It is easy to put everyone else first, but by putting yourself second, you are risking your emotional and physical health. Practicing self-care and putting yourself first doesn’t mean you are selfish. It’s important that you take care of yourself. Your friends and family will thank you for it. And you will feel better and happier.

Women, in particular, often feel guilty about a self-care plan — they have been taught to put others first. But there may be a cost to their emotional and physical health when they do this. When you put everyone else first, your mind feels cluttered.

You shouldn’t feel guilty for having a self-care plan, and you shouldn’t be around people who make you feel guilty about it. Self-care may sound unproductive, but a self-care plan will actually make you more productive. You will feel refreshed and better able to focus. You’ll be able to prioritize what’s most important and delegate tasks.

A self-care plan starts with taking a look at your mindset. This means taking an inventory of your thoughts. What you feed your mind becomes your mindset. So, stop telling yourself that self-care is selfish, and start talking positively to yourself about self-care.

Here are 7 self-care tips that will help you feel your best even under stress:

1. Stop Waiting for an Outside Miracle to Change Your Life.
Everyone is waiting for a big miracle to change their life and suddenly make them happy. It’s time for a reality check: How often does that happen? Life is about taking small steps — a bunch of small steps that lead to that big step. It’s also about feeling vulnerable.

A lot of people are waiting for the perfect time to make a change. Now, when will the timing ever be perfect? So, what are you waiting for? Start making the changes you want to make today. Change always feels scary. But you can always count on change; it’s something you can’t control.

2. Take an Interest in Your Health.
This is the first and crucial step in self-care. This doesn’t mean turn to Google when you have a cold or backache. This will send you down a mental rabbit hole. This means to schedule an appointment for a check-up. You should be having check-ups regularly. If you take medication, make sure you have the correct dose. Tell your doctor if you are experiencing unnecessary side effects.

3. Exercise Regularly.
Moderate exercise is good for your emotional and physical health. This will get the endorphins going and give you a natural high. It will also help ease your mind if you’re on a computer all day. A regular exercise program also helps with sleep. You can go for a walk, take a yoga class, or go to the gym. Find something that you enjoy. Invite a friend. What’s important is that you find something you like and keep it consistent and simple.

4. Celebrate the Process.
A self-care plan doesn’t happen overnight. The next time you take 10 minutes for yourself, make sure to compliment yourself for it. Don’t beat yourself up if you didn’t take time for yourself one day. Remember: It’s a process, and tomorrow is always a new day. Self-care is something you practice daily. It’s taking care of your mind, body, and soul.

You can start by writing down three things you are grateful for at the end of the day. It won’t take long. Commit to this gratitude journaling practice every day for two weeks and see how you feel.

5. Practice Being Optimistic.
Optimism creates happiness! Being optimistic is not the same as expecting a big miracle; it’s about being positive about the future — and learning from the past. Don’t let your imagination get the best of you and predict the worst outcome. With a little planning, you can have a positive future.

When you think bad things will happen, they often will. Whatever is happening now will eventually pass. You’ll get through this and be able to move on.

6. Listen to Your Inner Voice.
This means your gut or intuition. It’s easy in our fast-paced world to get away from our inner voice. You start to listen to others without consulting yourself first. When you’re busy and stressed out, this is more likely to happen. You know what is best for you. You can make good decisions for yourself.

7. Surround Yourself with Positive People.
Your environment affects how you feel. If possible, stay away from negative people. This means at home and at work. Negative people can bring you down. But positive people can help you feel better and more positive about the future. Make a list of your closest five people to you. What is it you like about them? Are they on the positive or negative side? Do you feel inspired by them?