Even the most organized of us only has 24 hours a day, and seven days a week. I find that as a caregiver, I tend to put the needs of others before my own, but now I have a plan.

I made a multicolored “Things I Enjoy” list and posted it prominently on the fridge. At the beginning of every week, I pick three to five things from this list, and daringly put them on my calendar. Now being a Taurus, I am supposed to be stubborn, so that is my excuse for not changing any of my dates.

I’m sure you can make up your own reason so that when people call to ask you to give of your time, you can honestly state that you have appointments. If we don’t love ourselves enough to put ourselves first three to five times a week, why should we expect that others will put us first? Go on, I dare you!

— Karen Elysbeth Walsh is a licensed occupational therapist specializing in ergonomics and pain management, www.ergonomictherapist.com.