Going through a diagnosis, surgery, flare, etc., can not only take its toll physically but also mentally and have a huge impact on many aspects of your life, such as your daily activities, your family life, and your work life. Having a heavy load on your shoulders constantly and recovering and overcoming these situations can cause a lot of stress.

I found that taking time out for myself and doing something I enjoyed or that helped me both physically and mentally aided a lot in my recovery and continues to do so today.

Sometimes taking time for yourself can have you feeling guilty, but you soon learn it’s a restart button, just like a computer. Sometimes we can get overloaded when there’s so much going on in our life that we hit a point where nothing is loading or going as it should be. But once we hit reset and reload, we start again with a clearer mind or path!

I find exercise helps me a lot, and I try to set aside time to do this every week a few times per week, whether it be going for a walk and listening to a podcast or simply lifting some weights and just having that time away from everything to focus on my training rather than anything else that’s going on. Afterwards, I always feel refreshed and feel like I can take on anything.

Everyone’s idea of “me time” or self-care is different, as we all enjoy different things. Sometimes self-care is going for a spa treatment, reading a book, having your hair done—there’s an endless list of what people may define as self-care, and it’s just about making that time and including it in your daily life.

There should always be time for you, and often, people would use time as a barrier, but there is always time. It’s just about spending that half-hour less on your phone, getting up that extra half an hour earlier in the morning, or using downtime more wisely. Marking this on a calendar can be useful to make sure you build this into your daily lifestyle, and remember, self-care shouldn’t feel like a chore.