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Self-Care Inventories & Your Motivation for Change:


Self-care is a phrase that has been increasing in use over the last few years. Thankfully, in the mental health field. It represents our ability to take an honest look at how we are treating ourselves, and others! Do not let the “self” in self-care fool you; it is not just about taking care of ourselves, but also caring about others. After all, we must fill up our cup with self-care, to pour out loving care to others and still have love for ourselves that helps keep us stable! How do I “do” self-care? Well, one of the easiest ways to monitor and look for ideas for self-care is listed below. I have compiled a list of options that breaks down self-care into a few main categories. We will be looking at areas within personal/social, physical, emotional/psychological, financial/professional, environmental, and spiritual self-care.


Take a moment to review each area and just note whether this is something you already do, would like to do, and/or am motivated to do. Take a moment to rate your activity on a scale of 0-4 on the left side of the bullet points, and then take note on your motivation level via a similar scale below, on the right side of the bullet point statements (or on a separate sheet of paper).

Rating Scale for “How Often I Do This”: 0 = not at all 1 = rarely (or 1 day per week) 2 = sometimes (or 2-3 days per week) 3 = often (or 4-5 days per week) 4 = all the time (or 6-7 days per week) Rating Scale for “How Motivated am I for Change?”: 0 = not at all (pre-contemplation) 1 = thinking about it (contemplation) 2 = preparing for change (preparation) 3 = started this area of change already (activation) 4 = already doing this regularly (maintenance) Personal/Social Wellness:

  • I am spending time with my loved ones (immediate family)

  • I am spending time (in person or virtually) with my family of origin (parents, siblings, etc.)

  • I am spending time with my friends

  • I have set healthy boundaries with those who do not have similar goals/visions as me

  • I removed toxic-personality people from my life

  • I am able to say no when I would like to

  • I say what I mean, and mean what I say (See “Be Impeccable with Your Word,” a chapter in Don Miguel Ruiz’ book, The Four Agreements)

  • I stand up for those who are unable to stand up for themselves

  • I spend time with people whose company I enjoy

  • I take regular “me time”

  • I engage in self-care activities

  • I accept that “doing my best,” varies each day

  • I do not take things other people say or do, personally

  • I am able to be myself in front of others

  • Others are able to be themselves in front of me

  • I am able to listen to others without giving advice

  • I am able to listen to understand, rather than just listen to hear the words said

  • I reach out to others whether or not they are in need

Physical Wellness:

  • I get 6.5-8 hours of sleep each night

  • I engage in 30-90 minutes of exercise (30: vigorous – running 5.0+ mph, 60: moderate – elliptical/jogging, 90: mild – walking 3.5mph or less)

  • I eat breakfast, lunch and dinner daily

  • I eat six small meals each day (breakfast/snack/lunch/snack/dinner/snack)

  • I choose healthy and colorful foods each meal/snack

  • I am showering regularly

  • I wear clothes that fit me, that I personally have chosen and like

  • I am attending yearly preventative care medical appointments

  • I seek medical care as needed throughout the year

  • I am attending yearly preventative care dental appointments

  • I seek dental care as needed throughout the year

  • I am seeking behavioral health care as needed throughout the year

  • I take time off when I am sick

  • I engage in healthy and safe sexual activity

  • I have a safe place to live

  • I disengage from social media and news networks often

  • I am stretching my body

  • I get massages, acupuncture, or other body work

  • I am utilizing yoga, tai chi, or some other form of meditation

  • I avoid filling my body with toxins (alcohol, nicotine, other harmful substances)

  • I avoid foods high in refined sugars, artificial flavors, caffeine and avoid processed foods

  • I engage in fun physical activities (dancing, playing tag with the kids if applicable, martial arts)

  • I am aware of my family history of medical/dental issues and being proactive to reduce the likelihood of having the same health issues

Emotional/Psychological Wellness:

  • I make time for self-reflection

  • I write in a journal/notebook app often

  • I identify three things I am grateful for about myself, others and the world

  • I see a counselor, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, etc., as needed

  • I take an inventory of my mental well-being (see wellness wheel article to come)

  • I read leisurely; books or topics that are not work-related

  • I notice my thoughts and feelings, and do not need to act on each of them

  • I have learned about co-dependency and am taking active steps to be un-dependent (See Melody Beattie’s, Co-dependent No More, and her Co-dependent No More Workbook)

  • I acknowledge other opinions and can agree to disagree

  • I spend time with people whose company I enjoy

  • I take my prescribed or natural medications (if applicable)

  • I treat myself with kindness

  • I reward myself with positive words, activities, etc., as needed

  • I am able to reflect on how my thoughts impact my feelings and behaviors

  • I acknowledge my own opinions as belief systems based on my perception/experiences

  • I take time out of my week to de-stress

  • I am aware of and utilize at least three grounding skills (see grounding article to come)

  • I am aware of my family history of mental health issues and taking steps to improve my protective factors (coping skills and supports)

  • I engage in beginner activities that I can potentially enjoy (book club, artwork, etc.)

