I feel like I have been on the go at new extremes, lately. So much so, that I have began to write lists before I go to bed, so I can mentally clear out all the tasks I know I will need to accomplish the next day. Anyone else like that?

Although staying busy is inevitable, due to my line of work and lifestyle, I learned the hard way a few years ago that burning the candle at both ends, is a detriment to my health and happiness. Because of that, I work relentlessly at self care and making sure I put my needs first. For someone who is doer, or a giver, that may sound selfish. Trust me when I say that it is not. You NEED to recharge your battery, before you can do more and give more to anyone else.

If you struggle with the concept of taking time for yourself and “putting yourself first”, it might be good to take a step back and think about your motivations. Ask yourself these questions:

1. How does this serve me or the people I most care about? (like your spouse)
2. Is doing “this” or “that” task, or event, aligning with the person I want to be?
3. What could I let go of, to make space for something more meaningful?

I could do a whole blog post on burn out, and how to identify if you are working toward it, along with action items to reverse the cycle, but I’ll save that for another time.

Here are 5 Ways I Practice Self Care

Take Deep Breaths – Scientifically, breathing techniques are known to help us relax. I can be incredibly high strung, so sometimes the last thing I want to make myself do is “chill” and take a deep breath. But, I know it is one of the quickest ways to calm me down and help me recenter. Lighting a candle, with a stress-relieving scent can help speed up this process, too. I love this one I picked up from Gordmans, because it reminds me to really relax and unwind.

Say “No” – For a doer, and a people pleaser, saying no, and turning down invitations, can be one of the hardest ways to practice self care. For me, this has definitely been one of the hardest things I’ve had to teach myself. I said “yes” to everything for a long time. Every social event, every banquet, every happy hour, etc. Meanwhile, I was sacrificing a peice of my joy and happiness, by constantly working to fill up everyone else’s cup but my own. I have learned that saying “no” is not only okay, but it is one of the best ways I can care for myself in a busy season.

Take A Bath – It might seem so cliche, but for someone that is always on the go, taking a bath is the last thing you’d want to make time for.  Carving out time to just BE STILL can be difficult for me, so I like to spend that time soaking in the tub, as it sort of forces you to just be still and do nothing. I love making bath time feel sort of like a sanctuary/sacred space, so I always pick up lavish items to add to the effect. I picked up this luxurious bath bar, and set of bath bombs from Gordmans to set the tone.

Workout – Prioritizing workouts has become an essential part of my mental health. Whether it be a jam session at my favorite spin place, or stretch session at my favorite yoga studio. Getting my endorphins pumping instantly boosts my mood and clears my mind.

Get Enough Sleep – My friends will probably laugh at this one, because I’m kind of known as an early bird. But, hey I just know that good sleep is a critical piece of my mental health and happiness, and it’s not something I am willing to sacrifice. When it comes to sleep, aim for whatever your body needs. For me, that is 8-9 hours. For others, it’s 6-7. Listen to your body and what it tells you.

Try out some of these tips this weekend and let me know your thoughts. If you are wanting to amp up your bath time, I highly recommend stopping by your local Gordmans and picking up some of these luxurious bathtime essentials. I only spent about $20 total on everything, so you can really create a great at-home spa experience on a super low budget.

Leah Behr is a paid blogger. You can find Leah’s original blog post at Eat Pray Wear Love!