Self-Care and Guilt

I was reading an article in Health magazine yesterday that said 98% of women say taking time for themselves in important and vital to their wellness. But, most didn’t take any time for themselves. The magazine went on to say that women spend 25% more time working and 25% more time with their kids then a generation ago. And where is this time coming from? Time for self.

For some reason most men don’t feel guilty about catching a game, going golfing with a friend, or playing computer games for three hours straight. But women feel guilty about everything. Taking some alone time, being at work, not working overtime to be at a kid’s game, saying no to your kids, saying no to anybody, going dancing with a friend, not exercising, taking time away from kids and work to exercise and on and on.

Do we really want to use guilt as how we determine what we do or don’t do? If it was a perfect system, maybe. But, we all have years of false guilt and perfect expectations that do not help make valuable life choices.

It’s time to talk back to your guilt. Say, “If I don’t take this time for myself, I am not going to be the best I can be, for myself or for others.” “I don’t want to be crabby with my kids because it’s been non stop noise all day. I need to regroup in silence for a bit.” “Working overtime will not make me a better worker. Studies have shown that people that work more overtime also are sick more often and aren’t more productive.” “Taking these 15 minutes to do inspirational reading will make me a better decision maker.” “Listening to music for a little bit will help me be more present with my husband and kids.”

Guilt is not always reasonable. It is not always the truth. The truth is you have been given this body, mind and soul and you need to take care of it. A drained, burned out you is not what the world needs. It needs you in all your passion, laughter and light. Go shine!