By: Nicole L. Schmitz, Certified Health and Nutrition Counselor

Sometimes I feel like self-care is a little bit of a fluffy term, but it's not. It's essential. Self-care includes anything from showering and brushing your teeth to implementing a meditation practice and getting a monthly massage.

Here are a few suggestions to try (like, now) to help you become more mindful and less stressed in your daily life.

  • Each morning when you wake up, take a few moments to think about your life goals and aspirations. Recall the milestones you’ve already made in your life, and your drive to achieve new ones. Try doing this for about five minutes before getting out of bed to start your day.

  • Prioritize your day. List what is essential and what isn't, check off your list and save other tasks for other days. You can't do everything at once.

  • Put down your phone. You know you have screens in front of you all the time. Take a break from your tablet and phone and read or talk to someone you care about.

  • Get outside. Weather permitting, get as much time in nature and fresh air as you can. This can be on your front porch, on an evening walk, or by a local forest preserve/trail. Make it happen.

  • Take a bath, get a massage or do something that seems a little luxurious, but really can become a regular habit. Use some relaxing essential oils or Epsom salts in your bath and breathe.

  • Eat slower, paying attention to what you are eating. Start to actually chew your food and enjoy it, paying attention to the sight, smell, and taste rather than rushing through your meal or zoning out on the tv (or your phone).

  • Take your time. Some of us like to stick to a tight schedule and plan all our daily events. Next time you’re jotting down new tasks in your planner, factor in a few extra minutes when estimating how long things will take. This will help you not rush through daily tasks.

  • Sit and take a breath before starting your workday or turning on your computer. Even just a few moments of meditation can set the tone for the rest of your day. Try to empty your mind and take deep breaths before jumping into your day’s tasks.

Squeezing in acts of kindness and love to yourself each and every day will make an overall improvement in how you feel both emotionally and physically. Little things really do add up and they are important to do consistently so you create daily habits that serve you for the better.

About Nicole L. Schmitz

Nicole L. Schmitz is a Mama, Certified Health and Nutrition Counselor, Medicinal Aromatherapist, aspiring yogi, and writer. After facing her own share of challenges with managing her health, family, career, and personal growth, she now creates flexible, realistic programs to help navigate natural wellness and weights loss for today’s woman in today’s world.

Right now, you can access her beautiful, inspiring and FREE Wellness Calendar and own your weight + wellness goals this new year!