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Small Self-Care Steps That Will Make a Big Difference

Small Self-Care Steps That Will Make a Big Difference

By Stacey Feintuch

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Taking care of yourself isn't selfish or self-indulgent. Focusing on your own health and well-being will lower your stress, not add to it. Taking small steps now will make a big difference in helping you take care of yourself and your family without sacrificing the pride you've earned.

Know what can wait
Managing your health and your family's is non-negotiable. So, leave the dishes in the sink. Let the laundry pile up from time to time. Practicing self-care will give you more energy to deal with everything else that you have going on. Read more about self-care tips that won't break the bank.

Listen to some relaxing tunes
It can be classical, jazz or whatever genre soothes you. Music contributes to a healthy mind and body by lifting your mood, improving your concentration and promoting relaxation. Find out why we all need to practice self-care.

Learn how to say no
It's OK to say no to something or delegate to someone else. Oftentimes, you're being asked because someone else said no. You can do that, too. So, say no to a playdate for one of your kids, an invitation to be on a school committee or a birthday party. The crew won't ditch you if you skip one happy hour. You'll feel more in control and confident.

But say yes to help
When a friend offers to do after-school activity carpool for you, say yes. When your partner says takeout for dinner is fine, put that defrosted chicken back in the fridge. When a colleague offers to clean up a presentation at 4 p.m. because you have seven other deadlines, say YES. Accepting help doesn't mean you're weak. It means you're strong enough to put yourself first.

Make a call
When was the last time you made a phone call to someone instead of texting them? Buzz your mom, dad or best friend just to say hello. It will boost the well-being of both of you.

Find your "flow"
Work-life balance—it's all anyone wants to talk about, but that conversation needs to change. Is it about finding your balance? Or rather your flow? Look at it as being able to find the best way to manage one aspect of your life after another, at any given time, rather than trying to balance everything out.

Get up 10 to 15 minutes earlier
It might seem difficult at first. But the extra free time in your day will likely feel like a luxury. Use the minutes to read or sit in peace. Avoid looking at your phone until the time is up. Learn 3 Ways to Get Your Day Off to a Good Start.

Find a health care professional that works for you
Find a health care professional you can see regularly for day-to-day problems and who can help coordinate your care with specialists when needed. You might consider sharing a family doctor with your kids. That makes it simpler to treat a household virus or keep an eye on that heart condition you passed down to your daughter. Even if you keep your own health care provider, schedule your wellness exam when you book your kids' checkups. When choosing a provider, scope out some basic policies: whether it's possible to get a same-day visit, how long patients usually have to wait for a routine checkup and whether you can make those appointments and access your records online.