A lot of folks ask me how I take care of myself and balance all the things I do. The short answer is: Sometimes, I don’t.
This is hard work and this is heart work.
It is invigorating, life-giving, and heart-filling. And it is exhausting. The trolls, ignoramuses, and haters out there will take and take until there is nothing left if I do no have boundaries, which, for me, is all about self care.
So here are my self-care check-in questions!
① AM I SLEEPING ENOUGH?
Though ‘enough’ is always relative, I know that I need about 7-9 hours of sleep a night. If I’m consistently not getting an average of 8 hours, then I know I am not taking care of myself properly and it’s time to do a check-in.
I’ve always struggled with sleep—and only when I first bought my own mattress after college did I realize how impactful getting the right mattress could be! That’s why I’m so thankful for Leesa Sleep – my partner and I got their hybrid mattress which is so comfortable. It is just the right firmness for us and is one of the ways I self-care. Visit this link and use my code: “Zzz_Pinkmantaray20” for 20% off on your own!
② AM I DOING MY HOBBIES?
When I’m feeling grounded and centered and taking good care of myself, I am usually also making time for things I enjoy doing such as playing the guitar a few times a week, journaling close to daily, spending meaningful time with my partner and loved ones, etc. If I’m not doing these things, it usually means I’m not self-caring well and I need to check in with myself!
③ AM I JOURNALING?
I usually journal close to daily. If I’m not doing this, it means I’m not intentionally checking in with myself and how I feel and should make time to do so!
④ AM I EATING SUFFICIENTLY?
Sometimes when I’m not maintaining my boundaries well (usually this is when I’ve said ‘yes’ to too many things and am way, way too busy) I forget to eat. When I noticed I’ve done that, in addition to making sure to eat, I also take it as a reminder to check in about how I’m doing and review my schedule. Are there things I can let go of? Do I need to prioritize better? Do I truly need to do everything on my to-do list today?
⑤ AM I TAKING DEEP BREATHS?
I know, this can sound dumb. But I mean it. On an hour-to-hour or even minute-to-minute basis, if I’m not maintaining my boundaries, I’m probably feeling frenetic, overstimulated, and anxious. For me, that anxiety sits in my chest and if I pay attention, I usually can notice that my breaths are shallow. I try to take pauses throughout the day to just take 1-5 deep breaths. This can be during meetings, during bathroom breaks, wherever.
⑥ AM I SPENDING A LOT OF TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA?
When I spend too much time on Instagram, especially when I find myself replying to more than 1-3 hate comments in a week, it usually means I’m not maintaining my boundaries and I’m giving way too much energy to the haters. This is a time to remind myself that my energy is precious and while there is a 0.1% chance that I could have a productive conversation with a troll, the energy it’s going to cost me is not worth it, or could be better used elsewhere.
CHECK IN SUMMARY:
Am I sleeping 8 hours a night?
Am I doing my hobbies 3x a week?
Am I journaling at least 3x a week?
Am I eating enough?
Am I taking deep breaths throughout the day?
Am I spending a lot of time on social media?
If any of the answers are ‘no,’ then it’s likely I’m not maintaining my boundaries and it’s time to slow down and check in with myself.