Mental Health

Hello, it’s me: 5 fast ways to take care of yourself

Me time.

What exactly is that again?

We hear you. Time is certainly not a friend to most of us. Whether you’re juggling a full-time job either in or out of the home, parenting or supporting other family members or friends (or all of the above!), many of us are accustomed to putting others’ needs before our own.

We’re all busy. But taking care of our own needs doesn’t have to take a lot of time. Here are five fast and easy ways you can sneak in some TLC for the most important person in your life: you.

  1. Consider healthy diet swaps.

Want to eat better? One trick is to choose quality over quantity. Take Greek yogurt for example. One serving is packed with B vitamins; phosphorus, which is key for cellular function and energy; protein; iodine, important for proper thyroid function; probiotics to keep your tummy happy; and calcium. Other foods that pack extra doses of nutrition in just one small package include salmon, kale, beans, strawberries and sweet potatoes.

  1. Work out during work.

Don’t have time to go to the gym? As long as you don’t have a glass-walled office and as long as you can stay focused (this is work, after all), try doing a little easy lifting and pacing during your conference calls (yes, really!). Keep a set of 5-pound weights under your desk for bicep curls, shoulder presses and triceps work—three sets of 10 repetitions is a good place to start. March in place, do lunges or standing leg extensions to work your lower body. You may feel a little silly and it may not seem like much, but you’ll be surprised to find how just a little activity wakes you up and eases muscles cramped from sitting too long. Can’t work out in your office? Try carving out 15 minutes at lunch to take a walk around the block or up and down a set of stairs instead.

  1. Put your smartphone on silent as soon as you get home.

If your go-to move is reaching out to check your phone, even at home, just step away. Turning your phone off allows you to focus your time at home on your family and yourself. Turning off your phone and electronics at least an hour before bed is also an important part of a healthy sleep routine, as the blue light emitted from the screens suppress melatonin production, making it harder to fall and stay asleep. And even if you don’t fully wake up, the sounds of the alerts from new emails, late texts and calendar reminders can definitely affect the quality of your sleep.

  1. Do a five-minute clutter sweep.

Are you always looking for your keys or digging around for lost papers? Commit to just five minutes of decluttering every night. Your house will look neater, you’ll be more likely to find important items, and hey, you also just might get rid of some junk you don’t need. And a less cluttered house also makes you feel less stressed and more relaxed.

  1. Let go.

Ever have the feeling that you can’t delegate because you do whatever it is better and faster? Or that you can’t ever say no? (Guilty!) But sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and just take a step back. So have your partner make the kids’ lunches sometimes (and don’t go back and check!). Send the kids to the in-laws’ for the evening—and your spouse, too! For Christmas, ask for occasional maid service to clean the house. Say no to adding another task or duty to your list—and be firm about pushing away any feeling of guilt. Then—go take that barre class you’ve been wanting to try. Indulge in a facial or massage. Or just settle in for a Lifetime movie and a glass of wine. You work hard, girl. You deserve it.

We’re here to help.
Augusta University Health offers a variety of care centers and practice sites to fit your schedule. Make an appointment at one of our care centers today, visit, or call 706-721-2273 (CARE).

About the author

Augusta University Health

Based in Augusta, Georgia, Augusta University Health is a world-class health care network, offering the most comprehensive primary, specialty and subspecialty care in the region. Augusta University Health provides skilled, compassionate care to its patients, conducts leading-edge clinical research and fosters the medical education and training of tomorrow’s health care practitioners. Augusta University Health is a not-for-profit corporation that manages the clinical operations associated with Augusta University.