Why you shouldn’t feel guilty about self-care

We’ve been having some great conversations in my Facebook group as part of my Self-Care Kick-Start Challenge. People are setting goals, trying new forms of self-care, and encouraging each other. I’m so encouraged by the response – thank you to everyone who’s participating!

Studio shot of redhead woman with hair knot and freckles looking sideways with thoughtful and sly expression, raising one brow as if having good idea, planning something.

Why do you feel guilty about self-care?

One of the topics that frequently comes up when we discuss people’s barriers to self-care is feeling guilty about taking time out for yourself. If you’re feeling guilty then self-care could make you feel worse rather than better. 

Hold on.

As Constantine says in The Help, ‘You is Smart. You is Kind. You is Important.’ (I love this film.)

In other words, you are doing a great job, and you matter. Your needs are not secondary to everyone else’s. 

You can’t meet your child’s needs as well as you would like to if your own system is depleted because you haven’t recharged. Self-care doesn’t only benefit you, it benefits your child because she has a happier, calmer, more engaged parent as a result. 

‘You is Smart. You is Kind. You is Important.’

Constantine, The Help

You don’t feel guilty about brushing your teeth or making doctor’s appointments when you need them, so don’t feel guilty about taking time out to look after your mental well-being either.

Self-care isn’t selfish.

Your car isn’t selfish for needing fuel to do its job, or an annual MOT to keep it running properly. That’s just how a car works. Cars are pretty complicated, but human beings are infinitely more so. You need to address all your needs – mental, physical, spiritual, nutritional, and so on – in order to keep the wondrous being that is you running at your peak.

You wouldn't let your car's fuel gauge reach zero. You need the car to do its job without conking out. So don't do that to yourself. Click To Tweet

As my friend Cat says, 

‘Self-care is not only a fabulous idea, it is absolutely key to your survival as a healthy human being. … It is not optional, it is essential, and should be the bedrock of your very existence.’

Cat McGill, Me, the Boy, and The Monster

If you haven’t read it already, get hold of my free self-care guide, which covers this in more detail, and/or join my Facebook group where we talk about this stuff all the time and encourage each other that it really is vital.

So forget the guilt. Then go and look after yourself. Not just for you, but also for the people who depend on you. I’d love to hear how you get on.

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