The Self-Care Check In Questions You Need To Ask

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The Self-Care Check In Questions You Need To Ask Title Photo. In the background A journal sits open on a table, with purple flowers and a pen on top. Behind the journal there's a vase with purple flowers in it and a white blanket that sits bundled on the edge of the table.

Hello Sweet Friends:

How are you doing? Everything ok? Do you need anything?

These are all questions we regularly ask… to our friends, to our family, to any of the people we care about.

But how often to you check in with yourself?

A self-care check in is a lovely form of being present for yourself. It’s showing up for yourself and making sure that you’re ok. And when you’re not ok, this wonderful self-care activity is all about figuring out why and discovering the support you need to feel better.

A self-care check in is a way to say “Hey me, I’m here for you. I care. We’re in this together.” And you absolutely deserve that kind of self-partnership.

Not sure where to start? Here are 12 questions you can ask yourself when you need to check in. Let’s take a peek!

What Is A Self-Care Check In

A planner lays open beside coloured markets. The page says "Journal, Do Yoha, Meditate, Read More, Face Yoga" and there are different coloured checks beside each one on different days.

A self-care check in is truly such a kind thing to do for yourself. It’s an act of self-care that you can do anytime you’d like.

But it can be hard to know where to even start. So I’ve put together 12 examples of things you can ask yourself when you need to check in.

  1. How Are You Feeling?
  2. What Do You Need Right Now?
  3. What Brought You Joy Today? This Week? This Month?
  4. What Are You Putting Off?
  5. Is There Any Self-Work You Should Focus On?
  6. What Self-Care Activities Would You Like To Do More Often?
  7. What Actions Can You Take To Feel Better?
  8. Are You Taking Breaks And Resting When You Need To?
  9. Are There Any Goals Or Hobbies You’d Like To Pursue?
  10. What Are You Grateful For?
  11. Are You Honouring Your Boundaries?
  12. Is There Negativity You Can Cut From Your Life?

A journal sits open on a table, with purple flowers and a pen on top. In the background there's a vase with purple flowers in it and a white blanket that sits bundled on the edge of the table.

Now, should you ask yourself all 12 of these questions in one sitting? Probably not! That might be a bit overwhelming! But if something resonates with you, it could be good to think on it and dive deeper.

This is your check in, so you can individualize the entire experience and make it yours.

I encourage you to make up your own self-care check in questions too (and would love if you’d share them with me in the comments!) What you need and how you’re feeling changes all the time.

Someone sits at a table with a blank journal open in front of them, and a book open to the first page above the journal. They hold a pen in their hands, ready to start writing.

Personalized questions that reflect where you are in your life are a fantastic way to check in with yourself and provide yourself with the support you deserve.

But the 12 questions we’re going over today are still a wonderful place to start! What makes them so special? Let’s dive deeper into why they matter and how you can help yourself by searching for the answers.

1. How Are You Feeling?

A woman rests her head on her arm and looks at the camera.

Check in with your beautiful self. Are you doing ok? What feelings are hiding just below the surface?

If everything feels great, that’s awesome! Revel in that joyful bliss! Not so great? That’s ok too. But maybe some deeper exploration is needed to help you work through it.

Acknowledge, validate and work through your feelings. Even when they’re negative ones (good vibes only isn’t real, after all).

While it may feel counter-intuitive, it’s so incredibly important that you allow yourself to work through negative feelings when they arrive.

A woman sits in a field of wheet and rests her hand on her face.

Is it uncomfortable sometimes to unpack your feelings? Heck yes. But those feelings aren’t there to take over, they just want to pass through. And the only way to help them move through you is to sit with them and work through whatever’s causing them.

And remember – this isn’t something you need to work through alone. Reach out to your support system, lean on some shoulders, speak with a therapist… whatever helps you along the way. Self-care doesn’t have to be a solo activity.

Need help? Here are 7 Gentle Ways To Lift Your Spirit When You Need It.

2. What Do You Need Right Now?

A woman sits at her kitchen table and reads.

No one knows what you need better than you do! Take a moment with yourself, close your eyes, breathe deep and ask yourself what you need. And then listen. Without judgement or criticism. Listen with compassion for beautiful you.

