It’s easy to lose sight of positivity, especially when work and personal stress seems to be at its height. In these moments, writing down the things you’re grateful for can help you feel better. “Even in the midst of a crappy day, reminding yourself of gratitude - whether it’s the sun, a productive meeting at work, a special moment with family, or simply that your day is over and tomorrow brings a fresh start - can reframe the day,” says Jess-Huff. “The more you practice gratitude, the more it becomes a natural part of your life.” Meditation is another excellent way to practice self-care. “A consistent meditation practice can be life-changing. It’s even been scientifically proven to reduce stress, increase feelings of empathy, improve focus, boost the immune system, and slow the signs of aging,” Pink says. A “treat yourself” moment can be far simpler than spending lots of money on a full-day pampering session at the spa. Instead, you can opt for a self-administered massage, Pink says. She recommends the Abhyanga massage technique, which is part of the Ayurvedic tradition. Other options include a simple hand or foot massage given to yourself.

One powerful way to practice self-care includes acknowledging and honouring your own boundaries. Many people struggle with setting appropriate physical and emotional boundaries with others, which can lead them to commit to things even when they’d rather not. This may not seem like a big deal, but Dr. Lickerman notes that an inability to say no—even with the best intentions—often leads to resentment and even anger outbursts. It can also make you feel like you are not living your own life, or that you’re living your life according to others’ whims, which can make you lose sight of your own needs and desires. “Many voices in your head may push you to say yes when you really want to say no, and the chief among these voices is the one that tells you that you risk being disliked if you say no,” Dr. Lickerman says. “You must learn to tolerate the anxiety that saying no likely brings. Once you learn to do this, you’ll discover people don’t dislike you for it. In fact, they’ll likely respect you even more.”

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