What’s essential for your health and well-being? And how can you make those things more of a priority in your day-to-day life? If you’d like to take better care of yourself, especially during difficult times, begin by brainstorming a list of the self-care activities that are especially important for your health and well-being, no matter the circumstances.

What activities come to mind, and what benefits do they provide? Keeping the benefits in mind provides powerful fuel for consistently prioritizing self-care. When your list of self-care activities feels complete, circle those that feel absolutely essential to your well-being and let them become non-negotiable.

The question then becomes not if you will do those activities but when and how you will do them. Specificity, creativity, and flexibility are key. So, for example, if attending a strength training class two times a week is a non-negotiable for your health and well-being, create a very specific Plan A for making it happen (attend a gym class immediately after work on Tuesday and Thursday evenings). But also have a clear Plan B in place just in case (if I cannot attend class on a given day, I will lift weights at home that same evening while following along with a video).

What will help you to stick with your self-care plan when non-negotiable begins to feel all-too-negotiable? Maybe you can revisit the benefits, seek support with an accountability partner, or evaluate and recalibrate your plan as needed each week, maybe on Sundays. Remember, when things are difficult, a solid investment in non-negotiable self-care may be just the thing that gets you through.