What do you need? How can you provide that for yourself? And if you can’t respond to your need right this second, is there an opportunity sometime soon? Or a compromise that will help you?

These conversations with yourself are so important. Because you’re with you always. You have a front row seat to your heart and mind. No one knows what you need better than you do.

A woman sits at a table outside, rests her head on her hand and looks up, as if in deep thought.

Sometimes you might not be able to provide for yourself right this second. Or maybe not at all. But just being present for yourself and listening is huge.

How do you feel when a friend takes the time to hear you out? Awesome, right? Being heard is so comforting. And you deserve to be that friend for yourself too.

Related: How To Make ‘Self-Partnered’ Your Awesome New Relationship Status

3. What Brought You Joy Today? This Week? This Month?

A woman leans against a wall outside, looks at the camera and smiles.

What lifted your spirit? What made you feel good? Was it an activity, time spent with someone, an adventure somewhere, cozy pajamas and a Netflix binge?

Whatever it is, the fact that it gave you a nice boost is fantastic. Identifying the things that bring you joy is wonderful. Especially when you can make more time for the joyful things. Why not prioritize the joyful things as often as you can?

4. What Are You Putting Off?

A woman sits with her head in both of her hands, exasperated

Ok, this one might make you cringe a little bit. But bare with me. Because a self-care check in isn’t just about the fun stuff… Sometimes taking care of yourself is about facing the not-so-fun stuff you might be putting off.

It might be as simple as doing laundry. Or as uncomfortably complex as scheduling a doctor’s appointment. But no matter what it is, it shouldn’t be put off forever.

Why are you putting it off? Do you need support? What steps do you need to take to make it happen?

These questions might not be fun. But if it’s important for your well-being; they’re questions you should absolutely take the time to ask yourself.

5. Is There Any Self-Work You Should Focus On?

Someone sits outside and watched the sun rise.

Self-work isn’t always easy. Much like how self-care isn’t always the fun, relaxing stuff. But it’s important none-the-less.

Self-work involves looking within yourself, recognizing the growing you need to do, and putting in the work to make positive change.

Whether it’s acknowledging your privileges, questioning your implicit biases, working on expressing emotions in healthier ways, or something else entirely, self-work is important.

A woman sits outside, looks up smiling with her eyes closed and clasps her hands as in prayer.

It can be hard to examine you ideas and behaviours and discover areas that may need some improvement. But ultimately, self-work helps us better connect with ourselves and those around us.

When you’re doing self-work, I encourage you to do it with kindness. Just because we have areas we could improve upon doesn’t mean that we should beat ourselves up about it. Be kind and gentle as you learn and grow. What’s important is that we try, not that we’re perfect (because perfection isn’t real, baby!)

Related: Why It’s Important To Examine Your Privilege

6. What Self-Care Activities Would You Like To Do More Often?

A woman sits on her bed sipping tea and reading.

Amy Przeworski, Ph.D., researcher and therapist, says it best:

“Make sure that you schedule some me-time for self-care. It will reduce your stress, increase your productivity, and boost your happiness!” (source)

And no one knows what kind of self-care feels best better than you!

Which activities help you relax the most? What lifts you up? Are there things you can do more regularly that make you feel good? Try to make time for those things.

A woman sits snuggled in a blanket, only her head and hands poke up, and she has a bit smile on her face.

It can be helpful to create a list in your journal of the self-care that helps you de-stress the most. That way, when you are having a bad day and feel unsure of how to soothe yourself, you can take a peek at your list and choose whatever activity resonates with you the most.

Related: Struggling To Make Time To Take Care Of Yourself? Do This.

7. What Actions Can You Take To Feel Better?

A woman stands outside. She has purple, yellow and white flowers in her hair and holds a hello flower next to her face. She stares at the camera

Life can get pretty stressful. It’s absolutely natural to struggle at times. What matters is that we seek support and self-soothe when we need it.

If you are struggling with something, ask yourself what kind of support systems or actions you need to take in order to work on feeling better. Whether it’s rest, talking with a loved one, therapy, self-soothing, self-care or something else entirely. Knowing what you need is the first step.

