If you’re a mom, you can barely get dressed without having to pause mid-pant leg to make a snack, change a diaper, or ward off some disastrous situation that may or may not involve “washable” markers and your kitchen table. If you live with a roommate (be it your spouse, a friend, your dog, or someone you found on Craigslist), there are other needs to consider that may occasionally warrant your attention. Same goes for co-workers, friends, and family members.

As women, we so often find ourselves putting the needs of others first before we can even consider caring for ourselves. It’s almost as if we feel guilty or selfish for taking a little much-needed “me” time, when our attention is always wanted elsewhere. But if we’re not at our best, how can we give our best to those we love most?

Taking the time to relax, recharge, and reset through self-care is crucial to our health and well being, both physically and emotionally. Not sure where to start? Consider these tips for kickstarting your self-care journey:

Get moving

Whether you join a gym, sign up for a 5K, walk the dog, pop in a yoga DVD at home, or simply have a Beyoncé-themed dance party while doing housework, get your body moving consistently. Just a few minutes of exercise daily can do wonders for your health and mental state — it’s a win-win!

Connect with family & friends

Take time out to foster relationships with your nearest and dearest. Schedule a monthly date night with your significant other, meet a friend for coffee and quality chat, or plan a potluck with a few families you’ve been longing to get to know better.

Clear the clutter in your mind

Take five or 10 minutes every day for mindful meditation or simple deep breathing exercises, which can help reduce stress and control anxiety. There are several apps available to help guide you and remind you of your daily practice, including Headspace, Calm and Stop, Breathe & Think.

Pamper yourself

You don’t have to spring for a full-on massage, professional pedicure or fancy facial to reap the benefits of some good ol’-fashioned pampering. Simply spend a few extra minutes in the shower exfoliating with a homemade sugar scrub, take the time to apply an at-home manicure, or enjoy a hydrating sheet mask (with de-puffing cucumber slices on the eyes) 20 minutes before bed.

Foster your hobbies

Love to paint but never make time for it? Have a good book you’ve been meaning to pick up? Got a garden that could use a little TLC? Don’t wait around for the right time — put the smartphone down, and take a few moments to do the things you enjoy now.

Make your own healthcare a priority

You don’t ignore your kids’ health or your spouse’s ailments, so why should you dismiss your own? Schedule your annual wellness exam, necessary dental appointments, and stay on top of your routine gynecological visits including mammograms and pap smears. And definitely don’t ignore your body’s signals when something seems wrong or a little off.

Contact Beaches OBGYN at (904) 241-9775 for more information or to schedule an appointment.