33 Questions That Will Boost Your Self-Care Routine
A self-care routine is a daily journey of intentional living and being mindful about your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
As I discussed in “These 4 Insights Will Make You Much More Mindful”, sometimes we get stuck in patterns and automatic behaviors that lead us to act mindlessly.
When it comes to our health, forgetting this, ignoring that, or overlooking seemingly small things can lead to a build up of health challenges that may be difficult to overcome.
However, you can actively avoid or eliminate many health issues by incorporating self-inquiry into your self-care routine.
Self-inquiry is simply the regular act of questioning your thoughts and actions particularly in situations where you rarely question the norm.
To get you started, I’ve crafted 33 thoughtful questions that correspond to each of the 11 health and wellness pillars in my Self-Care Challenge.
Self Care Routine: 33 Questions to Contemplate
Some of these may seem obvious but that’s exactly why you should ask them. You may assume these questions are being addressed when they really aren't.
In a mindless state you automatically relinquish control to internal and external stimuli. In a mindful state you are more aware of and actively in control of your thoughts.
Use these questions, in addition to your own, to create a habit around self-care that will improve your sense of well-being over time.
By questioning what, why, and when you eat you can dramatically improve your relationship with food.
Am I actually hungry?
Is this worth consuming?
Will this help or harm me?
You shouldn’t stress about drinking enough water but do need to recognize when you’re depleting more than your intake.
Am I thirsty?
Am I exerting myself more than usual?
Do I have dehydration warning signs?
Since sleep is an epidemic and cause of a wide variety of disorders you should be particularly sensitive to this self-care pillar.
Am I well-rested or tired?
Do I feel sharp and energized during the day?
Do I neglect sleep for other activities?
A sedentary lifestyle is a major cause of death in the Western world so actively incorporating movement into your day-to-day is imperative.
Have I been sitting too long?
Does my body feel stiff or sore?
How often am I getting fresh air?
Being aware of the situations that cause stress in your life will empower you to better manage or even completely avoid them.
Am I anxious about something?
Do I feel overwhelmed?
Is there too much pressure on me?
Vices are activities that incite addictive behavior that exasperate their negative effects over time so it’s important to heavily moderate or stay away from them.
Do I overindulge or go overboard?
Is it hard to stop doing certain things?
Am I feeling socially pressured to engage in that?
Though modern medicine isn’t perfect, you can’t deny the benefits of being able to detect a problem before it intensifies.
Do I have a clear sense of the overall state of my health?
Am I fully aware of the conditions I’m at risk of (due to lifestyle or genetics)?
Do I drive the discussions with my health care providers to get what I need out of them?
Staying safe comes down to doing what’s in your control to prevent known risks to yourself and loved ones.
Am I putting myself or loved one at risk?
Do I trust this person or feel secure in this situation?
Do I have an emergency or backup plan?
Mindfulness is the process of bringing your attention to what is happening in the present moment in a non-judgmental way.
Did I truly think that through?
Do I dwell on the past or worry a lot about the future?
Do I make sound judgements or decisions?
Determining a purpose gives you a sense of clarity, and helps you focus on what matters most.
Do I have a plan for my life?
Am I thriving (or progressing)?
Do I have enduring happiness?
You should always strive for balance in your life. Even when it comes to self-care, moderation is key.
Are there parts of my life that seem out of control?
Do I have a method of managing my different life themes?
Do I have reliable resources for making changes when needed?
Self Care Routine: How to Incorporate Self-Inquiry
There are three ways you can build a routine around self-inquiry and regularly ask yourself these important questions.
First, try to stay in tune with the small physical or emotional sensations that cue you in to something being off before it escalates.
This is the method I personally rely on most often. I don’t ignore fleeting feelings but instead call them out by asking myself (often out loud): wait, what is going on?
Just the small act of questioning different feelings and sensations can help you identity culprits and determine where to hone in with additional questions.
A second approach is to schedule a self-care day once a month. Consider this a mini wellness retreat where you detach from the daily grind.
You don’t need to travel to Bali and go on a 10-day silence meditation in order to find space for self-inquiry and self-care. Steal a day and be thoughtful about what you can do in 24 hours to refresh and refocus.
Third, you can narrow down your focus a bit more by identifying specific areas that need working on and then developing a plan of action.
The Self-Care Challenge is a great way to do this in a more guided way. This program takes the confusion and complexity out of managing your well-being with an integrative and holistic approach to health and wellness.