Self care is essential for parents and helping professionals, but it is easy to put self care on the back burner as we get wrapped up in our daily routines. Self care is purposeful action that an individual takes to ensure their well-being. Well-being can include; emotional health, mental health, physical health, and spiritual health.
Below I describe 5 common excuses for why individuals may not make self care a priority. I also explore the truths behind each of these excuses.
- Excuse: “Self care is not important.”
Truth: Self care is important. As described above, the definition of self care is ensuring our emotional, mental, physical and spiritual well-being. If we don’t make self care a priority these areas can get out of whack. Neglecting self care can lead to physical and psychological symptoms such as difficulty sleeping, pain, anxiety, depression and more.
- Excuse: “I don’t have time for self care.”
Truth: We can make time for self care even when we have busy schedules. Self care does not have to take a lot of time. Even if you have a very busy day, you can likely take a couple of minutes to focus on deep breathing. Additionally, we may have to think differently about how we incorporate self care into our day. As a mom, I have realized I have to figure out how to incorporate self care into my routine with my children. If I wait for my children to be asleep or cared for by someone else, it’ll never happen!
- Excuse: “Self care is selfish.”
Truth: Self care is NOT selfish. Taking time to focus on our own self care helps us be better equipped to manage or our roles as parents and/or helping professionals. We can bring more energy, patience and creativity to our role as a parent and/or helping professional if we have taken the time to nurture our own well-being.
- Excuse: “I am not into yoga, mindfulness or all that other stuff.”
Truth: Self care does not have to include yoga or mindfulness. What self care looks like can be different for each person because we all have unique needs and interests. Quality self care is about figuring out what helps to nurture YOUR well-being.
- Excuse: “Self care is too expensive.”
Truth: Self care doesn’t have to cost anything. It is true that there are some self care activities that may have a cost such. But, there are also many self care activities that are free or have minimal cost. One of the free activities that helps me with my own self care is spending time outdoors.
I’ve only described 5 excuses that prevent prioritizing self care above, but there are many other excuses that I did not describe.
Do you tell yourself excuses to that prevent yourself from prioritizing self care? What are they? What are the truths you can use to challenge these excuses and make self care a priority for you?
If you are interested in reading more about self care, please consider checking out these previous posts:
You may also want to consider attending the Creating Time for You Workshop on 4/21/15. Click here for more details.