You survived the most demanding period of the year, the hectic holiday season. The start of a new year is the perfect moment to recharge your mental battery and recommit to a daily routine that will help you manage stress over the entire year. Here are some ways to help you get started:

PAUSE | It may seem counterproductive to pause when you’re focused on achieving your goals. But a hectic schedule and daily living can frequently throw you off course. Pausing is a chance to recollect yourself. To review where you’re headed and what you’re doing, 

REST | The easiest way to feel your best is to give yourself a week of free nights. Every night after work, grab some dinner, watch an episode of your favorite show, and hit the bed early. Just getting that extra sleep will have you feeling brand-new.

EAT BETTER | You don’t need to cut out everything you enjoy from your diet, but focus on eating more nutritional meals and snacks. Filling your body with processed food, sugar, and alcohol can make you feel physically worn down. Eat lots of green, healthy vegetables, fruit, lean protein, good fats and whole grains.

GET ACTIVE | Do an exercise that you enjoy, such as walking, running or cycling, to boost serotonin production in your brain. This can cause your brain to release “happy” chemicals like serotonin, adrenaline and endorphins. As a result, your body and mind will both feel recharged.

SMILE MORE | When you smile, your brain releases tiny molecules called neuropeptides to help fight off stress. The endorphins act as a mild pain reliever, whereas the serotonin is an antidepressant. If you want to relieve stress even more, add laughter to the mix.

Giving yourself the time you need to recharge and reenergize more quickly will make you happier and more effective. This is the essence of self-care. Everyone around you benefits when you take the time to look after yourself, so it’s crucial to prioritize your health.