Related: How To Reduce Stress – 6 Fantastic Tips From Psychiatrists

8. Are You Taking Breaks And Resting When You Need To?

A woman lays down, as if sleeping, and has white and yellow dairies on her coat, in her hair and on the ground around her.

While we tend to prioritize productivity, rest is just as important. Resting is healing.

And, here’s the kicker, resting actually helps to make you more productive and creative. Mind blown, right?! (source)

So you owe it to yourself to take that lunch break, schedule that you do, put those feet up and rest. I promise, it’s time well spent.

Related: 4 Fantastic Reasons Why You Need To Make Time To Do Nothing

9. Are There Any Goals Or Hobbies You’d Like To Pursue?

A woman holds a guitar over her shoulder, stands to the side of the camera and looks off into the distance.

Dreaming and working to achieve the things that excite you are wonderful. What’s something new you’d like to try or something you’re excited to achieve? How can you begin?

Remember, it’s ok to be a beginner. Start where you are, give yourself permission to be a novice, and go from there. You’ll learn and grow as you go.

And it’s also ok to pursue something just for the fun of it. You don’t need to be good at something to enjoy it. Don’t be afraid to remove the pressures of perfection and just enjoy yourself. Fun is time well spent.

Related: 5 Goal Setting Tips That Will Help You Achieve Your Dreams In A Healthy Way

10. What Are You Grateful For?

A woman leans against a wall, smiles and closses her eyes.

Gratitude is POWERFUL. And yet it’s so easy to forget about all of the things we have to be grateful for (especially the little things).

But when you take the time to really think about what you’re grateful for, and, even better, write them down (gratitude journaling is amazing), the boost is amazing. And you can carry that feeling of gratitude with you throughout the day.

So, what are you grateful for? Don’t just think big. Think small. Warm sheets? Hugs? Pet snuggles? Breakfast? If you’re feeling grateful about it, it counts and deserves to make the gratitude list.

Related: How to Practice Gratitude and Feel Awesome

11. Are You Honouring Your Boundaries?

A woman stares at the camera and holds her finger up at the camera, as if saying "no!"

Boundaries are everything. I encourage you to be clear with yourself (and anyone else needs to know) about your limits.

Don’t be afraid to say no when you need to – to work, to company, to activities that drain you. You can’t do everything, and you certainly aren’t an Energizer bunny that’s always ready to go. It’s ok to say no.

I know it’s not always easy. But practice makes perfect. And it all starts with asking yourself what your boundaries are and how you can honour them.

Related: 8 Ways to Love Yourself Fiercely (Your Health Will Thank You)

12. Is There Negativity You Can Cut From Your Life?

A woman stands outside in the snow and holds a piece of paper in each hand. One says good, the other says bye.

Whether it be negative self-talk, frenemies, social media accounts that make you feel awful about yourself, or anything else… if it’s an unnecessary source of negativity, it’s got to go.

Work on self-kindness, drop those frenemies, unfollow or mute those icky social media accounts… pluck that negativity up off the ground and toss it out of your life. Bye bye!

Final Thoughts

A lightbulb sits in the sand.

There are so many ways that you can check in with yourself. And tons of questions you could ask. What matters is that you take the time to make sure you’re doing ok. And when you’re not, that you’re there for yourself discovering how to make things better.

Not only is a self-care check in a beautiful way to care for yourself, it’s a wonderful form of self-love. What better way to say “I love you” than to check in with someone? You owe this to your incredible self too!

Your turn: Which of these questions resonated with you the most? Any questions you’d like to add to the self-care check in questions list? Looking forward to hearing your lovely thoughts!

Health and love,

sara-signature

Thought of the day: You are worthy of your love and support.

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Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

Sara Flanagan is a wellness writer and the creator of www.mshealthesteem.com, where she shares her story of being diagnosed with Graves Disease, a chronic autoimmune disease, and empowering herself to do everything she can to thrive in spite of her diagnosis. She writes articles on self-love, acceptance, wellness and nutrition. Join the Health-Esteem Family today and share in the journey.

28 Comments

  1. Reply

    crisshex88

    September 18, 2020

    Check List saved, useful and interesting … in short, it is a cure-all for myself and for the sessions I do with my clients!

