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Boost Your Mental
& Physical Health

Boost Your Mental and Physical Health With a Self-care Assessment

Do you have a self-care routine? When’s the last time you did a self-care assessment? 

Taking care of our mental and physical health is more important than ever, and practicing self-care is one of the best ways to stay fit for any challenge. Whether you’re training for a race, taking up a new sport, or just keeping up with the daily grind, self-care can be easy to forget. 

In this post, we’re covering self-care examples to help you build a plan that works for you, including a self-care assessment to help you realize where to focus your efforts. 

What Is Self-Care? (And What It’s Not)

Self-care is more than just a buzzword or tired marketing speak—it plays an important role in your overall well-being. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider”.

Taking good care of ourselves allows us to be healthy, feel well, and to perform at our best—whether it’s at work, chasing the little ones, or climbing the highest peak. Getting enough sleep, proper nutrition, hydration, physical exercise, and scheduled rest are the most basic examples of self-care. But the practice expands to all areas of your life, including your relationships with yourself and others.  

Self-care is different for everyone. While going for a run may be your ultimate de-stressing activity, it may not work for someone else. Some people swear by their morning self-care routine, while others prefer to do their self-care activities at night. When you find what works for you, roll with it. 

What Is a Self-Care Assessment? 

A self-care assessment is a simple worksheet or questionnaire that asks you to think about how frequently or how well you are performing various self-care activities. The goal of the assessment is to help you: 

  • Learn more about your own self-care habits 
  • Get new ideas for self-care activities 
  • Build a self-care plan that works for you and meets your needs 

A self-care assessment (below) is typically divided into five categories: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and professional. Each category includes common examples of self-care activities. 

Why Do a Self-Care Assessment?

Taking care of yourself may seem like a no-brainer, but healthy habits are often the first to go when life gets hectic. Especially if you’re an athlete who’s programmed to “power through," you may tend to ignore signs to rest and recharge. Thus, the assessment is extremely important, even if you already consider yourself active and health-conscious. 

You can do a self-care assessment monthly (or as often as you want or need) to reflect on your current self-care practices, recognize your weaknesses, and generate ideas for new self-care activities you might enjoy. And if you’re just getting started with self-care, this is a great checklist to help you find your baseline or starting point.

Build Your Personalized Self-Care Plan with a Self-Care Assessment [+ Examples] 

Doing a self-care assessment is pretty straightforward. First, go through each category and rate each of the example activities in terms of frequency: 

  • 5 = I do this often 
  • 4 = I do this occasionally 
  • 3 = I do this rarely
  • 2 = I never do this
  • 1 = It never occurred to me

Next, you can put a star next to the self-care activities you would like to improve on or do more frequently. 

There are no right or wrong answers in a self-care assessment. Rather, the goal is to better understand your current physical and mental health habits, get some ideas for self-care activities, and build the best self-care routine for YOU and your lifestyle. 

Physical Self-Care Examples:

  • Eat healthy foods
  • Eat regularly (breakfast, lunch, and dinner)
  • Get enough sleep
  • Take care of personal hygiene
  • Drink enough water
  • Engage in physical activities like hiking, biking, running, or hitting the gym
  • Rest when sick
  • Stretch 
  • Wear clothes you like and feel comfortable in 
  • Get preventive medical care (annual physical, dental cleanings)
  • Seek additional medical care when needed

Emotional Self-Care Examples:

  • Take time off from work, school, and other obligations 
  • Explore new hobbies
  • Read for fun 
  • Express feelings in a healthy way (journaling, talking, etc) 
  • Engage in self-praise and self-love
  • Notice your inner experience—actively listen to your thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings
  • Talk about your problems with a therapist 
  • Identify and seek out comforting activities (for example taking a bath or re-watching a favorite movie) 
  • Decrease stress in your life 
  • Recognize your strengths
  • Celebrate your achievements 
  • Find things that make you laugh
  • Allow yourself to feel a range of emotions

Social Self-Care Examples:

  • Spend time with people who make you feel good 
  • Do fun activities with others (for example a hike, ride, or run)
  • Keep in touch with relatives and friends who are far away
  • Meet new people 
  • Rekindle an old friendship
  • Have stimulating conversations
  • Ask others for help when you need it
  • Prioritize quality time with your loved ones
  • Spend intimate time with your loved ones 
  • Take time to chat and connect with coworkers

Spiritual Self-Care Examples:

  • Spend time in nature
  • Act in accordance with your values (e.g. living more sustainably or living a healthy lifestyle)
  • Take time to reflect
  • Choose to focus on optimism and hope 
  • Contribute to causes in which you believe 
  • Meditate 
  • Sing 
  • Keep a journal 
  • Be open to uncertainty 
  • Seek out experiences that inspire you

Professional Self-Care Examples: 

  • Learn new professional skills
  • Take on interesting or rewarding projects
  • Say no when necessary
  • Maintain a balance between your professional and personal life  
  • Trust yourself to accomplish difficult tasks
  • Take enough time off 
  • Take breaks throughout the workday
  • Build healthy relationships with colleagues
  • Create a comfortable and productive workspace
  • Advocate for fair pay, benefits, and inclusion

So, how did you do on the assessment? Did any of these self-care examples and ideas inspire you? We hope this exercise will help you when it comes to staying healthy, strong (physically and mentally) and building the best self-care routine for you.  

Looking to improve your overall wellness? Optimize your water intake! Discover 3 benefits of proper hydration for health and wellness (plus signs you need to drink water). 

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