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5 Ways to Start Practicing Self-Care 

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Between work, errands, and trying to remember the last time you went to the dentist, taking time for yourself can be challenging—if not downright impossible. (To wit: The World Health Organization just named burn-out a diagnosable condition.) And while it can be hard to put yourself first without feeling guilty about it, just think of it this way: If you don’t do it, who will? The trick is to find what works for you and your life, because it shouldn’t stress you out even more. To help, we asked influencer and on-air personality Tommy DiDario, whose busy schedule keeps him on the go, how he manages to find time for himself. 

woman with bikes

1. Be more active 

Whether “active” for you means an afternoon walk around the block or racing after a toddler, consider the term open to interpretation. “My motto is I try to break a sweat a day no matter what I’m doing,” DiDario says. He loves to take his workout outdoors, “as much as I can be outside doing things in the beautiful sunshine.” Whether it’s walking, jogging, hiking or kayaking, DiDario says, “it’s just a really nice way to humble yourself and forget about everything going on in your life.” 

2. Meditate in your own way 

If the mere thought of sitting quietly makes you fidget, a meditation app might not be your thing—and that’s okay. It’s less about how you do it and more about how it makes you feel. Find what gets you focused on yourself and do that instead. “I always say working out is my meditation,” DiDario says. “When I’m working out or doing yoga, it’s really my time to unplug as much as possible from my phone and not just be physically fit but also to think about what I want to achieve that day, that week, that year.” 

woman listening to music

3. Find positivity in your day 

DiDario starts each day with a gratitude journal entry. “I write down three things I’m grateful for each morning and three things that would make the day great, and it has to be things I can control,” he says. “It can’t be anything I’m wishing for or wanting. It has to be something I can do to make the day great.” DiDario aims to go to bed on a high note, too. “At night before bed, I write down three great things that happened today, and an affirmation or mantra,” he says. Those positive vibes help him rest up more easily. 

4. Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep 

If you’ve had a stressful day, put it behind you come nighttime. Figure out a pre-bedtime routine that lets you unwind. DiDario, who tries to be in bed no later than 10:30 each night, decompresses by reading fantasy novels before he goes to sleep. “I don’t want really heavy before bed, like, I don’t want suspense or drama,” he explains. “I just want something fun where I can let my mind can escape and just get lost in this fake world.”  

woman looking at NYC Skyline

5. Make the normal special  

Even if you can’t swing a vacation, you can still explore at home. “I love being a tourist in my own city,” DiDario says. Break out of your routine, and try a new restaurant, go see a show, or book a walking tour to learn more about where you live. “Adventuring and having new experiences is so important,” DiDario says. “Even if I’m tired, I’ll try to push myself to do it.”   

Find other great health and wellness stories at RealSimple.com/Strive