just a few of the ways you can easily incorporate self-care into your life. 

BUT! Self-Care Doesn’t Have To Cost Anything

Lots of people get the wrong idea about self-care. They think they have to be deserving of it. They feel like it’s splurging to do something good for yourself. It can seem extravagant. I’d like to change that mindset today. Self-care is something you deserve. Everyone does. It benefits us all, along with those around us, when we put our own well-being at the forefront. You can’t take care of others when your own well-being is suffering. Let’s take a look at some free and low-cost ways you can care for yourself.

Take a Time Out

Sometimes just a little bit of alone time is all you need to feel rejuvenated. So why not give yourself a time out? Lock yourself in your room with a nice cup of tea. Listen to some quiet music. Just sit still and think for a bit. It’s a luxury we all can afford. Give yourself a day of each week and call it a “self-care day”.

Do Some Writing

Even if you don’t consider yourself a writer, journaling can be a very therapeutic activity. Jotting down what you’re grateful for has been proven to be beneficial to well-being. Get a notebook that will serve as your self-care journal. It can also be energizing to simply do a brain dump in which you write down all the things that are floating around in your head. Jotting down dreams for the future might inspire and motivate you to take action. Give it a try. 

Reach Out to Someone

Socializing is a crucial part of self-care. Even introverts benefit from interpersonal connections. Humans aren’t meant to be isolated. Pick up the phone and call a friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Sit down and Skype with your favorite internet pal. Meeting up in person for a walk together or a cup of coffee is even better. Connecting to others might just provide the spark you’ve been missing.

Change Your Perspective

A change of scenery can be a wonderful source of renewal, and it doesn’t have to cost a lot. Just heading out to walk in your neighborhood might help when you’re feeling stir-crazy in your home. If you’re able to afford it, a low-cost staycation to a nearby location for a day or two is a fun way to switch things up. You’ll be surprised what this change of perspective can do for you.

While these are just a few of the countless ways you can indulge in self-care without spending much money, perhaps they’re just the jumpstart you need to begin exploring this concept. You truly do deserve to spend time, energy and effort on your own well-being. 

Important: Don’t Feel Guilty For Practicing Self-Care

First and foremost, you must understand that taking time to care for yourself is not selfish in any way. It may be hard to get past the mindset that the needs of others are more important than your own, but overcoming this mindset is essential to allowing yourself to adequately meet your own needs. Care isn’t a zero-sum concept. When you care for yourself, it doesn’t have to mean you don’t care about others.

It is necessarySelf-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. It really is like the airplane air mask comparison. You have to ensure you can breathe before you can help those around you. If you’re tired, rundown and overwhelmed all the time, you absolutely cannot give your best self to others. You also can’t offer yourself the very best. Remember that self-care is not selfish.

Start With A Self-Care Challenge

Beneficial habits like self-care often go by the wayside during stressful times. It can be difficult to focus on anything but the bare minimum when life gets hard. The fact is, though, that these are the days when you most need to take care of yourself. One way is to have a self-care toolkit or self-care challenge to help you out and motivate you during these instances. Having a list of self-care routines can make it easier for you to implement them when needed. There are some other tricks you can employ to get you through the tough times, too. 

Make a Care Package

Another way to boost your chances of keeping self-care at the focus during hard times is to prepare a care package ahead of time. This can include some of your favorite little indulgences like a good book, herbal teas, facial masks, fuzzy slippers, and classical CD. Include anything that brings you joy. Being able to reach for this package when you’re stressed can mean the world and make a huge difference to your outlook. 

Schedule It In

A trick that helps some people to fit self-care into their schedules when life gets busy is to actually write it in their datebook or calendar. Treat your self-care commitments like any other appointment or event. Write down the time you’ll start and finish. Try to be specific about the activity you’ll engage in. Doing these things will increase the odds that you’ll actually follow through. It’s easy to put yourself on the back burner when life gets crazy, but don’t forget that these are the times you need self-care the most. 

Make A Self-Care Checklist 

This is a list of at least five activities you can easily fit in your everyday routine or at least in your most stressful periods. Having such a reminder on-hand will let you gain the benefits of caring for yourself without having to think about it too much. This list can include simple reminders like go to bed early so you get enough sleep, eat nourishing food to keep your energy up or ask for help you need it because these are all the things you might forget when you’ve got a ton on your plate. During times of trouble, the very basic foundations of self-care can be the most important. 

If you don’t know where to begin, then you can start with our very own free 30-day self-care checklist! 

Self-care is a process. It requires practice and dedication if you want to make it stick. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to make this new concept a part of your life. It’ll get easier, and you’ll probably find yourself craving your self-care activities so much you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them. 

However, there will inevitably be times that are busier or more stressful when self-care may go by the wayside. If you find that happening, be sure to follow the above tips to continue to take care of yourself going forward. 

If you don’t know where to begin, then you can start with our very own free 30-day self-care checklist! 

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Krisy started Kronicles with the aim to inspire and empower. If she is not motivating people through her written words, she's either pretending she doesn't have social anxiety, petting random dogs, or watching the sunset.

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  • Bill Sweeney
    October 30, 2019

    Great tips for practicing self care. We all need a break sometimes, and, like you said, it doesn’t have to cost a dime. I personally like to take a walk when I need a break.

    • Krisy
      October 30, 2019

      Walking can really help clear your mind! Thanks so much for reading!

  • Emman Damian
    October 30, 2019

    I think sometimes we need to have that “me” time and also take a rest. It’s good not just for our physical health but also for our mental health.

    • Krisy
      October 31, 2019


  • Emily zielinski
    October 31, 2019

    Great post! It’s important to understand self-care. I love the idea of making a self care package too!

    • Krisy
      October 31, 2019

      Yay! Thanks for reading!

  • Ntensibe Edgar Michael
    October 31, 2019

    BEAUTIFUL!!!! I have many familiar articles to self-care but very few like yours here, point out the fact that self-care is a process. Many of us think of it in terms of being a one-time thing or just a quick one. It doesn’t work quite that way.

    • Krisy
      October 31, 2019

      It certainly is not! And since self-care is a process and should not be rushed 🙂

  • Frederique
    October 31, 2019

    Yes, I love to write or draw when I have some time for myself. It is so relaxing.

  • joy
    October 31, 2019

    great post. i love the title photo – so peaceful. i might just have to try to make a self care package.

    Joy at The Joyous Living

  • Gervin Khan
    November 1, 2019

    It’s really important to self-care. Sometimes we tend to forget to care about ourselves because of work, but thanks to this I managed to realized something.

  • Melanie williams
    November 1, 2019

    There are some really good tips here. I forgot about self care, as I always seem to be busy racing around – I must take note x

  • Brianna
    November 1, 2019

    I really need to practice this more! Thank you for these awesome tips!

  • WanderlustBeautyDreams
    November 1, 2019

    This is so great! I love this message because self care is so important and sometimes we just put in the back burner. Loved all these tips!

  • littlemisadvencha
    November 2, 2019

    thank you for sharing this. this will remind every reader to do a self-check. in this world full of pressures,i guess it’s healthy to conduct one from time to time. 🙂

    Cha at Little MisadvenCHA

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