It’s not selfish to put yourself first.

Self care, I’m sure you’ve heard about it. People are talking it about it more and more. The reason people are talking about it, is because people are more stressed out than ever before. You want to get ahead, you want to be a great parent, etc.

But, there is a cost. And, the cost is you. You aren’t meant to go all day, and then all night. You need to slow down and take breaks. Once you start, you won’t be able to stop. When was the last time you did something for yourself, without guilt? Why do you feel guilty when you take care of yourself? What is your mindset like? Where did you learn it from?

It’s easy to stay stuck in and old mindset, that you learned as a child. What you may not realize is that you are hurting yourself, in the long run. I want you to take a look at your mindset, right now. Why is it, that you always put yourself last? Did you grow up in a home with a parent that put everyone else first? Were you constantly told to put others first? Whatever the reason, you need to start making some changes. If you don’t, you will suffer physically and emotionally.

Here are 10 ways to fall in love with taking care of yourself:

  1. Start a mindfulness practice. This is just like meditation. Take a few deep breaths and relax. There are many apps. out there that can help with this. Pick one and start today. This is a great way to relax the mind and body. It will also help with focus.
  2. Spend time being creative. Stop putting off that art class, or voice lessons you have been wanting to take. This is great for your brain. You will also meet new people, that enjoy being creative.
  3. Laugh, Laugh, Laugh. When was the last time you had a good laugh? Watch a funny movie, spend time with your spouse or friends laughing. Laughing is really good for your health. The next time you have a chance, just let go and laugh.
  4. Splurge a little on yourself. When was the last time you bought yourself a gift, that you really wanted? Don’t hold back. If you want the diamond earrings, then buy them. And, don’t feel guilty.
  5. Give yourself a compliment. The next time you look in the mirror, compliment how you look. Rather, than pointing out your flaws or that you look fat. Compliment yourself for starting a project at work. Compliment yourself for taking initiative. Whatever it is, just start complimenting yourself.
  6. Take yourself out to dinner. Pick a nice restaurant and treat yourself to a nice dinner. Have a glass of wine and just relax. Don’t think about all the other things you could be doing.
  7. Spend time in nature. Get out in the sunshine and breathe in the fresh air. Your mind and your body will love it. Don’t bring electronic gadgets. This is a great time to walk and clear your mind.
  8. Spend time with children. As an adult, you don’t allow yourself much play time. If you have children, take advantage of play time. If you don’t, visit family and friends that do. Children love to play. It is their language. Not only will they have a good time, so will you.
  9. Binge watch your favorite show. When was the last time you got to sleep in and watch your favorite show? Yes, this basically means you are doing nothing, and that’s alright.
  10. Take a short nap. Close the door and take a 20 minute nap. You can set an alarm if you’d like. This is better than caffeine. You will actually be more alert when you awake.

Now is the best time to start your self care plan. Your health depends on it. Stop worrying about falling behind. Remember, there is always time. You aren’t running out.

Lianne Avila is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, in San Mateo, CA. She can help you unplug and reap the benefits. For more information, please call or email (650) 892-0357 or

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