Life has a way of piling on the stress. Days are busy and calendars are packed, leaving little time to relax. Self-care is often forgotten. By not looking out for yourself, your chances of feeling your best will weaken. You need to be your own advocate because if you don’t take care of yourself, who will?  If you’re feeling like you could use a nudge in the right direction, keep reading. Here are five ideas for self-care that will make you feel great.

1. Take a Look at Your Diet

What you eat and drink has a huge impact on how you feel, both mentally and physically. How does your diet measure up in this sense? By following a generally healthy and balanced diet, you’ll give your body the fuel it needs to be its best.

There are times when diet alone isn’t enough, and you still want to make sure your body is getting what it needs. This rings especially true if you’re following a workout program and you’re finding it hard to stay satiated or reach a goal, such as building lean muscle. Adding a scoop of protein powder to your smoothie could give you the edge you need to see results. 

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Pamper Yourself

How often do you set up appointments to get your hair done, have a facial or a massage? Chances are you would probably love to, but you just don’t —or you don’t do it nearly enough. 

If this sounds familiar, try to reshape your thinking. Remember that it’s just important for you to take care of yourself as it is for you to look out for your kids, your partner or your duties at home and work. Without fuel, you’ll run on empty. Consider that massage the fuel you need to feel your absolute best, kicking tension and stress to the curb. Getting a great new cut and color will make you feel light and amazing, instead of looking in the mirror wishing you had followed through. 

3. Consider Healthcare to Be Self-Care

While going to the doctor for your yearly physical might not be your favorite thing in the world, it’s essential that you don’t put it off.

This is a time to address any concerns or ask any questions you may have, while also making sure your health is in check. Unfortunately, whether it’s due to lack of healthcare coverage, time or anxiety over going, putting off healthcare appointments is alarmingly common. Get in, get out, and move on to the next thing. 

4. Make Self-Care Part of Your Everyday

In all fairness to busy people everywhere, jetting off to the spa or finding a few hours at a time to devote to self-care isn’t always the most realistic concept. What you can do is find ways to be good to yourself throughout each day, no matter where you are or what you’re doing. 

This can be as simple as turning down an invitation to dinner so you can head home after work, throw on your sweats and a face mask and relax with a glass of wine. A gratitude journal is a great way to highlight all that’s good in your world. Treating yourself to luxurious hand cream can mean a mid-day boost when the workday is dragging on. It’s the little things. Don’t underestimate them.

5. Be Mindful of Spending

Have you ever wanted something so badly that you splurged, only to regret it later? That feeling of regret is not a good one. Next time you’re feeling the urge to make a spa appointment, purchase those amazing sheets or book a weekend getaway, make sure you can definitely afford it before committing. While you might take great pleasure from the treat part, the feeling of panic or remorse afterwards will cancel that out pretty quickly.