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      I’m very glad this is helpful! Self-care isn’t always easy. But checking it with ourselves is important. We are so worthy of our own love and support :). Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

  2. Reply

    Ben

    September 18, 2020

    This is a great post. Self-care is a lot more than just taking a bath or reading a book or gaming (in my case). You have to intentionally check in on yourself from time to time.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      Baths, books and gaming are awesome forms of self-care. Definitely high on my list too! What do you like to play? Dishonored, Dragon Age and Zelda are among my favourites :).

      And yes! While go-to activities are wonderful, checking in and being present for yourself is so, so important. Self-care is multifaceted. And we’re worthy of all of it.

  3. Reply

    Heather

    September 18, 2020

    I struggle so much with self-care. This is exactly what I needed to read today.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      I’m really happy this was helpful Heather! <3 Sending you bunches of love.

  4. Reply

    Kaitlyn

    September 18, 2020

    Yes! These are on point. Self care is so important, especially now.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      I couldn’t agree more Kaitlyn! We really do deserve our own love and support. Especially during these difficult times.

  5. Reply

    More Income, Better Lifestyle

    September 18, 2020

    We too often get lost in the daily onslaught, especially this year. Great tips on not just what you need ot focus on but exactly how. Thank you

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      It’s definitely a hard year! I think now more than ever we really should make sure we’re there for ourselves. Self-care and checking in with ourselves is so important. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  6. Reply

    Roads and Pages

    September 19, 2020

    This post is very timely. The pandemic really gives so much depression to all of us. In addition, its not only the pandemic but the other tragedies that happened this year. I agree with you about your post here. We need a balance life and from time to time, we just have to pause and do some reflections.

  7. Reply

    Gervin Khan

    September 19, 2020

    Now, this is what everybody needs as of the moment. To assess our self especially this time of global crisis due to pandemic. We need this kind of checklist to help us maintain our rational and logical thinking. Thanks for sharing such wonderful post that everybody should consider doing.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      Thank you so much Gervin! I’m really happy you find this helpful. I think now more than ever we really can benefit from being present for ourselves and checking in. We deserve our love and support so much. It can be such a big help! I really appreciate you sharing your perspective! Wishing you well 🙂

  8. Reply

    Ronnie E.

    September 19, 2020

    I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety at my new job… This is a helpful reminder to check in with myself and work on putting things into perspective.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      Congratulations on your new job Ronnie! Change is hard and can be really stressful. I hope that you feel more at ease as you adjust to your new position! And that, in the meantime, this helps you be present for yourself while you navigate. Sending you tons of love!

  9. Reply

    Marie

    September 20, 2020

    This has not been a good week for self care. I really need to just start going down your list and try to get myself on an even keel again.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      We all have those moments (I do too!) I hope that this helps. And that you have some time to just be present with yourself and recoup. Sending you so much love!

  10. Reply

    emman damian

    September 20, 2020

    We all need these self-care questions. We need to check our mental health state and we also need to prepare ourselves. Thanks for this post. It’s very helpful during the pandemic.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      I’m really happy you found this helpful Emman! I agree – now more than ever before, we really need the reminder to be there for ourselves and to check in on our mental state. These are tough times. We deserve our love and support while we navigate. I hope you’re doing well!

  11. Reply

    Lucy Clarke

    September 21, 2020

    These are the essential questions we have to ask ourselves indeed! And yes to also checking ourselves if there are areas we need to work on, because true self-care also factors in the acknowledgement the we do have areas for improvement.

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      I’m so glad this spoke to you Lucy! And I love how you put it – “True self-care also factors int he acknowledgement that we do have areas for improvement.” I think that’s so important to know. We need to be kind to ourselves. But we also need to recognize when we need to work on something and then do the work. It can be hard, but it’s all self-care and it all matters. Thank you so much for sharing your insight!

  12. Reply

    Mom

    September 23, 2020

    Hi Sara – I love you so much! This is awesome!
    Your Mom

    • Reply

      Sara | Ms. Health-Esteem

      September 23, 2020

      Thank you mama! I love you too <3. So grateful for all of your love and support. It will forever mean the world!

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