The world can be incredibly stressful, but luckily, you can fight back against stress by prioritizing self-care. Self-care means carving time out for yourself so you can focus on what really matters. For example, you can create a ritual for yourself that you practice every day like writing in your journal or taking a long bath. Don’t know where to start? We’ve assembled a guide for self-care, so you can learn to create a healthier you. Keep reading for tips on being healthier and happier.

Take time to exercise

Exercising can sometimes feel like a chore, but if you find something you love that helps keep you active – exercise can help improve your mental and physical health. You can choose to take on the local dirt trails with a pair of men’s or women’s trail running shoes. Or, you can focus on low-impact cardio with a nice entry-level road bike.

Another great, relaxing activity is practicing yoga. You can find tons of paid yoga subscriptions to try out online. All you need to get started is comfortable exercising clothes and a yoga mat. There are also many free yoga classes you can find online as well.

If you feel overwhelmed thinking about exercising every day, take it slow! Work on being active for at least thirty minutes during the day.

Prioritize sleep

One of the easiest ways to feel grumpy and burned out is by not getting adequate amounts of sleep. It’s critical to prioritize sleep because it helps your body, mind, and emotions reset. Aim to get 8-9 hours of sleep each night and focus on practicing good sleep hygiene.

If you find that your stress is keeping you awake or making it hard for you to go to sleep, consider trying out some of the tips below.

  • Don’t look at any blue-light emitting device like your smartphone or laptop
  • Avoid stimulants at least six hours before bedtime
  • Avoid large meals two hours before bedtime
  • Invest in a comfy mattress
  • Keep your bedtime consistent (as much as possible)
  • Try melatonin supplements if you’re struggling to fall asleep
  • Drink a relaxing herbal tea
  • Invest in blackout curtains to ensure your room is dark for optimum deep sleep
  • Track your sleep with an app or fitness tracker

Eat nutritiously

Eating well is another habit that typically falls by the wayside when you’re stressed. With that said, you can focus on just making a few core meals each week, making extra so you can eat leftovers. Recipes like casseroles, tacos, chilis, and soups are a good place to start.

If you feel overwhelmed by cooking, you can also use a meal prep or meal delivery service.

Say “no” when necessary

If you feel like you’re running on fumes, you may have to take a step back from plans with friends and family while you recover. It’s important to get used to saying “no” when you’re feeling stressed or burned out. It’s important to give yourself adequate time for self-care.

Take a solo trip

Whether you decide to hike the Pacific Coast Trail or go on a road trip to visit National Parks across the US, a solo trip can help you recharge. When you travel with other people, it can lead to stress and worry. But when you’re by yourself, you can focus on doing exactly what you want to do. Here are a few solo trip ideas to get you started:

  • Staycation to a nice hotel in your town
  • Camping
  • Visiting a friend across the country
  • Southwestern road trip
  • Going on a solo cruise

Adopt a furry friend

A cat or dog can boost your mental and physical well-being. A pet reduces your stress, lowers feelings of anxiety, and can even help lower your blood pressure. Plenty of animals are looking for homes, so check out your local shelter and rescue organizations to find your new best friend.

Get organized

Feeling stressed out by clutter? An organized space can make a huge difference in how you feel and how in control you are of your life. Pick a weekend to go through your belongings and make three piles: Toss, Keep, and Donate.

Creating a more minimalist household can help you feel less stressed and overwhelmed in general.

Takeaways: Self-care, one day at a time

Self-care is more than just yoga, there are many ways to take a step back from the constant activity of the world. Use this guide as a way to become a healthier, happier version of yourself.