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Why is Self-Care so Hard For Me?

If you have been wondering 'why self-care is so hard for me' don't worry, you are certainly not alone with this question.

We live in a culture where it is common to think that others should always be prioritized and that taking good care of yourself is somehow selfish.

This is a deeply rooted perception and mindset which, fortunately, has been increasingly questioned with the growing popularity of self-care.

In this blog post, we will go through some of the most common reasons why practicing self-care can feel hard.

Read also our blog post on why self-care is important to gain more insight!

A drawing of a person hugging themself with some hearts.
Struggling with self-care? You're not alone.

The Belief That Self-Care is Selfish

As stated before, believing that practicing self-care is somehow selfish and that there are also more important things to do is one of the most common reasons why self-care might seem hard.

There are two things that help to tackle this: understanding that this is not true and facing feelings of guilt that arise with this belief.

Explaining ourselves on the intellectual level that practicing self-care is not selfish and that we can better serve others when we are in good shape ourselves is a crucial step in becoming more comfortable with self-care.

We recommend reading articles like this one that challenge this belief and perhaps talking to trusted people about this. Often we are scared of what our loved ones will think if we start setting boundaries and not being available all the time. However, discussions with loved ones about the need for personal time and self-care can often lead to better understanding and strengthen the relationships. And if not, maybe it is time to assess a relationship a bit deeper if your boundaries and well-being aren't respected.

Facing the feelings of guilt might be a little trickier because these feelings are often deeply rooted in our bodies. Confronting and addressing these feelings of guilt requires introspection and perhaps even guidance from a therapist or counselor.

Recognize that guilt is a common emotional response when changing long-standing behaviors, but it doesn't mean you are doing something wrong. It is just a stuck energy in your body that is accompanied by thoughts that are not true.

The truth is that you are allowed to take good care of yourself and you can practice self-care every single day without being selfish. 🩷

The Belief That We Don't Deserve Self-Care

Much like the belief that self-care is selfish, many of us wrestle with the idea that we don't deserve to take time for ourselves.

This belief can be deeply ingrained, stemming from various sources including cultural messages, family upbringing, or even personal experiences that have led us to undervalue ourselves, and is usually related to feelings of shame.

The first step in dismantling this belief is to recognize and articulate it. Understand that feeling undeserving of self-care is a common issue many face, but it's based on a misperception of your worth.

Just as everyone - including you - deserves happiness, love, and respect, everyone equally deserves to care for themselves.

Remind yourself that self-care isn't a reward for meeting some arbitrary standard of worthiness; it's a fundamental part of being human and taking care of your health and well-being.

It's also beneficial to explore where this belief originated. Reflect on messages you received in childhood or negative experiences that may have contributed to this feeling. Sometimes, understanding the root cause can be enlightening and freeing.

A drawing of a happy-looking person with text 'I matter'.
Challenging harmful beliefs is crucial when self-care is hard.

Practice Self-Care Even if You Don't Feel Like It

The most important thing in dismantling these kinds of harmful beliefs is action. Taking care of yourself even when you don't feel like it is the number one thing in changing your beliefs about self-care and self-worth.

Start small, maybe just 5 minutes of self-care every or every other day. Start with self-care practices that feel most natural to you. You can find tips on different self-care types in our blog post The 9 Types of Self-care.

The key is consistency. Even on days when you feel unworthy or when the belief that you shouldn't bother with self-care is strong, commit to doing something small for yourself. Over time, these small actions will significantly shift your mindset and you start to enjoy practicing self-care.

Because you know what, you deserve every single bit of love and care you can give yourself. 🩷

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