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Five ways to give back to yourself

Wife, mother, sister, daughter, cleaner, cook, nurse, teacher, mentor, employer, breadwinner... Sometimes women can be so swamped by taking care of others that we forget to tend to our own basic needs. But we can only look after everyone else if we are the fittest, healthiest, happiest versions of ourselves possible. Here are five ways to make sure you get a little of your own attention.

Make time for the things that keep you fit and healthy
Make time in your schedule for exercise at least three times a week. Keeping fit is central to your physical and emotional wellbeing but is often neglected in a flurry of other activities. If it is difficult to get away at the same time each day, try to do one evening class, one early morning class and one lunch-break class each week. Put them in your diary and don't break the appointment!

Nourish yourself by eating healthily and taking your supplements and don't forget to schedule regular check-ups with your GP, gynaecologist and dentist etc.

Set up some non-negotiable me time
Have an established time, once a week, that is all about you. How you spend that time is up to you. You can see a friend, read a book, take a bath or go shopping. Try and supercharge your me time with a hobby doing something that you really love does wonders for mind, body and soul.

Indulge yourself a little
In addition to your weekly me time, give yourself rewards to look forward to a day at the spa or a night out with friends at a fancy restaurant. It is much easier to go through the daily grind when there is a treat at the end of the tunnel.

Ask for help
You might think that you are responsible for everyone else in your family, but don't forget that they are responsible for you too. Let them know that you need their help and ask them for their support. If they don't give it, insist. Draw up a schedule and a roster and get them all involved in the running of their lives.

Save for yourself
Open a savings account just for you. Budget to set aside a small amount of money even just a couple of hundred rand each month. Whenever you have a little extra cash, pop it into the account as well. You might not be saving up for anything in particular, but think of it as your rainy day fund. One day, when you really want or need something, you will have the cash to do it.

Final word
Remember that you deserve to relax and have fun. Take a break and you will find the strength to keep running the world.

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