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We are so busy and stressed these days that it is taking a toll on our mental and physical health. Taking time out to take care of yourself and have a mental “vacation” is one of the most important things you can do for your health and happiness. If you don’t put yourself first then you will not be able to give time or energy to those around you at work or home.

Self care is actually the cheapest kind of health care and it does not have to take up a lot of your time. Spending 10-30 minutes per day performing small acts of self care will help to turn off your stress response and boost your health.

Here are some self care tips:

• Put the kids in bed and take a 15-20 minute hot bath in the evening, alone. Add some bath salts and lavender oil to the bath and light some candles.

• Keep some of your monthly salary aside to buy yourself a massage. Lying in a quiet room with gentle music playing while someone massages all the stress and tension out of your muscles is incredibly healing and relaxing.

• Start your day off by sitting quietly and contemplating everything you are grateful for in your life. Practice some deep breathing and still your mind and body as you prepare for the day. As we focus our energy on the things we are grateful for we attract more of those things into our life.

• Skip the gym and go for a long walk in nature. Take your time and breathe in plenty of fresh air. Walking is a great form of exercise and it leaves you feeling relaxed and energised. The exposure to natural light will also help you to boost your vitamin D levels and improve your sleep. If you are short on time then try to do this on your lunch break or wake up a bit earlier.

• Making healthy meals is one of the highest forms of self care. Loving yourself enough to make healthy, nutrient-dense food means that you will have energy to perform better in all areas of your life. Put on some music and get immersed in the joy of creating delicious dishes. When you eat the food make sure you eat mindfully and chew each bite.