One of the biggest — if not the biggest — barrier to practicing self-care is guilt. Women, in particular, feel incredibly guilty for tending to their needs.
And it’s not surprising. According to Ashley Eder, LPC, a psychotherapist in Boulder, Colo., “We are surrounded by overt and covert messages that encourage us to minimize our own needs and feel guilty when we engage in self-care.”
Food and relaxation are prime examples. “Think how many times a day you see some kind of reference to a woman ‘indulging,’ ‘splurging,’ or ‘sinning’ because she meets a basic need like eating food she enjoys or taking time to relax.”
There’s also the belief that taking care of yourself leaves less time and energy for others. But, as Rachel W. Cole, a life coach and retreat leader, said, “self-care is other care.” In other words, practicing self-care helps us help others more effectively. Below, Cole and Eder share other powerful ideas to consider if the palpable guilt appears.
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