Start Each Day by Asking Yourself, How Am I Feeling and What Do I Need?

This article originally appeared on Microlearning, our bite-sized online solution for leaders and individual contributors.

Did you bound out of bed this morning ready to take on the world? Or do things feel … hard? If you neglect your own well-being, you’ll deplete yourself, and you won’t be able show up for your colleagues and others in your life to help them with the challenges they’re facing. Instead, start your day by first addressing your own needs so you’ll be ready to face what comes next.

1. Take a few minutes at the beginning of each day for a self check-in.

You’ll find it easier to build this daily habit if you pair your check-in with an existing part of your morning routine. For example, you could do it while you are:

  • Drinking your morning coffee
  • Making breakfast
  • Taking a shower

2. Start the self check-in by asking, How am I feeling?

Try completing the sentence: “I feel ___.” List whatever comes to mind — overwhelmed, grateful, tired, anxious. When you name a specific emotion, you can begin to make sense of it and determine how to respond.

3. Follow up by asking, What do I need?

Everyone has different self-care needs. Here are a few options of what you can you do based on how you’re feeling:

  • Read for 30 minutes before starting work.
  • Limit your news checks today.
  • List in a journal three things you’re grateful for.
  • Take a morning or afternoon walk.
  • Spend 10 minutes planning your work day ahead.
  • Schedule time with a friend or family member.
  • Plan a day off.

4. Do your self-care action immediately — or schedule it into your day.

If you can’t do it right away, block out time for it in your calendar so you’ll actually do it.