Monday, September 21, 2009

Personal care checklist

Most of us realize the importance of making and checking lists. We may make packing lists, lists of presentation items we need to take along and lists of things to mention during our presentation. Some more organized people even have lists of lists! But many of us neglect to consult the most vital list of all – our self-care list. We are complex beings and must attend to ourselves – physically, emotionally, socially, spiritually and environmentally.

Life is stressful. We are always on the go and trying to meet the needs of others while balancing the often-difficult demands of our personal lives.
It is helpful to create a self-care checklist to review often. Attending to our needs on all levels will insure consistent health and balance. We will look better, feel better and radiate higher energy.

Following is an example of a personal care checklist.

Physically: Have I been eating well, avoiding caffeine, alcohol, saturated fats, sugar and simple carbohydrates as often as possible and eating good amounts of protein every few hours? Have I packed healthy snacks for the day? Am I well hydrated, drinking at least 64 ounces of pure water each day? Have I been keeping regular bedtime hours, getting a sufficient amount of quality sleep? Am I keeping moderate exercise a priority in my life?

Emotionally: Have I been attending to my feelings and expressing myself appropriately; not holding in feelings or stuffing them down with unhealthy foods? Have I really been taking time to nurture myself? When was the last time I truly relaxed? Do I have a journal to vent or explore my feelings in? Clearing myself emotionally means I can better attend to the tasks at hand. I am less distracted or preoccupied.

Socially: Have I been spending time with positive people that I enjoy being with? Am I having fun? Am I paying enough attention to my relationships? Do I stay well connected so I don’t find myself isolated and lonely? Do I apportion my time with others with the alone time I need to stay balanced?

Spiritually: Have I been taking quiet time for myself? Do I spend time every day praying, meditating or just sitting and quietly breathing? Do I remind myself often to stay in the present rather than worry about the future or hang on to difficulties from the past?

Environmentally: Have I set up a comfortable environment in my home (perhaps a cozy spot with favorite photos, bath oil, small scented candle or incense)?

It is essential to take gentle care of ourselves. The busier we are, the more we need to do this. Only by paying attention to our own needs, can we best serve the needs of others. I wish all radiant health!

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