Do you feel stretched so thin that there is not enough time to make yourself a priority? There are many people who feel this way due to the demands of life, however while it may sound backwards, caring for yourself first is the key to providing optimal care to others. That is right, when you care for yourself, you provide better quality of care to others because you have replenished your wellness reserves. Self-care is essential because if your wellness reserves are not replenished, you may feel burned out, be more likely to get sick, become irritable, and even be less productive. Here are three tips to prioritize self-care:


1. Schedule you time.

Just as you would schedule time for an important meeting, schedule time for yourself. Plan time for something enjoyable in your day, week, or month and stick to it. You may feel tempted to cancel or reschedule because of other commitments, although it is key to remind yourself that you will provide the best quality to others when you take time for you. This is especially important if you have recognized you are not giving your best self to others. Create a visual reminder of how important your loved ones are to you and how important it is to give your best self to others, which can help you to stick to your planned time for yourself.


2. Be flexible with yourself and with your plan.

You may find that time is really limited or something urgent came up where you cannot take as much time as you had planned. Remember a little bit of time is better than nothing, even if it is ten minutes. If you find you are consistently running low on time, stack you time onto tasks you complete each day. In other words, add you time into required tasks. For example, meditate for ten minutes after you brush your teeth for the night. Not only will meditation help you to relax, but it may also help you to fall asleep quicker and stop worrying about the list of tasks that you need to do. You could also wake up five minutes early and take time for self-reflection and gratitude. Starting your day with self-reflection and gratitude may help you begin your day with appreciation for the small things, which could also set you up for success in taking an extra five to ten minutes for yourself.


3. Say no.

If you are already feeling stretched thin, it is ok and likely for the best, to say no to additional commitments. The quality you bring to commitments when you are already run down is subpar, so why not do yourself and others a favor and just say no.


Self-care is essential and should be prioritized so you can give your best self to others. Schedule you time, be flexible with yourself and your plan, and just say no to additional commitments. For more self-care tips, visit WebMD for ways to practice self-care. Try a self-care tip today and give yourself your best so you can provide your best care to others. If you need to clean up your self-care routine, review more tips here.