This article was originally written for QueerThreeThousand and is repreoduced here with their explicit permission.

Weight struggles, stress, anxiety, and depression are too common place these days. They’re all part of the modern condition, but it really doesn’t need to be that way.

The demands we put on ourselves can simply be too much. Too much work hard, play hard, then work out even harder to make up for it all.

How do we switch off?

How can we start to focus on whats important, looking after ourselves?

You only get one body, one brain and it has to go the distance. What’s point in looking good, if you’re not feeling that way on the inside? And even if it hasn’t caught up with you yet, failure to look after your both your physical and mental health will catch up with you. It’s just a matter of time.

So where do you start if you have been neglecting to make time for yourself? This is why I am here to contribute my tips for how live a healthier and more rewarding existence.

So lets start at the basics. Learning how to say NO. It is actually one of the best things you can do for yourself. Do you really have to work back late or take work home, will someone die, or your employer lose a fortune? No? Then maybe you need to say no, you can always get to it tomorrow.

Stressful week, feeling overwhelmed and exhausted yet you have a massive weekend lined up. Do you really need to meet all of those social obligations? Are you mentally in a great space to have a few drinks or are you going to wind up feeling worse off for it? What’s the worst thing that could happen if you say no? If you don’t want to do it, then don’t!

Feeling guilty after said big weekend, so hitting the gym Monday to smash out a killer sess? What, exactly, is that going to achieve? You’re not going to be able to give your best, in an exhausted, potentially dehydrated or undernourished state. If anything this is only going to compound the rest of the damage done from all of the stress, and put you at a greater risk of illness and injury. If a terrible Tuesday is all too familiar to you, maybe you need to dial it back a notch. Get selfish for your own good.

Make time for yourself, say no, listen to your body, trust your gut.

By saying no and doing less, you allow yourself more time to say yes to the things that will help you to grow as a person, rather than deteriorate and feel like things are out of your control, like you have no say in your own life. And if you’re not sure what they are, then you will then have some time to do a bit of self discovery, find the things that make you happy.

So get to it, embrace the power of No, and start focusing on what you can do to make your life more fulfilling.