Daily Self Care Checklist to Be Happier & Healthier (+ free printables)

How to Create a Daily Self Care Checklist That Works

How much of today did you spend taking care of yourself? Was it enough to be at your best?

If you’re like me, probably not.

It’s tough to choose yourself over other priorities. The day tends to squeeze us in on all sides!

daily self-care checklist pdf

Women, especially, are notorious for putting everything else before themselves. There’s a constant dialogue in our heads making sure the meals are made, the work is done, and that to-do list gets at least a few items checked off.

Yet, simultaneously we neglect our bodies and souls, putting our self-care off until some unforeseen time.

That times is NOW. Before burnout and exhaustion get the best of you.

It’s time to use a daily self care checklist!

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daily self care checklist pdf pin

But, Why a Daily Self-Care Checklist?

I realized with the birth of my third child that life was not going to slow down on its own. And I was fully on that burnout train. Choo choo!

So, I needed a plan. Accountability. And a way to measure progress.

Enter: the daily self-care checklist!

Here’s why it works:

  1. It is a built-in way to take care of yourself without having to think about it day to day.
  2. By seeing it every day you are naturally more aware of doing the actions on it.
  3. It’s a to-do list for your soul. What is it about completing a checklist that feels so darn good?

First, Tips for a Daily Self-Care Checklist That Works

Before we get into what’s on my checklist, let’s start with HOW to make it work well for you!

1. Start Basic & Easy

My daily self care checklist has ten items, but if that’s too much, start with two. Find a little momentum and then, build as you go. The benefits are felt over time, so don’t short-change yourself by doing too much too soon.

2. Do a Self Check-In

Once a week, check-in with yourself to see how you’re doing. Is the checklist working? Do you need to modify or change something? How can you be more consistent with certain actions?

3. Consider Your Schedule

Now, take your daily schedule and routine into consideration. Do you have more free time in the early morning? Or late night?

Pre-plan time beforehand to do the actions on the checklist. Obviously, your planned times may not always work out, but you’ll be more likely to do them if you have an intended time of day.

Find a free block schedule template HERE to help!

4. Understand How Habits Work

woman doing yoga in her daily self care checklist

I created the daily self-care checklist for a reason. I followed the proven rules of habit formation.

Make sure it’s EASY: If you start with easy-to-accomplish actions and a good starter number it will be MUCH easier to follow through long-term.

Make sure it’s SATISFYING: If you enjoy checking things off a list, you’re good here.

Make sure it’s OBVIOUS. I put mine in a page protector on a clipboard and check it off every day with a dry erase marker. Every morning I wipe it clean and start again. It’s also on the kitchen desk, which I know I’ll walk by often.

Where can you put yours to make it obvious in your daily routine? Can you make it easy to re-use it too?

Related Post: How to Build Better Habits; From the Expert

5. Multitask When You Need to

I know, I know. There’s a lot out there about focusing on one task at a time. And it’s true. But I’m also a mom, and at times SOMETHING is better than NOTHING. So here are a few ways I multitask…

  • I can easily get in a podcast when I exercise or am driving. Occasionally, I even get an outside connection if I walk with a neighbor.
  • I write three things I’m grateful for while I help my kids in the morning. Sometimes, they even give me input!

Now, without further adu…here’s what’s on the self-care checklist!

10 Actions to Put on Your Daily Self-Care Checklist Pdf

Here’s the video about my checklist, then read on for more details about each action!

And sign up at the end of this post for FREE self care checklist printables!

1. Take Vitamins

Get those extra nutrients in. If they aren’t included on the checklist, it’s hard to remember!

2. Eat a Whole Foods Breakfast

a great daily self care checklist includes a healthy breakfast

How you start the day is the tone you set for the rest of it – making it SUPER important!

So, no junk food or processed food to start the day. It helps tremendously to begin on a healthy note with a filling smoothie or eggs. Whatever you choose, put a little green it in and make it something that will keep you full.

3. Meditate

Breathe deeply, pray, or meditate intentionally. Spend a few minutes in silence with your thoughts.

Sometimes, all I can get in is a few breaths, but it counts!

4. Write In A Gratitude Journal

For me, this looks like writing three things I’m grateful for. I’m loving my 5-minute journal these days! It’s a super easy guide all in one place! Alternatively, dedicate a small cheap notebook to this practice.

