Self-Care Assessment

Self-care activities are the things you do to maintain good health and improve well-being. You’ll find that many of these activities are things you already do as part of your normal routine.

In this assessment you will think about how frequently, or how well, you are performing different self-care activities. The goal of this assessment is to help you learn about your self-care needs by spotting patterns and recognizing areas of your life that need more attention.

There are no right or wrong answers on this assessment. There may be activities that you have no interest in, and other activities may not be included. This list is not comprehensive, but serves as a starting point for thinking about your self-care needs.

1I do this poorlyI do this rarely or not at all
2I do this OKI do this sometimes
3I do this wellI do this often
*I would like to improve at thisI would like to do this more frequently
Physical Self-Care123*
Eat healthy foods
Take care of personal hygiene
Wear clothes that help me feel good about myself
Eat regularly
Participate in fun activities (e.g. walking, swimming, dancing, sports)
Get enough sleep
Go to preventative medical appointments (e.g. checkups, teeth cleanings)
Rest when sick
Overall physical self-care
Psychological / Emotional Self-Care123*
Take time off from work, school, and other obligations
Participate in hobbies
Get away from distractions (e.g. phone, email)
Learn new things, unrelated to work or school
Express my feelings in a healthy way (e.g. talking, creating art, journaling)
Recognize my own strengths and achievements
Go on vacations or day-trips
Do something comforting (e.g. re-watch a favorite movie, take a long bath)
Find reasons to laugh
Talk about my problems
Overall psychological and emotional self-care
Social Self-Care123*
Spend time with people who I like
Call or write to friends and family who are far away
Have stimulating conversations
Meet new people
Spend time alone with my romantic partner
Ask others for help, when needed
Do enjoyable activities with other people
Have intimate time with my romantic partner
Keep in touch with old friends
Overall social self-care
Spiritual Self-Care123*
Spend time in nature
Recognize the things that give meaning to my life
Act in accordance with my morals and values
Set aside time for thought and reflection
Participate in a cause that is important to me
Appreciate art that is impactful to me (e.g. music, film, literature)
Overall spiritual self-care
Professional Self-Care123*
Improve my professional skills
Say “no” to excessive new responsibilities
Take on projects that are interesting or rewarding
Learn new things related to my profession
Make time to talk and build relationships with colleagues
Take breaks during work
Maintain balance between my professional and personal life
Keep a comfortable workspace that allows me to be successful
Advocate for fair pay, benefits, and other needs
Overall professional self-care

Self-Care Strategies

Physical Self-Care

Eat regularly (e.g. breakfast, lunch and dinner) Eat healthy
Exercise Get regular medical care for prevention
Get medical care when needed Take time off when needed
Get massages Dance, swim, walk, run, play sports, sing, or do some other physical activity that is fun
Take time to be sexual—with yourself, with a partner Get enough sleep
Wear clothes you like Take vacations
Take day trips or mini-vacations Make time away from telephones

Psychological Self-Care

Make time for self-reflection
Have your own personal psychotherapy Write in a journal
Read literature that is unrelated to work Do something at which you are not expert or in charge
Decrease stress in your life Let others know different aspects of you
_ Notice your inner experience—listen to your thoughts, judgments, beliefs, attitudes, and feelings Engage your intelligence in a new area, e.g. go to an art museum, history exhibit,
sports event, auction, theater performance
Practice receiving from others Be curious
Say “no” to extra responsibilities sometimes Other:

Emotional Self-Care
Spend time with others whose company you enjoy Stay in contact with important people in your life
Give yourself affirmations, praise yourself Love yourself
Re-read favorite books, re-view favorite movies Identify comforting activities, objects, people, relationships, places and seek them out
Allow yourself to cry Find things that make you laugh
Express your outrage in social action, letters and donations, marches, protests Play with children

Spiritual Self-Care Make time for reflection
Spend time with nature Find a spiritual connection or community
Be open to inspiration Cherish your optimism and hope
Be aware of nonmaterial aspects of life Try at times not to be in charge or the expert
Be open to not knowing Identify what in meaningful to you and notice its place in your life
_ Meditate Pray
Sing Spend time with children
Have experiences of awe Contribute to causes in which you believe
Read inspirational literature (talks, music, etc.) Other:

Workplace or Professional Self-Care
Take a break during the workday (e.g. lunch) Take time to chat with co-workers
Make quiet time to complete tasks Identify projects or tasks that are exciting and rewarding
Set limits with your clients and colleagues Balance your caseload so that no one day or part of a day is “too much”
Arrange your work space so it is comfortable and comforting Get regular supervision or consultation
Negotiate for your needs (benefits, pay raise) Have a peer support group
Develop a non-trauma area of professional interest Other:
Strive for balance within your work-life and workday _ Strive for balance among work, family, relationships, play and rest

Source: Transforming the Pain: A Workbook on Vicarious Traumatization. Saakvitne, Pearlman & Staff of TSI/CAAP (Norton, 1996)