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How to De-Stress: 6 Self-Care Strategies That Work

Ladies, it's time to make yourself your number one priority
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Why is it so hard to be good to ourselves? Our society seems to value doing more; we're always quick to brag about busy we are. But is busier better? Not necessarily: Because when we take care of ourselves, we're actually more productive. That's right, making time for ourselves to de-stress, feel better, and look after our health — both mental and physical — causes us to be more fruitful and creative; in all areas of our life.

So how can we take better care of ourselves? It's not all about massages and aromatherapy (though those certainly help too). Click through to find out some practical and easy techniques for de-stressing.

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Eat, Sleep and...

It's time to take it back to the basics, just like mama said.

Eat right: A balanced diet with anti-inflammatory foods like berries, leafy greens, fatty fish and nuts will go a long way to helping you feel better physically. Oh, and don't forget the H2O.

Get a good rest: There are sooooo many reasons why sleep is important. It's good for your memory, helps prevent overeating, improves concentration, and so on and so on. A solid seven to eight hours should get you what you need.

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We know: It's not always our favorite thing to think about. But no article about self-care is complete if we don't talk about exercise. A trainer we know always says, "The hard part is done, you're here." So make yourself get there, wherever it is. If you don't like jogging, try yoga. Not into down dogs? Then how about a swimming class? Can't stand getting wet? Maybe an adult soccer league... Whatever you choose, make it a part of your daily routine: Your body — and mind — will thank you.

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Just Say No

We're not talking about the anti-drug campaign here; we're talking about saying no to others: Their demands on your precious time and energy, to be specific. Saying no is not always easy, but it is worth it. You need time for yourself too — remember, you're no good to anyone if you're frazzled and burnt out.

If you have a hard time with "no", try "I can't, sorry" or "No can do" or our favorite, "Ugh, sorry — too busy right now." And you know what? A smile goes a long way in softening the blow.

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Take a Break

A recent study says that almost half of all Americans didn't use all of their vacation days last year — which is crazy. Repeat after us: Breaks are good for you. So, take that trip! Even if you don't have enough points to book an exotic holiday, take the time off of work, turn your phone off, and veg out. Watch TV, sleep, go for long walks on the beach, hang out with your friends, whatever sounds good to you. No guilt, just enjoy that well-earned downtime.

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