When you have a busy schedule, practicing self care can be difficult. Work stresses and daily responsibilities can become overwhelming if you forget to take care of your mind and body, so it can be beneficial to remember some easy ways to work in exercise and relaxation techniques every day.

If you are able to commit to carving a little time out of your schedule for self care, it can make a huge difference. Here are a few of the best ways I have found to go about it.

Make time to be active

Keeping active has been shown to have a massive impact on your personal wellbeing. It’s not always easy to find time to exercise, but if you can work it into your normal routine it won’t feel like you’re straying from your day too much. Take the dog on an extra-long walk after dinner, or take a brisk walk around the block during your lunch hour. Working in 15-30 minutes of activity that gets your heart rate up will boost your mood, your metabolism, and your energy.

Talk to someone

Relationships are central to our personal wellbeing. Connecting with others makes us feel happier, and allows us to feel more at ease in difficult times too. Being able to vent about your stress can help you relax, ease anxiety, and keep you focused on what matters. Always consider talking to someone when you start to feel overwhelmed, whether that someone is a trusted friend or loved one, or a counsellor or therapist – sharing usually helps.

Experiences are more valuable than stuff

Many people have observed that we don’t need so much stuff in our lives, and in fact experiences are often more valuable than material goods in terms of happiness and wellbeing. If your home is full of clutter or needs a good cleaning, take a day to organise and tidy up. Clutter and chaos in your living space can lead to stress and disorganised thinking, and it can also cause migraines and drain your energy. The same goes for your work space, as well. Hopefully less clutter will pave the way for more positive experiences in your life.

Take some time for yourself

It’s important to remember to take time out every now and then to relax and unplug. An hour or two before you go to bed, turn off your phone and commit to not answering emails or scrolling through social media feeds, as looking at a screen before bedtime can interrupt your sleep. Read a book, spend time with a loved one, or do something that makes you happy.

Let go of perfectionism

Most busy individuals are committed to a job or some sort of responsibility, which can often include a sense of perfectionism that leaves us more stressed than usual. Accept that it’s okay when things don’t turn out the way you originally planned and let go of the stress that comes along with it. You might consider learning meditation or yoga if you have trouble relaxing.

Whatever you do, try to not go too hard on yourself; learning about the best ways to care for ourselves and others is not a race to perfection, but an on-going process of trying our best.