It’s no secret that the last year has been a stressful one for most of us. Many people are working overtime to try and make up for the time and money that was lost over the year. To keep up this hectic lifestyle, we often don’t think twice about putting our self-care on the back burner.

More often than not, it takes a nasty wake up call to notice the toll that this has on our physical and mental health. No matter how indulgent the term may sound, self-care is extremely important for our physical, emotional and mental well-being and should be taken seriously.

Here are some self-care habits to integrate into your everyday life to help build a healthier you.

1. Start your day with something pleasant.

Starting your morning on the right foot means creating a feeling of happiness that you can carry through the rest of the day with you. Your morning routine should not only include getting ready, but also making space for feeling mentally and physically prepared for what the day has in store for you.

2. Go outside!

Studies have shown that going outside reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure. Carve some time out in your day to go outside and take in some fresh air.

3. Move for at least 30 minutes a day.

Getting in at least 30 minutes of movement a day – be it aerobic exercise, going for a stroll, or throwing a mini dance party – is just as good for your mental health as it is for your physical health.

4. Learn how to say NO.

You are more important than your to-do list, so prioritize your well-being above some of the little extra tasks you might think you need to agree to do. Start to say no to those dinner plans, and that overtime. Learn when and how to say NO.

5. Wind-down without screens an hour before bed.

Create a wind down ritual an hour before bed. This can include 20 minutes getting ready for the next day, 20 minutes for hygiene habits and 20 minutes of something relaxing like stretching, reading or meditating. This will help ensure you have a good night’s sleep

Don’t put off self-care for the weekend or Christmas holidays. Start today!