A quick checklist of small-scale self-maintenance tasks, one worth reviewing multiple times per day:
- Have you had water within the last hour?
- Have you eaten within the last 4-8 hours?
- Or, if you have irregular blood sugar, have been working hard (physically or mentally), or the like: Have you had a snack within the last hour?
- Where do you have tension in your body? How is your posture?
- How is your breathing? Could you slow it or deepen it?
- Are you too warm? Are you too cold?
- How long have you been on social media/been playing that game/been otherwise procrastinating? If this was a scheduled break, have you gone over your time limit?
- Have you consciously desired the well-being of someone else within the last hour? (A brief cultivation of Mettā.)
- Have you sent a kind word to a friend or family member today?
- Have you consciously desired your own well-being within the last hour? (Even and especially if you don’t think you deserve loving-kindness.)
- Have you taken a short break within the last 30-60 minutes?
- Have you taken a longer break within the last 1-4 hours?
- What else might be disrupting your flow that you could address within the next five minutes?
This list may look overwhelming at first but it will get easier with each one you check off. If it would help, you can print this off, transcribe it to a whiteboard, convert it into a spreadsheet, whatever makes it simple and easy for you to review. You deserve all of the above.