Society lets us think that constantly running in all directions and staying busy is a sign of success.  It’s not.  It’s a sign of burnout.

When you slow down and put in the time to take care of yourself, that is not selfish. It is essential.

I learned many years ago that I was practically useless if I don’t spend time on myself.  If I don’t take the time to meditate, get in some type of stretch or workout and have quiet time to think and reflect my day is not as intentional as it is when I do take the time to put those things in place.

Here are 5 ways you can be sure to get some self-care into your routine.

1) Read.  Anything you enjoy reading can be a break from life.  Maybe it is a book to help you grow in some way.  Maybe it is just a trashy romance novel that gets you out of your head and into a faraway place for a bit.

2.) Move your body.  It doesn’t have to mean an hour in the gym unless that is what you want to do. It could mean doing yoga at home, some exercises in your home gym, dancing around the living room, going for a walk or run. Whatever makes your mind, body and spirit feel better.

3.) Spend time doing what you enjoy.  It could be anything at all, such as gardening, coloring, painting, singing, walking, etc. Whatever it is make sure you put time in your week to do it because by having fun, you are actually likely to be more productive. 

4.) Spend money on yourself. It doesn’t have to be a lot, or it could be if there is something you are saving up for. If you are just working and paying bills you will eventually come to resent the work, your family, the bills, etc. It is OK to spend on yourself sometimes too.  You deserve it.

5.) Sleep.  This is a biggie. It is imperative to get sleep.  It helps your mood, keeps your weight lower and keeps you healthier.  Sure, there are days when you will not be able to get enough sleep for one reason or another but this is a goal for most days that you want to hit. And if you have a sick child and you were up all night, sleep when your child sleeps.  If there is a time that you are home alone, spend the time relaxing and napping.  Not cleaning the house. 

You are important to your family and friends.  They want you to thrive.  It may seem like you are overwhelmed or on your own sometimes but there is always someone you can turn to that will be your sounding board.  Just take life moment by moment.  Day by day. Breath by breath.