Oh, what we wouldn’t do for an extra hour or two during the day for some “me time.” But making yourself the top priority is hard when you have aseemingly endless to-do list of family, work, and school obligations.

Taking care of ourselves is a crucial part of living a full life.

When you treat yourself well, it will trickle down to everything else in life—your partner, children, classmates, coworkers etc. Whether it is going to a park to read a book for a half hour, treating yourself to a pedicure, or trying that new yoga class.

Say no, gracefully

It is great to help out your friends and family when they ask. But if the favors they ask begin to cut into your ‘me time,’ it is okay to create a buffer. Tell them that you are happy to help, but you will need 20 minutes (or whatever time feels right) before you can do it.

Gimme 5

Even if five minutes is all you can muster, take it! Spend that 5 minutes breathing deeply, going for a walk outside, or just sitting quietly by yourself. That can be all it takes to recharge for the rest of the day.

Remember why it is important

Taking care of yourself can leave you feeling guilty; you aren’t spending time with your family or doing work. Keep in mind that carving out time for yourself is vital for keeping yourself healthy, and that means a happier family and more productive work and school life.