5 SELF-CARE BARRIERS TO OVERCOME
We are constantly being told how important it is to take care of ourselves. Go for a walk. Do something that you love. Say no to that commitment that you know will drain you. Sometimes it is not that we don’t recognise the importance of self-care, but that something stops us.
Self-care is necessary to help us feel nourished, worthy and refueled. When you do something for yourself, what do you feel? For some of us, doing something for ourselves makes us feel selfish or like we are doing something wrong. Instead of the actions of taking care of ourselves being something that nourishes us, we feel guilty. We may feel like we should rather be taking care of someone else’s needs. Or we may question whether our needs are worthy of fulfilment. The self-care barrier of guilt is really hard to overcome as any act of self-care evokes negative emotions that drain us further. A good place to start is to focus on learning how to receive.
2. Productivity = value
Some of us have been taught that we are only worthwhile, valuable human beings when we are doing something. We measure our worth by meeting deadlines, producing outcomes, and measuring achievements. We are not taught the value of rest, the joy of just being, and the necessity of stillness. Self-care invites us to let go of “getting things done” and rather to lean into “focusing fully on moment-by-moment experience, allowing us to be fully present and aware of whatever is here, right now.” (You may like to read more about this on Zindel V. Segal’s blog here.)
3. Good intentions are not enough
My grandfather used to say “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” We all need to be intentional about self-care. Set a date. Make a plan. Follow through.
4. Limited resources
To make self-care happen can require time and money. These resources are often limited and self-care is one area that can feel like a luxury. But self-care is about what we need to do to take care of our physical, emotional, spiritual, relational and intellectual needs. Self-care isn’t a want, an add-on, or “I’ll get to it later”. Dedicate set time and budget to your needs. No one else can do it for you.
5. Following someone else’s self-care map
What we each need to take care of ourselves is vastly different. While I think we all need physical self-care (doing something loving for your body), emotional self-care (doing something to allow expression of emotions), spiritual self-care (doing something that connects you to something bigger than yourself), relational self-care (doing something that nurtures your relationships) and intellectual self-care (doing something that broadens your thinking), it is going to look different for each of us. Do self-care your way!