  • I engage in new activities to improve my intellectual wellness (museums, cultural activities, cooking classes, learning a new language, etc.)

  • I am able to ask and receive help

  • I am able to show others the “real” me

  • I am aware of who I am and how I identify

  • I am able to give and receive love

  • I allow myself to cry when needed

  • I allow myself space to honor and express my emotions in a healthy manner (happiness, laughter, surprise, anger – constructive, sadness, grief, etc.)

Financial/Professional Wellness:

  • I am content or happy with my career choice

  • I am actively pursuing a career of my choice (if applicable)

  • I turn off work notifications/emails on nights and weekends

  • I take breaks throughout my work day

  • (If job is sedentary) I get up throughout the day and walk around/stretch/walk the stairs

  • I take my lunch break daily

  • I know what value my work has

  • I understand what tasks/projects have meaning or are rewarding to me

  • I make sure I have enough time to complete tasks

  • If a task it too large to complete in one day, I break it down into achievable daily goals

  • I leave work at work, physically and mentally

  • I balance my caseload, set limits with co-workers and clients as needed

  • I regularly establish and review my short and long-term goals (career and financial)

  • I am saving 10% of each paycheck

  • I have a savings account

  • I have a checking account and all bills are pre-scheduled (that can be) to be deducted

  • I am saving 5% of each paycheck for my 401k/IRA/stock investments

  • I am researching passive income opportunities (or actively utilizing them)

  • I say no at work when I have a full plate

  • I know what my limits are at work and financially

  • I take mental health and medical health days from work off, when needed

  • I schedule and take vacation time/PTO regularly

  • I am reducing debt and have a set time frame to do so in (see Dave Ramsey’s Snowball Effect)

  • I am able to negotiate my needs at work with myself and others

  • I am able to get regular supervision, consultation or peer support at work

Environmental Wellness:

  • I wake up and make my bed

  • I pick up clutter throughout my home

  • I have a regular cleaning schedule for my home

  • I am using non-toxic, environmentally safe cleaning products

  • I recycle plastic, paper, glass and aluminum

  • I utilize pet safe products

  • I keep plants throughout my home and water (as needed)

  • I do not utilize profanity in my home

  • I keep an organized and neat office space

  • I utilize re-usable water bottles

  • I refrain from microwavable foods often

  • I choose non-toxic storage containers for food/items

  • I choose healthy meat; grass fed, certified organic, antibiotic/hormone free, etc.

  • I enjoy detox foods: kimchi, fermented foods, sauerkraut, green tea, lemon water, etc.

  • I utilize a serene sounding alarm throughout the week and turn it off on weekends (if able)

  • I shop locally for food, clothing, other home items

  • I use local farmers’ markets and/or small businesses for my shopping needs

  • I focus on optimism in my day-to-day life

  • I am part of a car-pool or take local transportation (where applicable)

  • I choose green products when I am able to

  • I utilize re-usable shopping bags regularly

  • I conserve energy by shutting off lights/electronics when not using them

  • I conserve water by shutting off the faucet when it is not in use (ie., while brushing teeth, etc.)

Spiritual Wellness:

  • I pray to my higher power

  • I am spending time weekly in a spiritual community, gathering, etc.

  • I give back to the community

  • I spend time meditating

  • I am actively developing my relationship with my higher power

  • I am learning about my spiritual belief system

  • I am tithing 10% of each paycheck (Christians and other denominations applicable)

  • I spend time in nature

  • I am open to inspiration

  • I am open to mystery, and am okay with not knowing what is not yet known

  • I have experiences in which I am in awe

  • I am aware of the non-tangible things in this world

  • I am aware of what holds meaning in my life, within me and around me

  • I stand strong for my belief system

  • I have identified what causes I believe in

  • I contribute to the causes I believe in

  • I listen to inspiring stories, books, lectures, music, etc.

  • I provide encouragement to others when applicable

  • I engage in mentorship, fellowship, group, discipleship, etc.

  • I enjoy looking for deeper meanings, where applicable

  • I invite opportunities for other forms of spirituality (self-healing techniques, yoga, etc.)

*Created by Jennifer @ TheMindfullcup.com, LLC

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