Think of your health as a bank account. Every decision is a deposit (like a good night’s sleep) or a withdrawal (like too many glasses of wine). Energy reserves are lim- ited: we must decide how to best allocate our actions to get the best return on our wellness investment.

In 2016, I published a book, hosted an
online yoga channel, and oversaw a home
construction project, all while leading
classes and juggling the needs of my friends,
family, and very demanding cat. It was an exciting year, but a physically taxing one. I didn’t look after my body like I should, skipping sleep to meet deadlines and spending too much time on my phone. I depleted my wellness piggy bank to the point where I found myself in bed over the holidays, too exhausted to actu- ally enjoy the season.

We’ve heard it a million times, but most busy women still haven’t mastered the art of self-care. Women are biologically designed to be caregivers, to put others rst. We think we don’t deserve to nurture ourselves until everyone else’s needs have been met. We need to stop seeing self-care as sel sh and see it as essential.

I recently co-authored a book with Andra Sewalls entitled Sensible Wellness For Women. It addresses the challenges of self-care and suggests easy ways to up your vitality game. Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming. We can make small choices every day to support our physical, emotional, and spiritual well being. A glass of water, a deep breath, a long hug, or a short walk go a long way in creating your best you. It’s really less about what we do and more about nally giving ourselves permission to put ourselves rst.

The rst step in self-care is being mindful. Try this: close your eyes and take 3 long, deep breaths, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Now notice how your body feels. A few deep breaths do wonders for your mind and body. This issue is full of other ways to drop awesome into your energy account. Read about the advantages of probiotics, learn to send love to your joints for longevity and see eye health more clearly. Take the very best care of you this new year!

Erin Smith, ERYT, MLS, is the co-author of Sensible Wellness for Women and is the genius behind The OM Palace, a wellness and yoga studio in Winchester, Kentucky.