It’s time to stop feeling guilty about taking time for you because guess what? Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary! And in this post, I’m sharing why you should NEVER feel guilty about putting yourself first. Let’s dive in!
Ready to thrive Mama?
Transform your home, mind, schedule and life with my FREE weekly email series; 5 to Thrive.
Get 5 super simple but super powerful tips and strategies delivered straight to your inbox every Sunday evening.
Reduce the overwhelm, restore balance and create the life YOU want – for you AND your family. 👇🏻
First published November 2019. Updated December 2022.
Feel guilty about taking time for you?
If so, you’re not alone. So many members of my community tell me that it’s not a lack of time that stops them from taking time for themselves, it’s feeling guilty about putting themselves first. They feel like they don’t have the right to take time out and invest in themselves when there’s always so much to do. And that by putting themselves first, they’re being selfish.
And I know exactly how they feel.
You see, for years I’ve battled with the guilt of putting myself first. And whilst it’s not always been easy, I’ve worked hard to not feel guilty about doing things for myself. To not feel like I’m neglecting my responsibilities whenever I take time out to practice any kind of self-care. Because despite what society might want us to think, I truly believe that self-care isn’t selfish. Self-care is necessary and we shouldn’t be made to feel guilty about taking time for ourselves.
Dispelling the ‘self-care is selfish’ myth…
So many of us have the wrong idea about self-care. We think that we have to be deserving of it. That by investing in ourselves we’re being selfish, indulgent and extravagant. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. There’s nothing selfish about self-care and it’s about time we dispelled that myth!
And so, I’m here to tell you that despite what others might say, you have the right to focus on your own needs. To put yourself first WITHOUT feeling guilty about doing it. We all do. Self-care is not selfish. It’s not indulgent nor is it extravagant. It’s a necessity. We cannot take care of others when our own wellbeing is suffering. Nor can we fill another’s cup if our own is empty.
If you’re to look after the ones you love, thinking about yourself first and looking after yourself first is an absolute must. When we put our own wellbeing first, we’re able to be a better mum, a better wife and a better friend. And so no longer do I want you to feel guilty about putting yourself first.
It’s time to start looking after yourself first and start practicing self-care in every area of your life – starting today!
Self-care isn’t selfish…
Below you’ll find five very good reasons why self-care isn’t selfish. Five very good reasons why you should be making your wellbeing more of a priority and not feel guilty about doing so. If you’ve ever felt selfish about practicing self-care, it’s time to change that mindset. Next time you start to feel that guilt rising, here’s what you need to tell yourself.
Self-care isn’t selfish…
Yes, I’ve already said this but I’m going to say it again. Taking time to care for yourself isn’t selfish. You want to take care of the ones you love. Of course, you do. That goes without saying. And your children are naturally your number one priority. But that doesn’t mean that their needs – or the needs of your spouse or your friends – are more important than your own.
Caring for yourself doesn’t mean that you don’t care about others. And if you’re to start putting your own needs first without feeling selfish, it’s important that you understand this.
Because taking care of yourself first is the most selfless thing you can do for you and your family. By focusing on yourself, by investing in yourself, you’re giving yourself the strength and energy you need to take care of the ones you love.
Self-care is necessary…
Society might want us to think that self-care is a luxury. But it isn’t. It’s a necessity. Just like our mobile phones need charging and our cars need refuelling, so do we. And just like putting on our own lifejackets or aeroplane masks first, we must ensure we can breathe or swim before we’re able to help those around us.
If you’re feeling tired, rundown or overwhelmed you cannot give your best self to others. And if you don’t put yourself first, if you don’t practice self-care on a regular basis, you cannot offer yourself the best of you either. Next time you’re feeling selfish for taking time for you, I want you to tell yourself that self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary.
It helps you to stop just existing and start living…
We all need to eat, we all need to sleep and we all have bills we have to pay. The housework needs doing, the laundry needs washing and we all have errands to run too. But we don’t need to spend all day every day doing those things. Sometimes we need to step out of life on autopilot. To step away from the daily grind – just for a few minutes – in order to keep life interesting and enjoyable.
Doing things that make you feel good, that lift you up and make you smile is good for your soul. Taking time for yourself and investing in your self-care isn’t selfish. Practicing self-care helps you to stop just existing and start living.
It sets a good example…
If you’re a parent like me, the fact that you invest in self-care and aren’t afraid to put yourself first sets a good example for your kids. It teaches them a sense of self-worth and helps them to understand that self-care isn’t selfish. That it’s okay to make your own wellbeing a priority. And that by investing time in yourself you become a better human being as a result.
And if you don’t have children, the fact that you take time to care for yourself might just motivate and inspire your friends and family to do the same too. I talked earlier about it being time to dispel the myth that self-care is selfish and one of the ways to do it is to practice it with your head held high. It’s time to show the world that self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary.
It demands respect…
When we make our wellbeing a priority without feeling guilty about it, when we show that we’re not afraid to put ourselves first, we set a precedent for how we expect others to treat us. And when we show others that we value ourselves, that we find worth in investing time in ourselves, they will respond in kind.
Learning to say no and set boundaries is both good for yourself and your relationships. Putting yourself first shows others how you expect to be treated. It makes it clear that you see yourself as a priority and it will make others want to do the same.
It might be hard to stand your ground and put yourself first if you’ve never done it before. But know that true friends and those who truly love you will understand and respect your decision. And who knows, just like my setting a good example point above, you may even encourage them follow your lead!
Self-care isn’t selfish…it’s necessary
If you’ve ever felt guilty about taking time for yourself or you wish you could practice self-care without feeling selfish, these five reasons for doing so will help you switch up your mindset. It might take time to dispel the myth society has had you believe all this time, but with practice you’ll come to see benefits that self-care has and that it doesn’t have to cause feelings of guilt.
Next time you feel guilty about putting yourself first, I want you to tell yourself:
- Self-care isn’t selfish. It’s necessary.
- Self-care helps you to stop existing and start living.
- It sets a good example, and
- It demands respect.
And if you need a daily mantra to help instil this new mindset, try this one from Eleanor Brown:
That’s it for this post! Feel guilty about taking time for you? It’s time to stop – self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary!
Until next time…
Did you like this post? Be sure to check out the rest of the posts in this series too!
- Super Simple Ways to Treat Yourself
- How to Add a Self-Care Routine to Your Day
- 3 Surprisingly Easy Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself
- The Self-Care Toolkit – What it is and Why You Need One
- Five of the Best Cheap and Easy Self-Care Ideas
- How to Put Yourself First Every Single Day
About the Author
Hey there! In case we haven’t met, I’m Sarah. Certified master life coach, goal success coach and the founder of A Simple and Contented Life. The online coaching practice that helps mompreneurs take back their time, home, biz and selves so they can THRIVE both at home and in their online biz WITHOUT feeling like they have to choose between the two.
I’m also a mum, stepmum, wife, breast cancer survivor and fur mama to two French Bulldog pups and when I’m not helping my coaching clients and Cafe Thrive members create the lives they want for themselves and their family, you’ll find me in my office designing new products for my Printables Store, hanging out with my youngest in Starbucks or attempting to walk my somewhat lazy four-legged hounds!
I’m absolutely thrilled you’re here…you deserve to THRIVE in EVERY area of your life mama and together, we can make it happen! 💛