We all get caught up in the daily grind. We get bogged down with commuting, working and hitting those targets. The roles we play in the world can overwhelm us and make us forget who we are.

While we juggle the responsibilities of our professional and social worlds, we often neglect the most important person in our lives: ourselves. We need to make sure we take a step back and rethink our priorities. We must take time to rest, relax and just breathe. Say no to extra work. Turn off our phones. Turn off social media. Spend time getting to know ourselves again.

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1. Make time for you.

You can’t pour from an empty cup! You need to make time to recharge your batteries. A specific time or day where you stop. Unplug the phone, turn off the laptop, stop checking your work email. Don’t let yourself get drawn into responding to just one more. Look after yourself: take a long bubble bath and indulge in a good book. Learn how to listen to your body. Those feelings of anxiety and stress are a warning. You will come to recognize your limits, and you should not let yourself to be pushed past them.

2. Play.

Yes, we’re adults. That doesn’t mean we cannot play anymore. Our childhood memories are often ones of “freedom” from stresses. Children play. It is a great way to express yourself. There are lots of ways adults ca play. Take yourself to the beach and fly a kite. Build a sandcastle. Grab a coloring book. There are many on the market specifically aimed at helping adults unwind and de-stress.

3. Re-discover a favorite hobby.

What did you do when you were younger that you loved? Was it a sport, a game or a craft? Get back to it. You probably only stopped because life got in the way. Pick that hobby up again.

Related: Dear Virgie: I Need Self-Care on a Budget

4. Say no.

You are only one person. There is only so much you can realistically achieve in one day. You need to set boundaries and ground rules. If you have too much of a workload, don’t take on more. If you have a busy week, don’t try and squeeze in anything extra. If you haven’t finished everything on your to-do list, don’t see unfinished tasks as failures. Instead, recognize how much you have taken care of!

5. Try something new.

Sometimes you can get to know yourself better by trying something you’ve never done before. You could try learning a new language, taking a dance class or learning to cook something new. Take an art class. Try books from a new author. Getting caught in the vicious circle of a mundane routine can smother the internal fire that sparks our creativity. By trying something new, you might discover a new passion.

6. Gratitude.

It’s easy to get sucked into feeling down and out. One way to turn this around is to make a list of things we’re grateful for. There’s always something. Your list doesn’t have to include big things; they can be as simple as a cup of coffee or a beautiful day.

7. Help others.

If you have spare time, there is nothing more rewarding than helping others. This can be done through charity work, volunteering or simply being kind to strangers. You have the power to change someone’s day. Compliment a stranger. Help someone with their groceries. Trying to have a kind and positive outlook can help to raise your own spirits.

Related: 4 Self-Care Rituals For You to Try, Revise or Ignore

8. Let go of toxic relationships.

Toxic relationships are incredibly draining and suffocating. Don’t let others control your happiness. Notice who affects you and how. If someone is making you feel miserable, let them go. You can be kind and positive to others, but if all they do is suck the life out of you, they are not healthy to be around. This applies to friends, colleagues, working environments — even family. You need to surround yourself with those who lift you up. Make choices that are based on your well-being. Being stuck in any kind of toxic relationship can make you lose sight of who you are.

9. Spend time in nature.Courtesy of Evelyn Jo

Open your eyes to the beauty the world has to offer. Go for a walk. Grab
your camera. Enjoy the peace and quiet. Get up early and watch the sunrise. Go horse riding. Rent a bike and go out for a picnic. Visit somewhere you have always wanted to go. Explore.

10. Get rid of clutter.

Every last bit. Free yourself from items you’ve been keeping for years. Donate it. Burn it. Sell it. Make space in your house and in your heart for the present and the future. Don’t be bogged down by the past. Anything that holds toxic memories needs to go.

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