‘Self-care’ is arguably the Internet’s most prominent buzzword, second only to ‘avocado’. Self-care can be a slippery slope sometimes: what begins as a ‘me day’ can turn into a ‘me week,’ and a ‘me month,’ and…you get the picture. Nevertheless, stress is an unavoidable part of present-day life and if you’re reading this article, you’re probably in need of some self-imposed TLC. We challenge you to do at least one of these when you’re done reading (maybe even the first one, if you’re brave enough!).

Tip #1: Turn off your phone…

…Just for a little while. The effects of your cellphone on your stress levels are well-documented. According to the US National Institute of Health, constantly having your phone at your fingertips was linked to stress, sleep disturbances, and even symptoms of depression. So turn off your phone, take a deep breath, and see how you feel.

Tip #2: Eat a banana

Bananas are chock-full of potassium, which prevents muscle cramps and regulates your electrolyte balance. Plus, their natural sugar and soluble fibre keep you full and give you a boost of energy, which you might sorely need right now.

Tip #3: Get some sun

According to Gulf News, around 90% of the UAE is Vitamin D deficient. A lack of Vitamin D has been linked to conditions like depression, asthma and obesity. So if you’re feeling low, go soak up some sun; we have plenty of it here!

Tip #4: Vent

Shutting yourself off from other people is a sure-fire way to feel awful. Even if you don’t have the time to actually reach out to a loved one, at least text or call someone and talk about life for a bit. We promise, you’ll feel better!

Tip #5: Listen to some tunes

Researchers from Norway’s Sogn Og Fjordane College found that listening to music can significantly help reduce anxiety and promote memory retention- so if you’re feeling low, why don’t you?

Tip #6: Hang out with animals

Playing with an excited dog or chilling out with a cat is a great way to lift your mood, and remind you that things aren’t all bad. If you don’t own any pets, spend your lunch break in a park and watch some animals run around. Maybe if you’re lucky, one will run up to you and you’ll get to say hello!

Tip #7: Read a good book

If there’s one thing that binds all of us together, it’s probably that we spent at least part of our formative years immersed in a novel of some kind. Whether you frequent Harry Potter or Stephen King, revisiting your favourite books — or trying out a new one — is a great way to get out of your own head and into someone else’s world.