Many people feel guilty for spending time learning how to self care or spending resources on self-care. There are a lot of complex reasons for this within our society. Despite what anyone else may say, you deserve to focus on your own needs.
In fact, it’s good for those you love when you take care of yourself. You truly can’t fill another’s cup if your own is empty. So, I’d like to take this opportunity to emphasize why you shouldn’t feel guilty for practicing self-care and encourage you to do so in every area of your life.
First and foremost, you must understand that taking time to care for yourself is not selfish in any way. It may be hard to get past the mindset that the needs of others are more important than your own, but overcoming this mindset is essential to allowing yourself to adequately meet your own needs. Care isn’t a zero-sum concept. When you care for yourself, it doesn’t have to mean you don’t care about others.
Self-care isn’t a luxury; it’s a necessity. It really is like the airplane air mask comparison. You have to ensure you can breathe before you can help those around you. If you’re tired, rundown and overwhelmed all the time, you absolutely cannot give your best self to others. You also can’t offer yourself the very best. Remember that self-care isn’t selfish.
If you’re a parent, investing in self-care is not only good for you, it sets a good example for your kids. Even if you don’t have children, taking the time to care for yourself might be inspiring or motivational for those around you. In order for a stigma to end, it has to be normalized. When more of us let the world around us know why self-care matters, they may begin to change their minds about the concept, as well.
It Demands Respect
It also sets a precedent for how you expect others to treat you. When you demonstrate that you value yourself and that you find worth investing time in yourself, they will respond in kind. Learning to say no and set boundaries is good for your relationships. It teaches others how you expect to be treated and makes it clear that you see yourself as a priority. There’s no reason to feel guilty for that.
It will take time to overcome a lifetime of message society has given you and you’ve internalized. With practice, you can come to see the benefits of self-care and that it doesn’t have to be something that causes guilt.
Self-care is a process. It requires practice and dedication if you want to make it stick. Don’t get discouraged if it takes time to make this new concept a part of your life. It’ll get easier, and you’ll probably find yourself craving your self-care activities so much you’ll wonder how you ever lived without them.
However, there will inevitably be times that are busier or more stressful when self-care may go by the wayside. If you find that happening, be sure to follow these tips to continue to take care of yourself going forward.
How To Self Care Tip: Follow Your Instincts
Sometimes we get so busy that we find ourselves living on auto-pilot. That’s only natural during hectic times, but it’s critical that you make an attempt to listen to your instincts during these times to know whether you’re in need of a boost.
When you start to feel especially frazzled or fatigued, that’s not a cue to double down and work harder. It’s your body and mind telling you that you need a break. Listen to them.
Along these lines, look for other unusual signs that things are off balance with you such as irritability, eating poorly, losing sleep or indulging in bad habits. These things are telling you to take care of yourself.
Schedule It In
A trick that helps some people to fit self-care into their schedules when life gets busy is to actually write it in their date book or calendar. Treat your self-care commitments like any other appointment or event. Write down the time you’ll start and finish. Try to be specific about the activity you’ll engage in.
Doing these things will increase the odds that you’ll actually follow through. It’s easy to put yourself on the backburner when life gets crazy, but don’t forget that these are the times you need self-care the most.
How To Self Care Tip: Create a Plan That Fits You
Developing a self-care plan is crucial to maintaining your well-being. I shared some ideas in a previous blog post about how to do this. Let’s review a bit, as it’s so important to have a self-care toolkit at your disposal during life’s busiest and most stressful periods.
Keep your emergency self-care list and your care package
together so they’re easily accessed when you need them. You also make
sure there’s a list of trusted contacts to call when you might need some
self-care encouragement and accountability. Your tribe can provide the
motivation and support you need to take care of yourself.
One final word. Take time to assess your self-care needs regularly. This will also help to keep you on track. Ask yourself once a week or so if you’re giving yourself enough time and attention. Listen to your instincts. Make adjustments as necessary. Self-care is an ongoing and evolving process. It requires your constant attention.
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