There are plenty of reasons you might neglect you self care in your daily life. Work, School, Family, the list goes on— these are just some of the things that can distract us from taking a step back & making sure that we have cared for ourselves first. In the busy lives that we lead, It’s not uncommon to go a whole day without even checking in with ourselves. But over time, this lack of self-compassion can cause us to feel burnt out, unmotivated, and sad.
Self care morning & evening routines are one super valuable way to incorporate more self care into your life, but what about all the other moments of the day? When you’re running errands, going to class, work, and every thing else?
This post is all about to to check in on yourself mid day, and some ways you can practice self care in the midst of everything. I’ve broken things up into the 5 types of self care. For each, I’ve included a few check-in questions, as well as some practical ways you can practice that type of self care in 15 minutes or less.
Check In With Your Emotions.
If you go day to day without checking in with your emotions, it’s possible you’ll lost the ability to recognize, identify, and care for your emotions. This is why it’s so important to take the time to stop and think about what we are feeling. Over time, This helps us learn how our emotions influence our actions and thought patterns.
Emotional Self Care Check In Questions
- What am I feeling right now?
- What, if anything, triggered me to feel upset today?
- If was upset today, have I recovered? How?
- On a scale of 1-10 how’s my stress level right now?
15 Minute Emotional Self Care Checklist
- Briefly write down your feelings in a journal
- Do a short guided meditation
- Spend 5 minutes thinking of any negative thoughts you’ve had, and challenge them
If you don’t have a journal yet, they are a great investment for your self care. Not only are there plenty of self care journaling exercises, but it’s a great way to look back on and reflect on your emotions over time.
Check in with your Spirits
Checking in with your spirits is all about recognizing the gift that life is. Not only this, but it can be about finding purpose and meaning in your life. This looks different for everyone. For some, this may be a religious or spiritual experience. For others, it may be about finding meaning in each day.
Spiritual Self Care Check In Questions
- What’s one positive thing that happened today so far?
- Have I prayed/ meditated today?
- Have I read my mantra or affirmation today?
- Have I done something to make the world a better place today? (Even something small, like smiling at a stranger ?)
15 Minute Spiritual Self Care Checklist
- Do a random act of kindness
- Write down 5 things you are grateful for
- Do a guided mediation
- Find a way you can volunteer in your community, then commit to actually doing it!
Check In With Your Body
One of the most basic ways we can practice self care is to take care of our physical bodies. Yet, it’s something we often still neglect! Check in on how you’ve nourished and cared for your body on a given day.
Physical Self Care Check In Questions
- Do I have any aches or pains I have not addressed?
- Am I holding any tension in my body?
- 6. When was your last full meal?
- Have you drank water today?
- Have you gotten any exercise today?
- Have I taken my medications or supplements today?
- Have I brushed my teeth?
15 Minute Physical Self Care Checklist
- Take a break and go on a short walk
- Order or make a nutritious meal
- Stretch your neck
- Have a glass of water
One way that I make sure I drink enough water throughout the day is by carrying a water bottle that encourages me to do so! Not only does this water bottle hold 64 ounces of water, but it has motivational words on it to track your progress:
Check In With Your Mind
Doing things that are mentally stimulating and challenging is one unexpected way we can practice self care. This may seem counter intuitive, as it is often these types of activities we procrastinate on the most. For that reason, it’s important to check in on how you’re nourishing your mind & find some way that you can use your brain in an enjoyable way!
Intellectual Self Care Check In Questions
- Have you been able to focus at all today? (Being in a state of intense focus can seriously improve our wellbeing)
- What’s something you learned today, if anything?
- What’s one thing I could focus on today that would make me feel good if I accomplished. (Doesn’t have to be work or school related)
- How much time have I spent on my phone today?
15 Minute Intellectual Self Care Checklist
- Have a 15 minute reading break
- Listen to an informative podcast (this one might take more than 15 minutes, but you can keep it on in the background as you go about your day)
- Put your phone somewhere that you can’t see it, so you won’t grab for it and can focus on something more rewarding.
- Define one important task you’ll feel good if you focus on and accomplish.
I’m a big fan of taking a reading break for an enjoyable way to practice focusing on something. One way I make this easier is with my Kindle. It allows me to always have a book on hand without having to carry physical books, so I’m able to take reading breaks more frequently.
Check in with your Social Life
Even if you’re introverted, connecting with others is valuable for your mental health. There are many ways to do this, and it can look different depending on your comfort and appetite for social situations.
Social Self Care Check In Questions
- Have I had a conversation with a friend today?
- Have I smiled today?
- Who can I talk to about my day and get support from?
- Have I felt empathy for another person today?
- Do I have any upcoming social plans to look forward to?
15 Minute Social Self Care Checklist
- Reach out to an old friend
- Write a letter to someone you care about
- Spark up a conversation at a coffee shop, store, etc.
- Check in with a friend via text
Check In With Your Senses
This one may seem kind of odd, but checking in with how we’ve used our 5 senses is a good way to bring us back to the present. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone through a day and not even been able to recall much about it because there was so much going on in my mind. That’s why it can be so helpful to pause and remember to take in our environment.
Sensory Self Care Check In Questions
- What’s one thing you saw today that was beautiful?
- Have I listened to a song I enjoyed today?
- How can I make myself more comfortable right now?
15 Minute Sensory Self Care Checklist
- Put on your favorite song
- Put on nature sounds in the background
- Use an essential oil diffuser
- Light a candle
- Take a break and go outside.
Even if you can’t have a full on essential oil diffuser or candle at work, there are some super cute desktop diffusers that can allow you to use a diffuser with limited space!
We hear so much about self-care Sunday, or self-care season, but the reality is self-care is a daily practice! I hope these check in questions and suggestion help you make self-care a part of your daily routine.