As we adjust to the New Normal, I’ve found myself struggling to do a daily routine that once came (more) easily to me. I realized what I needed was a way to check off the essentials of what I aimed to do each day.

I searched the Internet and also dug up one of my very old Excel files I’d once used as a checklist, but it wasn’t very user friendly. Then I found what I was looking for: a simple pre-made self-care checklist that includes tips on how to fill in your own blank template. I’ve used this checklist all week and love it, but I still want to add my own twist, especially in light of our exceptional circumstances right now.

And so I offer you the COVID-19 Self-Isolation Self-Care Checklist. Click the link to download.

The file has two pages. The first page is based off my personal list. Each item may not be relevant or useful to you, but it gives you an idea of the kinds of things you can add to your own checklist.

The second page is a blank template you can print out to make your very own! Copy any of the items you want to use from the example above. Then brainstorm your own personalized tasks to add. For instance, you could add daily or weekly tasks about eating healthily such as ‘cook a meal from scratch,’ ‘eat fruit,’ or ‘eat one meatless meal.’ Or you can add items that involve service to others, such as ‘make a donation,’ ‘call a friend who lives alone,’ or ‘give leftovers to my neighbor’ (from a distance!). You can also add spiritual practices that are meaningful to you.

As one of my writing instructors recently pointed out, doing service for others is what gives our lives meaning during difficult times. At first, I was overwhelmed, anxious, and a little depressed when the lockdown happened here. Once I shifted my focus from the change in my own life to what I offer to others, my head started to clear and I felt more grounded. This is one reason why I wanted to create a lockdown and self-isolation self-care checklist that I can use myself and also share with you.

I recommend printing either the blank template or the filled-in checklist and trying it out for one week. As you go through your day, cross off items you don’t use and add other items that occur to you. The next week, print out the blank template and write down your favorite personal daily and weekly tasks. Keep tweaking it each week as needed. If you find yourself discouraged with an item you never seem to complete, consider taking it off completely or reducing its frequency (i.e. move it from your daily to your weekly list). You can also print an extra blank template to use for writing, work, or family tasks. Adapt away! (If you don’t have a printer, you can use a blank sheet and colored pens to make your own, following the template above.)

If you try out the checklist, let me know how it goes in the comments! I find the idea of a checklist very motivating — one day I tidied my room just so I could feel the satisfaction of checking it off my list. I hope you also find this useful and motivating!

If there are other self-care materials you’d find useful right now, please let me know in the comments.

(If you’d like to make your own checklist, or create any other self-care materials from scratch, Canva has excellent templates to get you started.)