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Daily Self-Care Checklist for a Healthier Mind & Body

Do you feel exhausted after taking care of your family and other responsibilities? Do you worry about not having enough time in the day to accomplish everything? If you answered yes, then you might need to reconsider the way you plan your day. 

As an adult, it’s crucial to take care of yourself in order to work, take care of your family, and have a productive day. You can be more productive and stress-free if you’re prepared to handle it. 

Create a self-care checklist like the one below to help make your day more productive.

1. Take Care of Your Health 

Health is a priority that many overlook. The human body responds to stress negatively, which can affect how you function every day. If you follow a proper diet and exercise plan, your quality of life can improve.

  • Eat a balanced diet. Prepare meals that are balanced with protein, carbohydrates, and fruits/vegetables. Some examples include:  
    • ¼ plate of protein (meats, beans) 
    • ¼ plate of carbohydrates, such as pasta or potatoes 
    • The remaining ½ of the plate should contain fruits and veggies. 
  • Try to limit between-meal snacks to fruits or protein, such as cheese, yogurt, or peanut butter. 

When you eat healthily, your body produces energy to get you through the day and antioxidants to help fight off illness.

  • Develop an exercise routine. You need to engage in some form of exercise regularly. Whether it’s aerobic exercise or stretches, exercising is crucial for healthy body function. If your body’s working well, so will you. Schedule a time each day to exercise. 
    • Do stretches first thing in the morning. Stretching will loosen your muscles to reduce soreness while exercising. 
    • Do aerobic exercise, such as swimming, jogging, or cycling, any time of the day. These exercises are healthy for your heart and lungs.

When you exercise, your health improves. It makes you feel energized and refreshed, and it’s something healthy to do with a friend. 

2. Sleep a Full Night

Your body relies on proper sleep to get it through the next day. Sleep helps the body rest and recover. During sleep, body systems slow down so they can rejuvenate. Adults need an average of 7-9 hours of sleep per night, which gives the body ample time to renew itself. 

To ensure you get good restful sleep, create a self-care checklist for bedtime: 

  • Set a consistent bedtime routine. Try to go to bed at the same time every night. 
  • Avoid caffeine for at least 8 hours before bed. Caffeine is a stimulant, which raises heart rate and increases alertness. You may have difficulty falling asleep. 
  • Avoid electronics up to an hour before turning in for the night. Social networking and watching TV before bed can overstimulate the brain, preventing you from falling asleep. 
  • Calm yourself down. Use calming measures such as meditation, yoga, soft, soothing music, or prayer to help clear your mind. 
  • Avoid eating about 2 hours before bed. If you eat right before bed, you could experience indigestion or acid reflux. 

It’s also beneficial to have a mattress that’s comfortable and supports your body. The right mattress and an environment that promotes relaxation are key to a restful night of sleep. 

3. Schedule Time for Yourself

When you have a busy schedule, it’s difficult to find or create some alone time, but it’s the only time you can focus on your needs. You won’t have anyone else demanding you to do something for them. Take the time to get to know yourself better. Ask yourself, “What am I going to do for me?” Explore the possibilities. 

  • Have a spa day. Treat yourself to a day of pampering by getting a mani-pedi, massage, or aromatherapy.
  • Read a book or start a journal. Writing down your goals and priorities could help you put things into perspective. 
  • Watching a movie or TV show can help distract you from real life. 
  • Go shopping. Buy yourself something new. 
  • Take a walk or hike. Get outside and enjoy nature. 
  • Just do nothing. Relax, meditate or sit down and listen to the quiet.

You have to take time for yourself; otherwise, you’ll wear yourself out and create an injustice for yourself and your family. Schedule your alone time once a week. The most important person at that time is YOU. 

4. Reduce Your Stress

When you allow yourself to be stressed, you risk endangering your health. Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate and lowers your immune system, making you more prone to illness. You may not realize you’re stressed until you start showing symptoms. 

Here are some symptoms of stress to watch for:

  • Rapid breathing or heart rate
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irritability
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

If you start to experience any of the above symptoms, it’s time to take a break and allow your body time to rest. If the symptoms persist, it’s important to make an appointment with your doctor.

In addition to the tips mentioned above, here are some more activities you can try to reduce your stress level. 

  • Listen to soothing music to clear your mind
  • Organize your home or office
  • Engage in various arts and projects, such as painting or coloring
  • Meditate
  • Try cozying up with a weighted blanket (shameless plug, but it does help releve stress!)

Stress reduction and self-care looks different for everyone, so choose an activity that makes you feel good and promotes relaxation.

5. Enjoy the Company of Others

It may seem redundant, but having a social life is like a form of therapy. Interacting with friends and other people can help boost self-esteem and confidence. 

Being social is another great way to lower your stress levels. Whether you have a Zoom call with friends, talk on the phone, or have a group text message, laughing with others and having meaningful conversations releases tension and can help you forget about your stressful day. 

Do It for You

Having a self-care checklist provides affirmation that you are a priority. It reminds you to focus on your own needs without sacrificing other responsibilities. Create your list in a journal or a notebook, or hang the list somewhere, so it’s always visible. 

Keep in mind that self-care is an ongoing process and it’s always a good idea to check in and make sure you’re prioritizing your well-being.

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Do Positive Affirmations Help With Anxiety

There are many different ways to reduce stress and anxiety, but did you know positive affirmations are used by many to combat their anxiety symptoms? When you are suffering from anxiety, you want a solution that can help you—fast.

