Exploring Positive & Negative Self Care Behaviors









The way you live your life can have a big impact on your health, well‐being, and how well or poorly you handle stress.  Below are lifestyle behaviors that affect stress levels. Doing an honest assessment of how well or poorly you take care of yourself can help you manage your stress in the future.  Here is an observation exercise.

Consider the questions below and answer YES or NO 

PART A Negative Self Care Behaviors

When you are under stress, do you: 

-Smoke/use tobacco 

-Drink a lot of coffee or caffeinated drinks (more than 2‐3 cups per day) 

-Drink alcohol (more than recommended levels of 1‐2 per day) 

-Overuse over‐the‐counter medications 

-Overeat or undereat 

-Spend too much money (e.g., do you have a lot of credit card debt and have trouble making payments?) 

-Watch too much television (more than 3‐4 hours per day) 

-Have angry outbursts 

-Withdraw from people 

-Ignore or deny stress symptoms 

-Engage in self‐destructive relationships   

PART B Positive Self Care Behaviours

When you are under stress, do you: 

-Engage in physical activity at least three times a week for 30 minutes each day 

-Get six to eight hours of sleep every night 

-Maintain good eating habits 

-Make time to relax 

-Maintain a sense of humor 


-Maintain healthy rituals and routines 

-Be optimistic 

-Engage in positive thinking 

-Spend time with family 

-Spend time with friends 

-Make plans for the future 

-Figure out ways to manage stress 

-Reward yourself for your accomplishments

Remember, this is not a judgement exercise.  Simply observe where you are currently and ask yourself: Do I need to make some changes?   Have a great week, and take good care!