Tips for Guilt Free Self-Care
Growing up, I witnessed my mother give everything to her children. She worked to keep us in school, with nice clothes and good food. My parents are the definition of good parents. I feel so blessed and a tad bit of pressure because they set the bar so high.
That being said, my mother has a hard time buying new things for herself. Necessities, like clothes and shoes. The only time I see her wearing something new is if one of us forced her out to shop or gave her a birthday gift card, so she would have no choice but to spend it on herself.
One day we had a discussion about it. She explained that she felt guilty buying new items for herself when there were other needs in the house or big bills coming up. Now I find myself in her shoes.
There are things that I would like to buy or do, even items that I really need, but I pass on them. Why? Because I would rather buy new things for my husband, or household items that would benefit more than myself.
One of the biggest — if not the biggest — barrier to practicing self-care is guilt. Women, in particular, feel incredibly guilty for tending to their needs. –Margarita Tartakovsky
It wasn’t until I had a discussion with my husband, and he revealed that he missed the days when I used to “take care” of myself. Now, don’t get defensive, he didn’t mean that I am a slob now. Simply that he noticed that I no longer schedule routine hair appointments or get my eyebrows done or the occasional nail appointment.
I don’t buy new make-up or clothes when we have bills to pay. Spending routine time in the gym is accompanied by a side of guilt when I think about work related tasks I could be doing. It was nice to hear my husband say it makes him feel happy when I am living confidently and not feeling guilty about spending money or time on myself.
Feeling guilty about self- care is a hard habit to break!
Different Types of Self-Care Associated with Guilty Feelings:
- Taking time for yourself or saying NO to additional tasks from work, friends and family
- Taking time to focus on your health to work out (time away from the kids or productive work)
- Digitally disconnecting during self-care (missing family emergencies, work tasks, or social-media news)
- Spending money on self-grooming (hair, skin, nails and clothes)
Tips for Dealing with Self-Care Guilt:
- Keep a journal of self-care time and note any reasons for guilt to find a pattern and discuss it with someone close to you
- Set out to be a desired role model for your children- taking care of your needs is important and models how they should take care of themselves as adults
- Know that rest makes you more effective and better equipped to help your loved ones or co-workers in the long run
Self-care is not just scheduling a long needed facial or pedicure. It is about truly taking time out of your day for you. Mentally focusing on you. Not going through the motions of self-care while thinking about all the things you could or should be doing.
What do you do to set aside the guilt associated with self-care?
Check out these authors who have a personal take on the topic:
- “Boundaries and self-care with zero guilt“- Jeff Solomon
- “How to Say NO Without Feelign Guilty, Mean, or Selfish” -Sarah Cy