Ten tips for taking care of yourself

You would think that looking after yourself would be straightforward. After all, if you don't know how to eat and exercise properly, there's a gamut of websites, books and television programs to tell you how. Yet so many of us aren't quite getting it right.

A lot of us are doing OK, but we could be doing a whole lot better. We basically know what to do, but real life gets in the way: deadlines, colleagues, family, home and travel.

The best advice is to schedule your wellbeing as you would a business meeting or social occasion. Get into your diary what's needed to keep you healthy and sane. Take the emotion out of it; don't debate with yourself about getting out for that run this morning. As a global company with a vested interest suggests, just do it.

Here are 10 prompts to get you thinking about taking better care of yourself:

Keep calm, carry on

"How's the serenity? So much serenity!" The dad in The Castle was on to something. You've got to find your place of calm, the thing that soothes your overworked soul. Some use meditation, such as cosmetics entrepreneur Julian Markin who says it was the only thing that got him through caring for his dying mother. Many find peace through a meditative physical activity, such as swimming, cycling or even sex. Identify yours and foster it. Prioritise it. It's important (that's why it's made the top of the list).

Check-up? Check!

Men hate doctors because there's nothing wrong with you, thanks, and if there might be you'll do it later; leave me alone. But past 40 you should have routine check-ups even if you're healthy.

Weighing in

The 5:2 diet. Low GI. Dr Atkins. Michelle Bridges. Not overeating. Whatever works for you. There's thousands of diets that "work". They all require a degree of hard work: losing weight is no easy task. Chances are you need to. It would be in your best interests. It will revitalise your looks and wellbeing and, possibly, your prospects too. Choose a method you think you can live with in the long term.


You need it. Early to bed, early to rise etc. Don't fight your natural circadian rhythms.


You either love or hate exercise, but you should still do it. Find what suits most. If sport's not your thing, using a gym which has a spa and steam room may get you there.

Family and friends

Biological or chosen, they make a great difference to your wellbeing. Studies have shown that parents aren't necessarily happier than non-parents (all that responsibility is wearing), but they are probably more fulfilled. And if your family's a priority you may be more likely to care for yourself.


Career success can boost how you feel about yourself. Some would argue this is not necessarily a good thing - that self-esteem relies on workplace performance - but feeling good can spill into other areas of your life.


Steak and chips are always going to be more appealing than tofu and salad, but try a spot of portion control and balance. Don't make it your default meal every night and you can still have the odd guilty treat.


Men need pampering - even if you don't realise it, says Maria Nagaoka, a dermal therapist and wellbeing expert. "Many men don't realise that they can get concentrated massage, like scalp and foot massage, which can be so beneficial and enjoyable."

Put others first

Social researcher Hugh Mackay says what makes life worth living is helping people. "The good life is a life lived for others," Mackay says in his new book The Good Life. Living by the "do unto others" rule can be good for your wellbeing.