Waking up last week I felt like sh**! I couldn’t bring myself to roll out of bed to take my daughter to school (yep, at the crack of dawn)! I just hid under the covers and prayed I would be better once I got up. Having 100 million things to do just caused me to panic and stay snuggled until I found some energy to take some meds, you know, the magic white type, which, were indeed magic in the end. Whether it was the deadlines in my diary, or meetings for work or just keeping to grips with the children’s busy agenda, this past week was as demanding as it gets — not to mention super stressful!

Although it’s fair to want to meet your expectations, the truth is that many of us fall into the unfortunate cycle of attempting to finish everything on our schedule while overlooking our physical and mental health in order to do so.

Regardless of the amount of coffee you’ve drank or the number of late nights you’ve endured, the practice of self-care is one that’s just as crucial as crossing tasks off your to-do list. Even though making time for yourself may seem difficult, your commitment to self-care is one that will help you overcome such taxing moments. 

To refuel your energy and refresh your mind, here are 15 acts of self-care I advise:

  1. List three things you like about yourself

Along with being grateful for the people who are a part of your life, it’s always nice to remind yourself of the most important person in it — you. By jotting down the reasons for why you’re proud of who you are, you’ll not only reinforce your abilities but also be thankful for them.

  1. Spend the afternoon reading outside

Grab your sunglasses and find a reading spot because the weather is warm and the book choices are endless. From books that are turning into movies to books that are inspiring, pick one that sparks your interest and enjoy a day soaking in the sun and sinking into a new story.

  1. Visit your favorite place in your town by yourself

There’s something satisfying about being your own company — so indulge in this feeling by going to your favorite coffee shop or a stroll down the beach front ( if you are lucky enough and live by the sea like me). Through this time alone, you’ll have the chance to be with your own thoughts and the opportunity to make more sense of them.

  1. Pamper yourself

Maybe it’s time to have that long awaited facial, massage or body scrub. Sometimes you just need to let someone take care of you. OR

  1. Create your own at-home spa experience

When in doubt, pamper yourself. Instead of dealing with the potential costs of going to the spa, avoid it altogether by bringing the spa to you by tending to your nails, running the bath, turning up the music, and letting yourself relax.

  1. Make an effort to compliment a stranger

Another way to invest in yourself is to be kind to someone else. Whether it’s the person sitting next to you wearing a beautiful trench coat or the person standing in front of you pulling off a bold haircut, the simple act of complimenting him or her will be enough to make their day better and your mood happier.

  1. Cook and eat a healthy breakfast

Nothing says #adulting like waking up and doing something other than searching for the keys and rushing out the door (it happens). Start your day off right by (finally) having enough time to cook a healthy breakfast. After all, avocado toast with a side of freshly squeezed orange juice isn’t only meant for Pinterest boards — and this is your morning to prove it.

  1. Disconnect from your phone for the day

In a society where information about others is available by opening an app and validated by the double tap of a finger, it can become overwhelming to witness the highlight reel of everyone else’s lives, while trying to not compare it to our own. To avoid this unnecessary feeling, unplug for the day and allow your notifications to be silenced and your world to go quiet. There is nothing like it!

  1. Take a nap — without feeling bad about it

We should take the naps we think we deserve — and after such a long week, this one is much-needed. Although it’s easy to feel guilty for napping instead of participating in an activity that’s deemed more productive, especially when the kids are around, remember that your mind needs to rest in order to function fully and think positively.

  1. Write a letter and send it to someone you love

Bring it back to a time when paper and pen overruled texting and emojis by writing an unexpected note to someone who is important to you, eg; hubs. I guarantee the feeling will be just as worth it both ends.

  1. Try a different type of workout

Get active this weekend with a workout that you’ve been meaning to try. If you’re not someone who works out regularly, sign up for a class or try one at home to get your body moving and your inspiration flowing, we’ve got amazing home workouts in Super Sunday . Or just go for a jog, I’m into doing just that at the moment!

  1. Update a certain area in your home

Take a break from your spring cleaning (translation: wondering if you have to clean the remote control) and enhance your home this season with an easy update of your choice. Could be a corner, bed linen or even some new pillows for your sofa!

  1. Call a loved one and have a conversation with no distractions

We’ve all been guilty of picking up the phone while cooking dinner, turning on the TV, being interrupted by the kids, putting on a face mask, and doing everything but actively listening to the other person on the line. Break this habit by making the decision to give this person your undivided attention and value the connection that forms from this simple act.

  1. Watch Netflix

Just watch Netflix! Not while you’re on the phone, or whipping up a meal, or problem solving with your kids. Just watch Netflix. (Why is that so difficult to do?)

  1. Focus on the moment while you’re in it

Even though it’s always smart to prepare for situations beforehand, an effective way to reduce stress is to avoid dwelling on issues that may or may not happen in the future. In addition to doing this, remember to focus on the present and take comfort in the fact that you’re right where you’re supposed to be.