Self Care: Checking in with Aloe


I love to-do lists. They make me feel calm and in control, even when they seem to contain Too Much for any given day. That being said, I’d never considered trying a to-do list for self care until I saw the new Aloe check-in sheet from Femsplain.

Now that I’ve started using it, I can’t believe it didn’t occur to me before.

My to-do lists usually contain big-ticket things: errands I need to run, posts I need to finish, cleaning tasks that need to be completed. I get so focused on these that I often forget to take care of myself, which leaves me grumpy and irritable even on my most productive, satisfying days.

Admittedly, I’m not great at keeping up with some day-to-day basics. I forget to brush my teeth at least twice a week, I don’t always give myself enough time to take a proper shower in the morning and I’m horrible at taking my vitamins and supplements. I’ll also go for hours on end without taking a break from my computer or phone screen, which isn’t good for any part of me at all.

As I was taking photos, Tommen decided she wanted to help. Cats love plants? And photos. My cats definitely love photos.

The Aloe printable check-in reminds me to do all of those things and more. It encourages me to hydrate (something my Plant Nanny app does as well, though I’ve recently killed more plants than I’ve raised), reminds me to snack when I’m hungry, and gives me the space to add my own self-care to-dos at the bottom of the sheet.

While a lot of my to-do lists can seem really overwhelming, the Aloe check-in is really soothing. It has muted colors (I printed mine in black and white, so I could add color wherever I wanted) and its main decoration is little aloe plants, drawn in for each thing on the list, each day of the week.

In the bottom corner, there’s a reminder that although this checklist shows every day of the week, you shouldn’t beat yourself up if you don’t do everything on the list every day. That’s good, too.

Though it sounds weird, having that reminder takes some of the pressure of “completing the to-do list” off.

I hate not completing to-do lists.

But I like to make them because they remind me of what I need to do on any given day, especially if I didn’t manage to do it the day before. It’s taken me a long time to learn that not completing a list doesn’t mean the day was a total failure. It just means I have a little more to do the next day.

Checking off big things on my to-do lists feels good, but pausing to color in aloe plants on the Aloe check-in feels like self care in and of itself. It’s a little pop of color in the day, just me and a marker and a quiet moment to reflect on what I have and haven’t managed for myself today.

Lists aren’t for everyone and I know that check-ins like this one aren’t the ideal means of self care for all. For me, the Aloe check-in works well and makes me feel good about what I’m doing to take care of myself even though my life is kind of hectic most of the time. The great thing is that the pre-order is “pay what you want”, so you don’t have to pay a lot to see if it works for you.

You can pre-order it here. It launches Sunday, March 29!

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