Related Posts:

5. Write Down Goals

Get clear about where you’re going and write it down daily. This is about living with clarity, purpose, and intention. Plus, it only takes a few moments.

Related Post: Why You Should Write Down Your Goals

6. Exercise

Walk, run, jump. MOVE in some way!

I try to aim for 20-30 minutes of anything. I’ve noticed that this is more about managing my mental health and energy than anything else.

Related Post: Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy

7. Get Positive Input

woman listening on headphones to positive input as part of her daily self care checklist printable

“You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with” applies to our input as much as the people we choose to be around.

So, read a few pages from an empowering book, listen to a podcast, watch an inspirational video, or review your favorite uplifting quotes. Get motivated to take on the day!

Related Posts:

8. Give a Gift, or Send an Appreciation/Thank You

This is simply being there for someone else on purpose. Can I leave a note under my kids’ pillow? Can I text “I love you” to my husband, or bring a friend a treat?

We can always do something small for others, but a reminder is often necessary.

What would you do for this?

9. Connect With Someone

Have a real conversation with someone. Face to face or by phone works wonders, and texting does not count!

10. Sleep – make 8 hours a priority!

It is so important to be well-rested! It’s possibly the most crucial one on this list, and as a parent, it MUST be on mine!

Related Posts:

What are some more self care ideas to put on the checklist?

notebook with ideas written on it

Check these out!

*Check out: 100 Unique Self Care Ideas for more (the first 50 ideas are included in the free printable below) or hop over to Psychology Today for 12 Great Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself.

What are the 8 main areas of self care?

daily self care checklist

Now, if you’re looking to make sure you cover all of the different aspects of your life in your daily self-care checklist, consider the 8 main areas of self-care:

  • physical (body, health, nutrition, sleep, rest)
  • psychological (learning new things, mindfulness, and creativity)
  • emotional (managing stress and navigating emotions)
  • social (having a supportive network of relationships)
  • professional (working with purpose and setting clear boundaries)
  • environmental (having a clean and uncluttered environment)
  • spiritual (living by who you are and finding your center)
  • financial (having awareness and a great relationship with money)

Perhaps not all of them will make it on your list, but it’s a fantastic guide when choosing what’s most important to you. Or what you may be missing. Take the free self-care quiz to know for sure too!

Tips for Using the Daily Self Care Checklist

Two Last Things to Consider

Finally, keep these two things in mind:

First, remember to put progress over perfection. The point is to keep going over the long-term.

Am I perfect with my checklist? Of course not!

But I can honestly say that I’m MUCH more consistent when using my daily self-care checklist pdf. As in, I actually take care of myself.

Second, some of the items will evolve over time. My daily self-care checklist is always changing because my life is changing. (There’s a summer update below) Yours will look this way too.

SIGN UP to get the free checklist, sent straight to your inbox!

*Great news! A weekly checklist is now in the resource library too! Get both self care checklists NOW!

And for more self-care guidance plus blank templates, see my full self-care workbook HERE >>

Finally, what should be on your daily self-care checklist to be healthy, happy, and impactful?

Don’t let another day go by without taking care of yourself!

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.”

Katie Reed


My new basic daily checklist has been edited slightly! Here’s what I have right now!

  1. Vitamins
  2. Make Bed
  3. Journaling, goals
  4. Smoothie, salad
  5. Look my best – I tend to want to not shower and wear yoga pants all the time! This is to help with that! 🙂
  6. Upbeat Music – from the Simple Habits to Create Happiness post
  7. Read or podcast
  8. Gift, thank you, appreciation
  9. Exercise
  10. Declutter/pick up 15 minutes – our house is a wreck in the summer!

The beauty of the self-care checklist is that you can make it whatever you want it to be!



Truly, these are all great reads, and they all contributed to my daily self-care checklist. 

Other wellness and personal growth posts…


  1. I love the gift, appreciation or thank you. By blessing others your heart is full. Great list, all-encompassing, and achievable.

    1. Yes! I plan on doing a whole separate post on the gift, appreciation, thank you idea. I got it from a book. I would never have come up with it on my own, but it has been wonderful since I started it!

  2. Jessica Evans says:

    Love this! I am going to do something similar!

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