This is Part One of a three-part series on how to make time for self-care and keep yourself on your priority list.
Part 1 (you are here) : 7 Reasons to Stop Feeling Guilty about Taking Time for Yourself
Time for yourself is often the first thing to go when life gets busy or stressful. Even under ideal circumstances, carving out time for you can be a challenge. Couple this with guilt or feeling like claiming me-time is selfish or unnecessary, and you can easily create a situation where your own needs aren’t being fed. It’s a recipe for burnout, overeating, and simply not being at your best.
[Tweet “Self-care is like the oxygen mask that drops down on the plane – you need to put yours on first.”]
Do you struggle with allowing yourself the self-care and me-time you need to thrive?
Here are seven reasons to stop feeling guilty about taking time for yourself.
- Me-time allows you to rejuvenate and cope with stress. Taking breaks can help with stress resilience, focus, energy levels, and may even increase your productivity. If your time and energy are precious, it’s critical that you show up at your best. This doesn’t happen if you aren’t getting the time you need to replenish and refuel.
- Taking time for yourself can help curb emotional eating and mindless eating. When we aren’t getting taken care of, it’s all-too-easy to turn to food to fill in the gaps. Many women report that they overeat because they want a treat or deserve a break or something special after giving so much all day long. Overeating, especially at night, is often a big symptom of not-enough me-time.
- You want your daughter to be well taken care of. We learn my example. Those younger people that you care so much about? They’re watching. Do you want the young women in your life to know that they deserve the same quality of care and attention as everyone else in the world and feel confident about making and taking time for themselves? Then you don’t want to teach them that your needs don’t matter (or that you don’t even have needs) by disregarding your own.
- You want your time and energy to be respected by others. The way others treat us usually reflects, in some way, the way we treat ourselves. When we treat our own needs (and this includes the need for self-nurturing time for ourselves) as unimportant or as less of a priority, this is likely to be mirrored back by family members, colleagues, and friends.
- Rest makes you more effective. In our busy world, giving yourself permission to stop and rest is essential. Resting not only recharges us, it helps us relax. A common objection to taking me-time is having “too much to do,” but not stopping when we need rest can result in cycles of nervous or exhausted activity that are not productive or restful. Ever known that you are overly tired and just need to go to bed but find yourself spinning your wheels checking email or bouncing around on the internet (and not really getting anything done) instead? Then you’ve probably been here.
- Carving out time for yourself (and actually taking it) is critical for creating a healthy lifestyle and fitness routine. What you do and give to others is important and priceless. The more relationships and responsibilities that rely on you, the more important it is that you are well-maintained so that you can reliably be the person everyone’s counting on you to be. This can’t happen consistently if you aren’t consistently dedicating time to take care of you.
- Life is not a dress rehearsal. You have so much to offer the world and probably, so many things you’d love to do and be and experience. Me-time is part of what we all need to show up as the best version of ourselves. You wouldn’t head off for a cross-country road trip without putting oil in your car, and you won’t travel very efficiently, reliably, or gracefully either if you are not giving yourself the routine maintenance that you need.