Guy concentrating on pushing buttons that light up to test reflexes.

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it. ” –  Sydney J. Harris

Are you feeling exhausted and overwhelmed? Does everything feel like a chore? Are you being too hard on yourself? Do you keep snapping at your family? 

These may be signs that you are overdue for some self-care. Self-care is the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health. As someone who works full time in a caring profession and also prides herself on caring for her family, I know the importance of self-care. I used to think that self-care was a luxury but learned the hard way that it is a necessity. Last year I ignored my symptoms and pushed through the pain when I wasn’t feeling well. My refusal to slow down and pay attention to my body eventually landed me in the hospital for nearly a month, and I nearly had to have part of my intestines removed.

My message for you is that self-care is not selfish. Your needs are important too. Take a break, surround yourself with your favorite people, do something that uplifts you, and know your worth. 

Making Time for Self-care:

If you’re thinking, “I don’t have time for self-care,” let me remind you that when you are always giving of yourself to others, eventually you will use up your resources and need to replenish. As the saying goes, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”  

Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Here are a few simple things to try out. Write them down and put a check mark next to each one you complete this week:

  • Read a good book for a few minutes before bed.
  • Download a yoga or meditation app on your phone and use it.
  • Take deep breaths by using 7/11 breathing (breathe in for 7 seconds and out for 11 seconds).
  • Go for a walk outside.
  • Drop everything and play with your kids for 15 minutes.

There are hundreds of little things that you can do to boost your mental and physical health that will have a positive impact on your life and those around you. For more cheap options for self-care, check out the local activities, resources, and calendars below to find activities for the whole family: 

More Self-care and Wellness Habits.

Free Monthly Activities for the Whole Family (Des Moines).

Super Saturday at the Y (greater Des Moines).

Catch Des Moines Calendar.



ChildServe improves the health and well-being of nearly 5,800 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, injuries, and other special healthcare needs.

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