Hectic schedules can drain your energy and keep you so busy that you often forget to take care of yourself both physically and emotionally. Take a moment to stop and think about what you need to do to enable you to perform at your very best. Regular self-care can improve your well-being and self-esteem. It also increases resiliency that you need to help bounce back when problems come up in your life.

So what does self-care look like, what can you do?

  1. Tell yourself that you do matter; and because you matter it is important to spend time and energy on helping yourself feel better. Self-care is finding a way to build yourself up.
  2. Be extra nice to yourself. Do things that you enjoy and that help you to relax and unwind.
  3. Be patient with yourself. Accept that you will make mistakes, know that you can't please everyone, and allow time to grieve. Know that things will get better, even though it might take a while.
  4. Invest in yourself. Follow your dreams. Study things that interest you. Establish a faith walk for yourself.
  5. Recognize when you are in problems over your head. Sometimes this means that you need to admit that you need someone to throw you a safety line; this could include working with a therapist, talking to a trusted adult, or going to a support group.
  6. Say no to situations or people that you know could trigger you in a negative way. Self-care means that you protect yourself so you can build a stronger future self.
  7. Think about things that happened in the past, and learn from them so you don't repeat the same pattern. Self-care means taking time to really evaluate if situations and relationships are healthy and if they should continue.
  8. Focus forward. Self-care means moving ahead, not looking back. Making goals for tomorrow or next week are your first step toward the future.
  9. Be proud of yourself. Declare victory when things go well. Recognize when you make good choices, or when you succeed at something that you have been working toward.

The next time you hear "take care of yourself" remember these 9 points. They can make a difference in your life, and result in a stronger YOU!