Many methods take a considerable amount of time. Positive affirmations are a great way for you to take action immediately towards reducing your anxiety. Read on to learn more about how to use positive affirmations for anxiety today.

What are Positive Affirmations?

Positive journal quote - you're capable of amazing things - Photo by Alysha Rosly on Unsplash

Positive affirmations are intentional, constructive statements or thoughts to promote change and self-love while reducing stress and worry

Social psychologist Claude Steele, the father of self-affirmation theory, recommends that positive affirmations begin with “I” or “my.” This first-person perspective connects positive affirmations more powerfully with your sense of self, making them more relevant and believable.

When you regularly repeat an encouraging and positive phrase, you give it power. In his self-affirmation theory, Claude Steele emphasizes that the more frequently you hear something, the more likely you’ll believe it over time. Positive affirmations can help you change your negative subconscious thoughts. Believing in your positive affirmations makes it more likely that you’ll take action to make your affirmations become your reality.  

The Science Behind Positive Affirmations

Scientific research shows that positive affirmations are beneficial because they activate the human brain’s reward system. Two things motivate human action: needs and rewards. When you anticipate a reward, your brain releases dopamine. Dopamine helps lower your perception of pain and reduce the impact of physical and emotional distress.  

Positive affirmations cause your brain to anticipate a reward: the manifestation of your affirmation. For this reason, social psychologists have prescribed daily positive affirmations for anxiety, body image issues, and other issues as a self-help strategy. Research has shown that positive affirmations are most effective when repeated in a variety of ways on a regular and consistent schedule.  

Many experts have recommended the use of positive affirmations during hypnosis to re-educate the unconscious mind and boost self-esteem. Mental health professionals advocate for the use of positive affirmations on your cell phone set as an alarm or sticky notes posted in high-traffic areas. You must see and repeat positive affirmations regularly and consistently for them to have the best possible effect. 

Be positive scrabble pieces positivity quote - Photo by Amanda Jones on Unsplashpositive affirmations -

Claude Steele’s self-affirmation theory argues that it is better to affirm actions rather than what feels good or what may be. For example, it is better to say, “I am going to do well on this test” than “I am smart.” Affirmations that point to a state of being can often bring up unnecessary feelings of shame or guilt. Actionable affirmations avoid these emotions and celebrate the process instead of just the outcome.  

Developed during an empirical study in the late 1980s by Claude Steele, self-affirmation theory is one of the main scientific arguments for the benefits of positive affirmations. The theory has three major tenets, which provide a greater understanding of how affirmations work. These three tenets are:

  1. When we practice self-affirmation, we maintain a self-narrative in which we can be ethical and able to adapt to different circumstances. This narrative makes up our self-identity. With positive affirmations, we feel able to adopt a variety of different roles and have success in each of them.  
  2. Self-affirmation theory contends that maintaining self-identity is not about always being perfect or excellent at everything. Instead, it’s more important that we see ourselves as competent and capable in the areas that we value.
  3. To benefit from positive affirmations and maintain your self-integrity, you must behave in ways that genuinely deserve acknowledgment and praise. When practicing self-affirmations like, “I am an attentive mother,” your end goal by saying it shouldn’t simply be to receive that praise. For a positive affirmation like this to work well, you have to act in ways to deserve that praise by being the most attentive mother you can.  

Practicing positive affirmations offers a variety of benefits, including improving your mood, increasing motivation, and boosting your self-esteem. When you use positive affirmations for anxiety regularly, they can help you address negative thoughts and solve problems with a calmer, clearer head.  

Examples of Positive Affirmations

I know myself.

I respect myself.

I have confidence in myself.

I learn from my mistakes.

I give myself space to grow and learn.


I forgive myself for not being perfect.

I am a unique and worthy person.

I accept what I cannot change.

I make the best of every situation.

I am at peace with who I am as a person.


I value my time and effort.

I support and encourage others.

I put my energy into things that matter to me.

I take responsibility for my thoughts and emotions.

I know I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

Can Positive Affirmations Help with Anxiety?

Positive journal quote - always start your day with a cup of positivitea - Photo by Alysha Rosly on Unsplash

When you affirm yourself regularly and consistently, you improve how you can manage stressful situations. The ability to handle any challenge you may face will better prepare you to work towards a long-lasting change in the management of your anxiety. When you use positive affirmations for anxiety regularly, you help your brain become more resilient.

If you’re considering using positive affirmations for anxiety, you must ensure that your self-talk is grounded in reality and actionable. If you choose statements that aren’t realistic, you will struggle with motivation and self-confidence. Unrealistic affirmations will only make you feel more anxious, incapable, and unsuccessful.

If you’re anxious about money, saying to yourself, “I will inherit a vast sum of money” is not helpful or realistic. When you choose a more realistic affirmation like, “I am deserving of a raise at my current job and have the confidence to ask for one,” you’ll be more motivated to take actionable steps towards making your affirmation a reality. Unrealistic affirmations only stop you in your tracks. 

Affirmations can reinforce your self-worth by encouraging both your positive opinion of yourself and your confidence in your ability to achieve your goals. Positive affirmations mitigate the panic, stress, and self-doubt that usually comes with anxiety. When anxious thoughts threaten to overwhelm you and make it difficult to focus on positive outcomes, affirmations help you regain control, change your negative thought patterns, and alleviate symptoms of anxiety.