midlife, midlife health & wellness, personal growth

Stop Feeling Guilty | Start Taking Care of Yourself

Woman lying down relaxing with mug on her lap for Cheers 2 Chapter 2 Stop Feeling Guilty for Taking Care of Yourself page

Stop feeling guilty and start taking care of yourself!

We are indoctrinated to feel guilty when we take time for self-care. Pointing our attention to ourselves, can make us feel selfish and self-indulgent, even when it’s as brief as five minutes a day.

We are socially trained to think and feel that taking time for ourselves – for the nourishment, care and growth of our mind, body and spirit – is selfish.

Well, snap out of it, sister!

It’s time to view self-care differently.

After all, it is really just taking care of yourself, which is crucial for health and well-being. (Not to mention vital if we’re determined to be goal-crushers!)

There’s nothing new or earth-shattering in this post about why you should stop feeling guilty and start taking better care of yourself.

I’m just going to gently (or maybe not so gently) remind you of a few reasons why taking care of yourself is important for you to live as fully and positively as possible.

And why specifically, self-care means identifying and meeting your needs, something women often struggle with. We tend to use all our time and energy to define and serve others’ needs first – our children, spouse, parents, friends, even pets.

No time like the present

With roughly one month left in this year, I’m going to challenge you to find anywhere from 5 minutes to 60 minutes a day for your self-care throughout the month of December.

Yeah, I know. Busy time of the year. Pressure to pay the bills and make the holidays magical. Yadda yadda yadda.

How much you can give to others (emotionally, physically, spiritually, mentally, financially…) and how special you can make others feel is fueled by how much energy you have given to taking care of yourself.

Simple equation… If you deplete your self-nourishment; your cup can’t runneth over.

The better you feel, the more you can give.

When you take care of yourself, you are encouraging yourself to be the best version of you possible.

“Keep taking time for yourself until you’re you again.” – Lalah Delia

Reminders of why you need to ditch the self-care guilt:

Time is passing by.

Not to be a downer, but whether you’re nineteen or you’re sixty-six, you aren’t getting any younger. While it’s never too late and we’re never too old to benefit from self-care, putting off identifying and prioritizing your needs and your wellness can actually make us sick. Neglecting ourselves can cause chronic health issues, which are compounded as we get older.

Prolonged stress and poor choices (not exercising, not eating healthy, not resting) weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illness, and even chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, depression, stomach ulcers and sleep issues.

“The best health care plan is a self care plan.” – Nina Leavins

If you are not taking care of yourself, you won’t have the health and energy to take care of those you love.

You are a role model.

We all deserve optimal health and a meaningful life.

By taking time for yourself – for whatever makes you healthier or happier – you are setting an example for other women, for your children, your friends, your coworkers.

Self-care is not something to feel guilty about, it’s something to feel good about. And when you feel good, it shows.

You really do have the time.

Being too busy for self-care is a cop out. You can take better care of yourself and still get stuff done. It’s true that everyone’s circumstances are different, but let’s be honest here.

You know you could carve out a little you-time to pursue taking better care of your mind, body and spirit and not lose your job, become a recluse or end up homeless.

Start small with five minutes of stretching, meditation, meal-planning, reading, journaling, yoga, a face mask, whatever makes you feel more grounded, healthy, balanced and inspired.

“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, not what’s left of you.” – Katie Reed

Brief moments of self-care really do add up and can make a difference over even just a few days.

Better yet, schedule in longer or more consistent self-care – maybe an exercise class, a walk outside, a hot bath.

Take time to refuel

Not taking care of yourself is more selfish than being intentional about your self-care!

Reacting to stress and overwhelm with numbing activities — like zoning out in front of the television, scrolling endlessly on your phone, and/or bingeing on junk food and alcohol is not helping anyone.

Not you, and not the people who love and depend on you.

In fact, it’s more selfish to ignore your health and sanity than it is to take time and get intentional about your self-care needs. Notice I said needs and not wants.  Taking care of yourself should be non-negotiable.

And finally – there is only one month left in 2019!

Get your self-care intentions and momentum going now so you’ll feel better as you as you welcome in 2020. Stop thinking about it and act!

Need one last push (or maybe a sturdy shove)?!

Think about how you are going to feel if you don’t ditch the guilt and make taking care of yourself a priority?

You’re going to feel guilty! Yep, guilty. The guilt will come from disappointing yourself and not following through on what you know is important to your well-being. You’re going to feel defeated, resentful, stressed, overwhelmed and exhausted. And that’s not even digging into your health.

You’re going to feel even more guilty than if do ramp-up your self-care!

“I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be.” – Mindy Kaling

No more excuses.

Use the remaining weeks of the year to commit to taking care of yourself.

Wishing you a peace-filled, grounded and grateful Thanksgiving. – Marlene


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2 thoughts on “Stop Feeling Guilty | Start Taking Care of Yourself

  1. Marlene you are amazing. Everything you post is such a gift to me. Thank you for being you. Have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving.

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