Is Your Self-Care Effective? 12 Ways to Find Out
As you go along in your journey of managing your stress before your stress manages you, by increasing your self-care, at some point, you need to ask yourself the difficult questions in order to determine if you are doing the right thing for yourself. No one else can do this for you. It’s up to you to protect yourself from mental health issues, burnout, and fatigue. So in this post, I’m going to show you an easy way to assess your level of self-care so you can see whether or not you’re providing yourself with enough self-care. And you can do that by answering just a few questions. Read on to find out more.
How much self-care is enough?
So the first that that you need to be clear on, is that the amount of self-care you’re able to engage in will vary depending on what’s going on in your life. If it’s a busier time for you, self-care may fall by the wayside (hopefully not for too long). But no matter how busy you are, your goal should always be to engage in self-care as it is a necessity. It’s all about making time.
Now it may not be easy to be honest with yourself about making changes in your life, however, the way you’ll get the best results from this exercise is by being brutally honest with yourself. That will give you a true measure of where you stand so you’ll know what you need to do moving forward.
Some questions or the thoughts that stem from them might make you feel anxious as you gain insights about yourself. Remember, there are no right answers, there are only honest answers that can lead to eureka moments. If you discover that you’re in need of an overhaul of your stress management and self-care routine, that’s okay, the making time blog can help. The important thing is that you use the insights gained to implement your self-care routine so that you can engage in stress management and lower your stress levels.
The 12 Questions
Are you able to make and take time for yourself without feeling guilty?
Are leisure activities a priority in your life?
Do you understand the difference between self-indulgence and self-care?
Do you feel as though you deserve your self-care?
Do you feel okay about sometimes slowing down?
Do you take care of your needs and desires?
Do you say yes to requests from others when it is best for you to say no?
Do you do things you really don’t want to do, or that will over extend you?
Are you running on empty?
Are you overwhelmed?
Are you chronically tired and lack energy?
Do you crave and eat junk food often, and especially during times of stress?
Don’t judge yourself or your answers, just allow yourself to be aware of where you are with your needs and wants as well as your general habits and stress levels. There are more detailed assessments available, such as the one on mentoring.org which will help you assess your self-care habits on a deeper level.
These questions may sound simple, but they help you to really get to the root of whether you are making enough time for your self-care. Once you've learned the results, it’s important to take what you’ve learned and create a personal plan that addresses your entire self and wellbeing.
It’s easy forget that there’s more to us than just our physical health and many people fail to realize how all these sides of us play into our total wellbeing. You can’t look after one component of your life, dismiss the rest and believe that it’s sufficient and that everything will be okay. Here are some of the facets of your life that you should consider when creating your self-care regimen.
Enjoy a nutritious diet
Get good quality sleep
Enjoy a regular massage
Practice yoga or meditate daily
Learn when to say no to manage your stress levels
Read for enjoyment
Take note of negative self-talk and redirect to make it positive self-talk
Honor your feelings
Don’t be afraid to share those feelings with others
Learn to laugh at yourself
Learn to be compassionate with yourself
Practice the activities you enjoy, whether it’s hiking, scrapbooking, golfing, baking, knitting, or gardening
Watch the sunset (or the sunrise)
Listen to music that soothes your soul
Spend time in nature
You can’t always give of yourself to others without taking the time to replenish your reserves because you won’t be of any use to others if you are unable to look after yourself. It isn’t just your physical self that requires self-care, but also your spiritual, emotional, and cognitive sides too.
For me, the 12 questions helped me to hone in on the fact that I needed to up my game when it comes to my physical self-care in particular when it comes to sleep, because lack of proper sleep can effect every other facet of your life.
As my self-care manifesto states, self-care should not be viewed as a luxury, rather it’s a necessity to allow you to maintain your whole self. Don’t feel guilty about making time to take time for you, everyone deserves to find happiness, health, and peace – even you. You can’t adequately serve others if you don’t serve yourself first.
What was your result from going through the questions? Any a-ha moments? Let me know in the comments section.
Question Mark Photo by Emily Morter on Unsplash
Cassandra Martin-Himmons is a trainer, wellness coach and consultant who believes in empowering her clients and providing the tools that they need to make positive changes in their lives to manage their stress and increase their self-care. Connect with her on Instagram or Linked/In