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In these times of extreme stress and anxiety from Covid-19, the Holiday Season, and life itself, it is more important than ever to practice self-care. Self-care is anything you do to keep yourself healthy – physically, mentally and spiritually. Taking time for yourself is not selfish! But rather is necessary to maintain our health and well-being.

Clinical studies have proven that engaging in a self-care routine reduces or eliminates anxiety and depression; eases stress, helps diminish anger and frustration, improves our concentration and increases our energy levels and our happiness. Self-care has also been shown to reduce cancer, heart disease, and stroke.

Self-care is priceless for our health and well-being, and it doesn’t have to cost us a thing. We just have to be mindful of taking a few minutes to engage in some well-deserved “Me-Time”. It can be as little as 10 minutes a day.

Here are some ideas to help you get started. Set aside 10 minutes of uninterruptable time, or two 5-minute sessions if you just can’t find a 10 minute stretch. Then do something just for you – go for a walk; meditate; exercise; read a book for pleasure; listen to music; spoil yourself; whatever you enjoy. Make this a part of your daily routine!

Some additional strategies for successful self-care include:

(1) Prioritize getting enough quality sleep;

(2) Eating healthy;

(3) Getting your body moving – exercise, walk, dance, etc.;

(4) Admit to yourself that you are experiencing stress – acknowledging it is the first step in reducing it;

(5) Stop putting off those little treatments and indulge yourself with what will make you feel better. Wrinkles causing stress? Consider a bit of Botox. Skin looking a little dull? Try a facial mask for a little pick me up;

(6) Reach out and reconnect with friends and family even if it is through virtual media; and finally,

(7) Do things that help you relax and destress – whether it’s having a cup of herbal tea, stroking your furry friend, taking a long bath or writing in your journal.

Self-care is important! Make time to care for yourself so you have the resources to care for others.