Life can feel pressured. You may have to look after your home and the organisation that entails shopping, cleaning, cooking, decorating. Your friends, family, partners, children, parents, pets and boss may all make demands on your time. You will need to have money and your work life can bring the stress of commuting, shift patterns, rotas and deadlines.

Your days can feel dominated by the needs of others and if you have no safety valve then the pressure can build until you can feel overwhelmed by the demands on your time.

This is why it is really important to make time for you. To set aside a space when you can breathe and look after yourself, because if you don’t put yourself first then it is often the case that no one else will either. For as long as you carry on, juggling everything and keeping everyone else happy then often those around you will often be content to let that continue. They will not necessarily see that you may be struggling. You yourself may not be aware that everything is becoming too much.

However creating a refuge where you can relax and do something enjoyable just for you, to reward you for all of your hard work, is part of the recipe for good mental health. Putting aside time for you to recharge your batteries is as important as eating regularly, you need it to survive in a good state. You cannot work hard all of the time without a break.

How you reward yourself is an individual choice and it won’t be the same for everyone. You may enjoy going for a walk, or spending time reading a book, taking a yoga class, dancing around the kitchen, singing, playing loud music, soaking in a bath, gardening, talking on the phone to a friend, watching a film, playing computer games, having an early night, painting your toenails, going to a football match, drawing, swimming, painting, ironing, looking at photographs, taking part in sport, exercising or anything else that make you feel good.

Whatever works for you to release the tension is critical to keeping you happy. Taking part in an action of self-care should have priority on your to-do list every day. Even if you only get a small window of time to treat yourself, take it. Make the most of the break, remembering that you are important and special and should be cared for and indulged so that you too can enjoy life.

Putting aside a regular time every week to talk about your life and consider your choices can also be very useful. This can provide support in helping you to deal with the many issues that can arise across your week. If you would like to explore this with a counsellor please call me to arrange an appointment for a time that is convenient for you.