"I feel guilty making time for myself."

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When I talk to moms about creating self-care, one of the overwhelming roadblocks to actually practicing it is guilt. Many feel guilty for taking time away from their families to focus on their personal needs. They believe that it makes them a "bad parent" or "selfish," and for good reason! How many times have you heard the well-intentioned phrase, "it's okay to be selfish and take time for yourself," or "I'm going to be selfish and do/say (enter action that benefits the person speaking)"?

Self-care isn't a luxury. It isn't something that is selfish or self-centered. It's an act of self-preservation of the highest degree.

In order to overcome this mental roadblock of self-care guilt, consider the below points:

1. When you take time to care for yourself, you're better able to care for those around you.

It's true! Putting on your oxygen mask first allows you to help put on those you love masks, too. If you don't have your mask on, chances are you'll pass out before you can help others. When you care for yourself, you're able to show up as your happiest, most grounded self to those you care for most. I always ask myself: how do I want to be remembered? Tired, burned out, but "doing all the things" or present, grounded, and decisive with my time and energy. You tell me!

2. You're less prone to mistakes and forgetfulness

How many times have you given everyone around you your all and then made a major mistake, slipped up, or forgotten something super important? I know I sure have (more than once!). When you constantly give others your all, you are setting yourself up for failure at one point or another. While it may feel like you're doing the "right thing" by always helping others first, there's a good chance you'll burn out, make a mistake, or show up as a version of yourself that isn't your favorite.

3. Accept that the guilt around self-care will always exist

The point isn't to make your self-care guilt disappear (because that's not realistic!), it's to learn to become accepting of your guilt and understand that your long-term needs take priority over a temporary feeling. It can feel difficult to re-train your brain to think this way, but work on catching yourself in the moment when guilt creeps in. How can you begin to choose differently?

Do you want to learn more about overcoming self-care guilt?

Check out these resources:

Woman in a Bath | TAAM

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