• Mindful self-care is a shift in how you embody this moment, and all of your moments.

Mindful Self-Care Scale

A validated and standardized tool for assessing the variety and frequency of self-care strategies

Self-Care: The Foundation of Well-Being

Self-care is defined as the daily process of being aware of and attending to one’s basic physiological and emotional needs. This includes shaping one’s daily routine, relationships, and environment as needed to promote self-care. Self-care is seen as the foundational work required for physical and emotional well-being, and is associated with positive physical health, emotional well-being, and mental health. Research suggests that steady and intentional practice of self-care may prevent the onset of mental health symptoms, job/school burnout, and improve work and school productivity.

A Measure of Mindful Self-Care

The Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS) is intended to help individuals identify areas of strength and weakness in self-care behavior, as well as interventions that serve to improve self-care. The scale addresses ten domains of self-care: nutrition/hydration, exercise, soothing strategies, self-awareness/mindfulness, rest, relationships, physical and medical practices, environmental factors, self-compassion, and spiritual practices. There are also three general items to assess the individual’s general or more global practices of self-care.

There are three versions of the scale: MSCS-Clinical, MSCS-Standard, and MSCS-Brief. Each scale is open access and available to download below.

Terms of Use
You are free to use the MSCS in clinical practice or teaching without permission. If you would like to use them in research, or wish to modify them in some way, please email me and and ask for permission. Please keep me updated on all publications and findings, so that my team and I can continue to develop the scales. Thank you!

MSCS-Clinical

  • An 84-item scale
  • For use in clinical settings, educational settings, or personal use
  • Assesses actionable self-care behaviors
  • Helps you, your students, and your patients develop a self-care plan

MSCS-Standard

  • A 33-item scale
  • Psychometrically sound
  • Developed through a series of analyses
  • Subscales are positively correlated with body esteem and negative correlated with substance use and eating disordered behavior

MSCS-Brief

  • A 24-item scale
  • For use when the length of the scale is of utmost importance
  • Developed through analyses with hospice workers
  • Inversely associated with burnout and positively associated with well-being

Citation for MSCS-Clinical:

Cook-Cottone, C. P. (2015). Mindfulness and Yoga for Embodied Self-Regulation: A Primer for Mental Health Professionals. New York, NY: Springer Publishing.

Citation for MSCS-Standard:

Cook-Cottone, C. P., & Guyker, W. M. (2017). The Development and Validation of the Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS): an Assessment of Practices that Support Positive Embodiment. Mindfulness, 1-15.

Citation for MSCS-Brief:

Cook-Cottone, C. P., & Guyker, W. M. (2017). The Development and Validation of the Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS): an Assessment of Practices that Support Positive Embodiment. Mindfulness, 1-15.