Women sitting in cafeDid you come back from the holidays feeling like it wasn’t exactly a holiday?

Are you back at work, staring blankly at a mountain of emails in your inbox, realizing that you never actually had time to put your feet up amid the whirlwind of travel plans, family gatherings, and last-minute-gift dashes?

If your own needs tend to fall off of your to-do list, now is a great time to think about self-care. And it’s not about spending hundreds of dollars at a spa or committing to daily meditation—it’s just about setting aside pockets of time for activities that help you unwind and reset.

Here are 4 tips and quotes on making self-care part of your life:

  1. Take the First Step

    “Step 1 to practicing self-care is letting yourself know that you deserve it,” says Melissa Fabello in this helpful video on Everyday Feminism. Without self-care, we risk burning out.

    “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”– Audre Lorde

  2. Set Boundaries

    Understanding and setting boundaries is one of the key skills taught in the teen healthy relationship programs funded by the Foundation. These skills are easy to forget as our lives fill up with professional and family obligations, but if we constantly put others’ needs ahead of our own, we become resentful and overwhelmed. We need to remember to put ourselves first.

    If you want to live an authentic, meaningful life, you need to master the art of disappointing and upsetting others, hurting feelings, and living with the reality that some people just won’t like you. It may not be easy, but it’s essential if you want to live your life to reflect your deepest desires, values and needs.” – Cheryl Richardson, author of The Art of Extreme Self-Care

  3. Think about What Self-care Means for You

    Your vision of self-care may be very different from someone else’s. For some, it might be catching up with friends, for others, it might be spending time alone. It could mean blaring your favourite music and dancing or enjoying complete silence. There are many ways to practice self-care.

    “Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” – Lucille Ball

  4. Schedule It

    Although there are ways to fit self-care habits into your day, it’s also a good idea to schedule self-care time in advance. Looking ahead through the year, perhaps it’s possible to schedule acts of self-care every month, whether it’s an hour to write or paint, or taking time to see that movie you keep hearing about. If it’s in the calendar, you’ll get to the end of year knowing that you’ve invested that crucial time in your own well-being.

    “Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” – Maya Angelou

These are just 4 tips to get you started. Now it’s your turn! How do you fit self-care into your schedule, and how has it made a difference in your life? Tell us in the comments section.

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