How to Make Self-Care Your Top Priority


We hear a lot about self-care, but very few people make it a priority; it’s not an activity that should be thought of as a luxury, but rather an essential daily practice. Implementing self-care practices into your daily life doesn’t have to take a large chunk of time. Even a few minutes of regular practice can drastically improve your overall wellness. Check out these tips on how to make self-care your top priority.

Find a Self-Care Activity You Enjoy

A big component of self-care is doing things that are going to refresh you and replenish your energy and zest for life. If you’ve been swamped and drowning in tasks and duties , you may not even know where to get started. Finding something you enjoy doing can be a challenge in itself, but once you have that thing that you love to do, it can really help your self-care journey.

“Hobbies are an amazing outlet for self-care,” says Mary Kay Bitton, Head of Product Innovation at FLO Vitamins. “Your hobby can help you unwind and breathe a little easier. Figuring out what you enjoy after a long period of not prioritizing self-care can be a daunting task, so here are a couple of things to consider: Do you want to be moving or resting? Do you want to be around others or on your own? How much time do you want to spend doing this activity each time? These questions can help you narrow down the possibilities.”

Start With Small Time Commitments

A lot of people get overwhelmed by trying to figure out the time commitment required to implement acts of self-care. The purpose of self-care is to remove stress from your life, not add to it, so if the length of time is stressing you out, step back. Start with 10-15 minute blocks of time each day that you save for your self-care methods.

“These activities don’t have to take a large chunk of your day,” says Matt Masiello, Chief Marketing Officer of Baby Buddha. “Setting aside a few minutes in the morning or evening to do something you enjoy for a bit can help you destress and dip your toes in the water of regular self-care. As you progress on your journey, you can extend these time blocks to whatever you need them to be.”

Be Realistic and Consistent

We often hear you either need to be realistic or consistent, but it actually needs to be both. Being realistic about your commitment to self-care can help you remain consistent in practicing it. As with anything new you add to your schedule, there will be days when you simply don’t want to do it; don’t beat yourself up over that! Being realistic about your goals and aiming for consistently completing self-care activities five out of seven days during the week can be a great compromise that doesn’t leave you feeling like you’re wasting time or taking on too much.

“A lot of people give up on their routines when life gets in the way and they end up breaking the routine entirely,” says Lionel Mora, CEO of Neoplants. “Missing a few days doesn’t mean you should give up self-care habits altogether. Allowing yourself to miss a few days per week but having an extended self-care session on the weekend can be a great way to compromise and not feel like you’ve failed at maintaining these acts regularly. Don’t cause yourself to feel stressed over self-care!”

Prioritize Sleep

Sleep is such a massive component of self-care. If you’re sleep deprived, you’re more likely to feel stressed and burnt out. This can mean your self-care activities won’t bring the level of stress relief you’re seeking; what you really need to lower stress levels is enough quality sleep.

“While there are sometimes periods when we can’t sleep quite as much as we’d like, it’s crucial to prioritize sleep to the best of our abilities,” says Randee Machina, Director of Marketing at Simpli Pleasures. “While most adults need 7-8 hours of sleep, you may need more than your usual amount during times of high stress or activity. Allow yourself time to catch some extra hours when you need them to boost your self-care.”

Step Away From Social Media

Social media is one of the most counterproductive things you can do with your time if you’re going to prioritize self-care. Self-care is about boosting yourself up by doing things you enjoy, simply because you enjoy them. Social media can provide an instant brief boost of pride or happiness when you see people like the things you post, but if you’re basing your worth on other people’s opinions, you’re always going to be chasing that next “like,” “comment,” or “follow,” rather than focusing on the things that truly make you happy and improve your life.

“Social media is a great way to stay connected with people when you lead a busy life,” says Karden Rabin, Co-Founder of Chronic Fatigue School. “But self-care is about everything that social media is not. Avoid the temptation of comparing yourself to others and causing negative thoughts about your current situation or lifestyle just because you see someone on social media living life in a different way.”

Positive Inner Dialogue

Building on the idea mentioned in the previous section, you have to be able to speak positively about yourself. This is not accomplished by comparing yourself to others or even where you want to be in life. Speaking positively about yourself should help you look on the bright side and encourage yourself in everything you do.

“Avoiding negative thoughts—about yourself and others—can do wonders for your state of mind,” says Chris Thompson, CEO of Sober Sidekick. “Thinking negative thoughts can very quickly drag you into a mindset of comparison and judgment. If you’re focusing all of your energy in this direction, you won’t be able to build yourself up with positive dialogue. Replace those negative and unproductive thoughts with positive self talk and thinking.”

Treat Yourself

Treating yourself can be difficult when you already feel like you’re being stretched thin. However, a little reward for making it through the day or past a big event can make the day so much better. Treat yourself to a spa night at home, a coffee from your favorite coffee shop, or indulge in a little retail therapy.

“Treating yourself for making it through a challenging week or day can be just what you need to decompress and be ready to take on the next day,” says Brandon Adcock, Co-Founder and CEO of Nugenix. “If you struggle with this, create a list of ways you could positively treat yourself. Include things that have different time and monetary requirements so that you have plenty of creative options.”

Schedule “Me Time”

Scheduling time to yourself is huge. Knowing how to separate yourself from your requirements at work or with your family to just spend a few minutes with yourself to practice positive talk or enjoy your hobby for a bit. This “me time” doesn’t have to be extensive, but even a few minutes of peace before you start the day can help you move forward with a better attitude.

“Try setting your alarm 10-15 minutes earlier than you need to be up,” says Bradley Hall, CEO of SONU Sleep. “Take that time not to think about your responsibilities or what you have to do that day. Instead, try saying positive affirmations to yourself and take some deep breaths to prepare for the day ahead. It really can make a huge difference.”

Eat Right

Fueling your body well is an important component of self-care. If you’re eating junk food day in and day out, you’re going to feel tired and sluggish. Self-care is about taking care of yourself in all areas—mental and physical.

“While indulging in a treat every once in a while isn’t bad, too many treats or takeout meals can often lead to an unhappy gut, which causes negative feelings and exhaustion,” says Maegan Griffin, Founder, CEO and nurse practitioner of Skin Pharm. “Try shopping for healthy options each week and follow through by packing and preparing these meals appropriately. If time is an issue, look into meal prepping options you could utilize.”

Learn to Say “No”

This one is key but also something many people struggle with. Saying “no” when you have too much on your plate is self-care in the form of self-preservation. When you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t feel bad about saying “no” to a coworker or friend who asks you for a favor.

“Saying ‘no’ can be really hard to do,” says Jodi Neuhauser, CEO of Ovaterra. “The feeling of guilt you experience when you could help but you know it would add too much stress to your plate is difficult to squash. However, an important part of self-care is knowing yourself and what you need. Prioritizing your own mental health and stress levels is not selfish; it’s critical to your overall well-being”


You should be trying to practice self-care on a regular basis to help improve your mental and physical health. Self-care is not something that has to take up a large part of your day, and it can look different for each person.

It can even look different from day to day for the same person, depending on their self-care regime. Whatever it looks like for you, make the commitment to prioritizing self-care and reap the benefits of lower stress levels and an appreciation for the incredible things you do each day.

Glowiak Apr 14, M. (2020, April 14). What is self-care and why is it important for you? Southern New Hampshire University. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from

Morris, S. Y. (2016, December 19). Self-talk: Why it matters. Healthline. Retrieved September 14, 2022, from

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