We’ve all heard the saying that you can’t really love somebody else until you love yourself, but it usually goes in one ear and out the other. Of course I love myself, now, I need to put a wash on, do a weekly shop, walk the dog and make dinner. We don’t often have time to check in with ourselves and make sure that yes, while we think we love ourselves, are we being kind to ourselves?

As women we’re all too willing to put everyone else at the top of the to do list and make sure that they are looked after before we even think about me time. Everyone’s favourite food is in the fridge, everyone’s schedule is in the diary and all the family commitments are managed by Mrs Operations Director over here. But isn’t it time to learn the word “delegate” and make sure that there is some time just for you scheduled in? Here are our tips:

1. Just say no. Sometimes it’s alright to politely say no to things. You don’t need a big convoluted excuse - you just need to say “I’m sorry, I can’t”. It might be to 48 homemade cupcakes for a bake sale, it might be to driving someone somewhere 30 miles out of your way or even to a drinks night out when you’re exhausted. Try it, it’s liberating.

2. Share the jobs. You don’t need to do every job. If there are children in your house that are capable of holding a vacuum, make that their job. If your partner never puts a wash on explain how helpful that would be. Don’t be a martyr to the housework. Everyone messes it up, why are you the only one cleaning it?

Helping out with house work

3. Book in some me time. A manicure, a long walk, an afternoon shopping or two hours in the gym. It doesn’t matter what it is, just do it. If your partner gets to play golf or meet their friends once a week so should you. You might think you’re too busy, but you need to spend time looking after yourself or burn out will happen.

4. If you’re always cooking everyone else’s favourite dinner make sure your favourite makes it into the mix too! This one loves roast chicken, this one loves Bolognese, fine. But your favourite green curry or mushroom risotto should go on the family menu too. If there are complaints just explain that everyone in this house gets their favourite dinners and that includes you.

5. Be nice to yourself. When you get dressed up and look in the mirror stop before you start in on the criticism. Very few of us are perfect so before your eyes wander to the bit that you hate and you get negative find the bit that you like and say something kind to yourself. The colour really highlights your eyes, your legs look great, what a nice blow dry. Reset your brain to say nice things about yourself and you’ll start to see a change.

6. Remember that the most important relationship of your life is with yourself. Treat you the way you treat everyone else.