It’s hard to believe that it’s December already. This time of year finding time for yourself can feel like an impossible task. Whether you feel you just do not have the time or you feel guilty scheduling time for yourself. Maybe your a parent or a caregiver for an elderly parent, maybe you are working multiple jobs just to pay the rent, whatever it is, there is one more thing you need to own and take responsibility for and that’s YOUR CARE.

Taking time for yourself is not bad, it’s essential. I understand that most of your messaging in childhood had you believe that your role was to serve others and value a solid work ethic but you can’t pour from an empty cup, I know that may sound cliche but its true. Taking time for yourself is not bad, it’s nothing to feel guilty or shameful about. It’s completely necessary and it doesn’t have to take a huge amount of time. So to help ease stress and make healthy choices throughout the season I want you to think about taking one simple action of self care practice each day.

Your self care checklist could look something like this:-

Get Moving – Try 30 minutes of something today – yoga, walking. Not only does exercise boost energy but research continues to find that it’s the best treatment for depression.

Drink More Water – Take a water bottle to work or just make sure you drink one or two glasses when you wake up because every cell in your body needs it.

Enjoy More Sleep – Get to bed early enough that you feel rested in the morning while boosting your immune system.

Meditate for 5-10 minutes – Meditation practice doesn’t have to be long, even 5 minutes will help your focus and improve your mood. Try the “Simple Habit” app, it has a library of guided meditations.

Get Outside – Fresh air means more oxygen for your blood cells. Research shows when we go into large areas of trees and large bodies of water like the ocean our dopamine (pleasure) and serotonin (happiness) are increased. All it takes is 20 minutes.

Journalling – Journalling can have many purposes, sometimes it just feels good to vent and get down on paper all the things that are swirling around in your head. By getting things down on paper, you have less to referee in your mind.

Choose one thing you can do today and move forward from there. Self care doesn’t have to take a lot of time but it needs to be a consistent practice in your life. Remember, you deserve the time you take and those around you will also benefit.