Many people feel guilty for spending their time and resources on self-care. There are a lot of complex reasons for this within our society. We all heard it before: busyness is worn like a badge of honour. Despite what anyone else may say, you deserve to focus on your own needs: mind, body and soul. 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.
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.
It’s Not Selfish
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.
It Sets a Good Example
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.
Self-care is so much more than people realize and often misunderstood. To put it simply, your self-care routine should be something you do for yourself and only you. It can be something you do alone or with friends. There are no rules about self-care, as long as it makes you feel better and is something you truly enjoy. At least once a day, you choose some type of activity that you enjoy, relaxes you and
makes you happy. It will take time to overcome a lifetime of negative messaging society has given you about self-care. With practice, you can come to see the benefits of self-care and that it doesn’t have to be something that causes guilt.