When you work on developing self-care, many feelings come into play. Relaxation, centeredness, calm are just some positive feelings you will experience. But you may also feel guilty. Guilt often pops up the most when talking about self-care.
People often worry that taking time for their own self-care will take from their family or that they’ll run out of time for what they describe as “more important things”. They feel guilty. However, when you focus more on your self-care, things change. When practicing self-care, you may realize you want to go to the park with your family, stay out of bed and watch a movie with your spouse. When you take care of yourself more. You can take better care of the people around you: your family, your friends. There is no reason to feel guilty about putting your self-care first. Here are 3 reasons you need to let go of guilt when focusing on self-care.
Benefits of Self-Care Outweigh The Feeling of Guilt
💖Self-care increases your feelings of worthiness & self-love. When you accept yourself for who you truly are – you glow and you give others permission to do the same. I have found some really great products on Amazon that really help you focus on self-care.
🌩It makes you more equipped to handle stress and regulate negative emotions. When we deny ourselves time to care for ourselves, we eventually become worn down and even resentful. When we’re tired, we’re more likely to be reactive and less productive throughout the day.
💪🏼It strengthens your immune system. Whether getting a good night’s sleep, eating well, and relaxing are all important components of a healthy mind & body.
🧍♀️It helps you care for others. When you feel good, you’re a better listener, you’re more attentive, & have a higher performance–whether that be as a mom, employee, wife, etc.
“When you meet your needs and you feel good about yourself, it’s easier to elevate the needs of other people.”
The next time you’re feeling guilty for taking care of you, remember that you need to be in a good place in order to best help others.
Strategies to Help Relieve Your Guilt
The “Yes!” Guilt.
This is where you feel guilty if you do not say “yes” to every opportunity, gathering, favor. You do not want to disappoint people or to make them feel you do not want to see or help them. When you focus on self-care, you need to understand the meaning of “no.” If you set strong boundaries for your self-care time, this guilt will not interrupt you after a while.
Start small: Say “no” to drinks on Thursday if you already planned to go to the gym. But reschedule for a different day if you want to go! Then work your way bigger. Say “no” to a large family gathering on a Sunday and spend time in your backyard with your own family if you had that planned already. You do not need to say “no” to everything but know that you do not need to say “yes” to everything either.
Remember, while you are saying “no” to someone else, you are saying “yes” to yourself and this is going to make your light shine, and this will make people shine around you as well.
My Time Is Not Actually My Time Guilt
When you have a job, a family, a spouse and you try to create time for self-care. You may run into this guilt quickly. The baby is napping instead of reading a book you’re supposed to be doing laundry. You feel as though your time is not actually YOUR TIME and when you use the time for yourself. You feel guilt. You take a walk on your lunch break. You feel you should be eating your salad at your desk while answering client’s emails. You feel guilt. If you constantly are feeling this way, set boundaries and parameters to start. Maybe on Mondays you do laundry while the baby naps, but on Tuesdays you watch your favorite show. Wednesday and Friday you go for a walk and on Tuesdays and Thursdays you eat at your desk. As you get more and more comfortable taking your self-care time, eventually, you will understand your time is your time and you need it!
Also look at your daily day, is there time you could use for self-care that you are wasting doing something else? Are you constantly scrolling social media? Maybe you are chatting with coworkers for extended periods of time? A strategy I love is recording everything you do during the day and how long you do it. It may surprise you how much of your time you waste on things that do not improve your day or help make time for self-care.
It Won’t Get Done Guilt
This is always the most common guilt with moms and professionals. The feeling that the client reports, spreadsheets, laundry, cleaning, etc. won’t get done if you do not get it done right away. This can also be known as achievement guilt. If you didn’t achieve your ending task, right away when it was assigned or as soon as you thought of it. You felt guilty about being at the gym, or laying on the couch, or reading a book.
When dealing with this guilt, look at deadlines. If the project is due by Friday, get it done by Friday. It does not need to be done two hours after they assigned it to you. You may take your time.
“You can get things done while still practicing self-care and you will.”
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” I’ve always loved this quote ❤️ By putting ourselves first, supporting our own growth, and being fully and unapologetically ourselves – we encourage others to do the same.
Many people reach out to me regarding the guilt they feel when they put themselves first. They feel uncomfortable taking time to self-care and prioritizing their needs. My question back almost every time is:
“Would you want your children or students to do the same? Would you want your child to overwork him/herself? Dull his/her own light for others? Or would you want him/her to be the best version of herself/himself?”
When we feel our best, we do our best, and that’s when we can really help others. By allowing us to recharge time – we encourage others to recharge too. By prioritizing our needs, we can expand ourselves even further. We can show up 100%. We can fully embrace the moment we’re in and make an even bigger impact.
I think the feeling of guilt around self-care needs to be reframed. Instead of feeling guilty for taking a moment for yourself, think about how this moment will allow you to give even further and show up as an even better version of you.
Guilt will happen when you create time for self-care. But do not let it be the reason you stop looking after yourself. You need to shine. So others can shine!