Self-care involves identifying your own needs, and taking the steps to meet them. It also means taking the time to do the activities that nurture you, and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.

Most of us don’t make the time for ourselves, and our emotional, physical and mental reserves get depleted, as a result.

Here are some examples of activities you could do, to keep yourself feeling emotionally, physically and mentally fresh.

Physical Self-Care:

  • Exercise. Whether it be attending your favorite fitness class, going for a walk, or dancing around in your kitchen, physical activity is great for the body, mind and soul.
  • Sleep in. Sleep deprivation can lead to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes and obesity. So make sure you allow yourself some extra shut-eye regularly.
  • Hydrate! About 60 percent of our body is made up of water, which we lose through sweat, breath and bodily waste.
  • Breathe. Doing deep breathing for a few minutes at a time promotes better blood flow, reduces stress and increases energy.

Mental Self-Care:

  • Keep a journal. Being able to write out your thoughts and feelings can keep you mentally alert. It allows you to do a mental purge to help declutter your brain.
  • Limit your screen-time. Whether it be on the phone, computer or TV limiting time on devices gives us time to disengage and mentally recharge.
  • Listen to music. Not only is this a mental break but music can have a profound positive effect on us emotionally, too.

Emotional Self-Care:

  • Connect with friends. Talking with people who are close to you is a great way to relax in a supportive environment and de-stress.
  • Laugh. The phrase “laughter is the best medicine” holds truth as laughter reduces stress hormones, boosts your immune system and improves mood.
  • Get outside. A 2010 study in Environmental Health and Preventative Medicine found that spending time in nature (even if its just your backyard!) leads to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, lowers blood pressure and lowers your pulse rate.

Remember, self-care is not a reward, it’s a process. Planning and doing activities is a necessity, and isn’t difficult to do. So make the time for yourself – your body, mind and soul will be happy you did!