Worksheet: Prioritizing Self-Care

When we have a lot on our plates or we are facing mental health challenges, it can feel easy to push our own needs to the side. However, making time for ourselves is essential to our overall well-being. Use this worksheet to help you better understand what is holding you back from taking time for yourself and your needs.

This worksheet comes from Mental Health America’s Mental Health Month 2021 Toolkit.


Here’s a web-friendly version of the activity from the worksheet:

What are some things that would make you feel better, but you cannot seem to do?

Write out some thoughts and expectations that are preventing you from doing the self-care that you need. Don’t worry about whether these thoughts or expectations are true. Instead, write down anything that comes to mind.

Examples of thoughts might be:

  • “I don’t have time.”
  • “My needs don’t matter.”

Examples of expectations might be:

  • “I should be better at _____.”
  • “I would do _____ if it helped me.”

Pick one thought or expectation to focus on.

  1. Where does this thought or expectation come from? Who sets it?
  2. How does it get in the way of taking care of yourself?
  3. Now, rewrite the thought or expectation so that it supports you and your self-care needs. Examples:
    • “If I do _____ I may feel better.”
    • “It’s okay to take time for myself.”

While we only worked through one thought, we can use this process to evaluate how our negative thoughts and expectations prevent us from taking care of ourselves regularly. You can follow these same steps with the other thoughts and expectations you listed above.

For more help reframing your negative thoughts, and to see how others are dealing with their negative thoughts, check out our online activity: Overcoming Thoughts.

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