Lana Barhum is a legal assistant, patient advocate, freelance writer, blogger, and single parent. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia since 2008 and uses her experiences to share expert advice on living successfully with chronic illness.

Everyone needs to practice self-love and self-care regularly. And for those of us with health issues, this is even more important. Pampering yourself is one of the best ways to relieve stress, and it could help you manage your chronic condition’s symptoms too.

Most of us tell ourselves that we are too busy, or we find other excuses to put off pampering ourselves. But unless we intentionally make the time and remove guilt, we will only keep telling ourselves the same lies and not give ourselves the attention we need.

Find the time

If your life is as overscheduled as most are, it can be difficult to find time for yourself. Your lunch hour is a good time to focus on yourself. Or try waking up a little earlier than everyone else, or temporarily disconnecting from your gadgets.

You don’t have to find big chunks of time; just start off small and see what happens. Hopefully, the more time you steal to pamper yourself, the more often you will want to do it.