Sometimes we feel like life is throwing overwhelming challenges at us. Between work, relationships and all our other responsibilities, it feels like an impossible task to balance it all. Have you felt like you are constantly juggling, trying to keep everything afloat?

Often in this daily grind, taking care of ourselves takes a backseat. It becomes difficult to prioritize or even figure out how to take care of ourselves when there are so many other important things to do.

Is self-care really that important? Some think of it as a selfish exercise, or as being self-indulgent. But self-care impacts those around you as much as it impacts your own self. Because how can you pour from an empty cup?

Self-care is about maintaining a healthy relationship with the most important person in your life- that is you. It is about nourishing not just your body, but your mind and soul as well. It’s about paying attention to your own needs and your well-being. It’s tuning in to your own feelings and addressing what may be giving you discomfort. It’s about being as kind to yourself as you would be to others. It’s about knowing when your internal capacity is running low, and stepping back to recharge yourself, rather than letting it all drain away.

It’s about creating pockets of ‘me time’ in the day, to recharge yourself. Because you deserve it!

So where do you start? Well, take a look at these five incredible self-care practices by Lousie Hay, best-selling author of You Can Heal Your Life.

1. Stop all criticism

Refuse to criticize yourself. When you criticize yourself, your changes are negative. Tell yourself “I am doing the best I can at every moment. And I am learning and growing“.

2. Create a ‘no’ list

With things you know you don’t like or you no longer want to do. Examples might include: not attending gatherings you don’t like, saying any energy drainers.

3. Support yourself

Ask for help. You don't have to do it all alone. Be open to receiving. Build a support system. Remember nobody is judging you and receiving support is not a sign of weakness.

4. Take care of your body

Discover what kind of fuel does your body needs to have optimum energy and vitality? Learn about nutrition. Eat wholesome food. Discover the kind of exercise/movement you can enjoy. Cherish your body and treat it with utmost love and care.

5. Practice mirror work

Look into your own eyes often. Connect with the most important person – you. At least once a day say: “I love you, I really love you!”. If you feel any resistance, tell yourself “I am willing to learn to love you’.

Find what self-care practice works best for you, it may not be the same as for someone else. Identify one small step you can take to begin caring for yourself better… because you deserve it!