By Tiffany Sweeney

Have you ever found yourself trying to drink from an empty cup? Or, attempting to drive your car with your gas gauge on E? Or even trying to shop with a bank card at a zero balance?

For many, the answer is “no.” Yet, we find ourselves working the extra shift, running our family around town, and making the best attempt to do ALL the things. We do it all for everyone around us and crash into our beds to get up the next morning to do it all again. In the midst of all this constant moving, we forget to take a few moments to ourselves, to check in on our own mental and physical health before we find ourselves being crushed from the weight of all the responsibilities. We are trying to drink from an empty cup, drive on an empty tank, and shop with no funds in our account.

Many studies have shown the benefits of self-care. Taking a little time for yourself can improve your health and increase your happiness. But, what can this look like on such a busy schedule?

• Hit the gym a few times a week after work for 60 minutes of cardio and/or strength training.
• Listen to calming music for 30 minutes while drinking your morning coffee.
• Read for 20 minutes. Try an audiobook while you soak in the tub.
• Take a 15 minute walk on your lunch hour.
• Discover 5 minutes of your inner calm with a moment of silence or guided/practiced meditation.
• For those really busy days, take 2 minutes during a break for some deep breathing.

Whether your self-care includes exercise, relaxation techniques, coloring pictures, listening to music, reading, knitting, or shooting hoops, the point is to choose something you enjoy, something that fills you up in some way, something that naturally allows your body to reset itself from the chaos of the world. After all, we will ALWAYS be a better parent, spouse, child, caregiver, employee, and overall person when we care for ourselves!