It was a typical summer morning, my three daughters getting ready for camp. While eating breakfast, my oldest asks, “Can you drop me off at my camp after you drop my sisters off so I don’t have to sit and wait so long before camp starts?” Without hesitation, I said, “Sorry, I won’t do that. I have a 9 AM workout class that’s important to me and if I make that change, I’ll miss my class. So, you can hang there and wait.”
She looked up at me with a dumbfounded face. I’m pretty sure her internal dialogue was something like, “What, are you kidding? You are not going to give me what I want? You would rather go work out and have me wait?! Ugh, what kind of mother are you?!”
I’m the kind of mother who fully believes that in order to care for you, I have to care for me. I’m the kind of woman who knows that for me to possess the energy it takes to give fully to my life, husband, my children, business, my family and friends, I’m putting me at the top of my list.
There’s a reason the airlines tell you to place the oxygen mask on yourself, before assisting others. How is it that they get it, but so many of us still struggle to prioritize self-care? Or what I refer to as, healthy selfish.
Let’s take a deeper look into the 5 most common reasons self-care gets ignored or dismissed:
- There isn’t enough time. Um… BULLSHIT. There is plenty of time for lots of things. The question is, what do you WANT to make time for? Sure, perhaps something else falls off, but it is all about what you choose.
- I feel guilty because there are so many other things I should be doing. Can someone please tell me who this “should” police is? We can talk about the shame of “should” another day, but if you would like to start feeling lighter right now, try eliminating that word from your vocabulary. There is no “should”. There is
“choose to” or “choose not to”.
Now, let’s address the guilt part — that one’s a little more interesting… What is it about putting yourself first that makes you feel guilty? How can you start to know that you are worthy and deserving of self-love and self-care?
- People will judge me. Whhaaaaaat?????? People judge?! No, never! And if they do, then what? My gut tells me that those who deem it acceptable to judge your making time for yourself are envious of your strength in doing so. I say, help the Judgy Judgersons along and support them in finding their own power and ability to make time for their self-care.
- My kids will think I’m selfish and will resent me for putting myself first. This one stirs me up the most. I do not believe our sole purpose in life is to live for our children. It is to love them, teach them, inspire them, and bring them up in a way we feel confident enough to let them go independently into the world when it’s time.
So, considering that, couldn’t
- I don’t even know what self-care means to me or what I would enjoy doing. Self-care is any intentional action or choice you take to care for your physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual health. Self-care is specific to you and is whatever makes YOU feel refueled, jazzed, pumped, nurtured…
Self-care is loving yourself. When you love yourself, you inherently care for yourself.
Self-care practices range from prioritizing yourself instead of being all things to all things, setting & implementing boundaries instead of people pleasing yourself into resentment, feeling your feelings and emotions, rather than stuffing it down and avoidance.
Self-Care is choosing to make time for activities and people that refuel you. A date with an old friend that fills your soul, where you laugh until you pee your pants. It’s calling your sibling who you haven’t spoken to just to say hi, I love you. It’s practicing forgiveness for yourself and others. It’s creating space & breathing throughout your day. Meditation. It’s practicing self-compassion and gentle kindness. It’s shutting down the stimuli around
the list goes on and on.
You get to choose. What does your healthy selfish look like?
It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity.
You are worthy. You are enough. You are deserving.
About the Author
Tracy Litt is a Certified Mindset Coach, Rapid Transformational Therapist, Self-Love Expert, and Awe-Inspiring Speaker. She is Founder of The Litt Factor, a personal growth and coaching company, and Worthy Human, an inspirational and empowering merchandise line.
Tracy’s powerful insight coupled with her direct, loving, and light delivery has helped countless women transform their lives from the inside out.
Tracy exists to remind you what you’re capable of, teach you the power of your mind, and support you in cultivating a phenomenal relationship with yourself. It is through this tremendous self-love and inner power that you can feel, create, and be anything and everything you desire, thus truly achieving lasting transformation.