Self care does not make you selfish

I am sick and tired of speaking to women who feel bad about doing something for themselves. It makes me angry that we are living in a society that creates feelings of guilt if a woman takes an hour out of their day to do something that makes them feel good. 

My favourite analogy is the one of the oxygen mask on the plane. They always tell you to put your own on first before you tend to others. It makes sense – what use are you to anyone else if you can’t breathe. The people who aren’t capable of putting their own mask on need you to help; you owe it to them to be responsible for yourself first. 

The people in your life – whether they are family members, friends or work colleagues – need you to be at your best, and unless you ditch the guilt and the feelings of selfishness around self care, you simply cannot thrive to your maximum capabilities. 

For me, the ultimate way to implement more self care in our lives is to find out what makes us feel good in life and do more of those things. They don’t have to be big extravagant routines that cost a lot of money and absorb a lot of time.

Ten simple ways to incorporate more self care into your day…

  1. Drink a glass of water before you check your phone on waking up. Put yourself before the rest of the world at least in those very first seconds on awakening.
  2. Eat a balanced breakfast containing delicious ingredients to set you up for the day. If you need some ideas, read my quick and easy energising breakfast ideas.
  3. Use your favourite beauty product at every opportunity – don’t ‘save’ these things for special occasions. The chances are they will run out of date before you get to use them! 
  4. Listen to your favourite music, or a podcast that inspires you, while you are doing a daily task.
  5. Put on your fave leggings (mine are the Sensation Tights) and take some time to exercise – even if it is just fifteen minutes. A short, brisk walk, or a few yoga stretches is enough to get the endorphins flowing. 
  6. Stand outside for at least five minutes and breathe in the fresh air. Even if it is just before you go to bed – allow these minutes for you, and you only. 
  7. Make a gratitude list of all the things in your day you can be thankful for. If you don’t have time to write them down – just say them out loud to yourself.
  8. Turn your phone off, or on to 'airplane mode', in order to unplug from social media and technology. The constant feeling of being ‘on’ is emotionally draining.
  9. Dare to dream – make a list of all the things you dream about doing and allow yourself to get excited about them. Even better take one teeny, tiny step towards making them happen!
  10. Remove the word ‘should’ from your vocabulary. It creates instant disempowerment. 

Self care is one of the most beneficial tools I have incorporated into my life, and it is the first thing I encourage my clients to think about when they are implementing any changes in their own lives. So I will repeat my earlier statement… just incase you need reminding…  self care does not make you selfish. 

Download your Self Care Manifesto and create your own list of non-negotiables.

Lauren Barber is a Business Mentor, Health Coach and Foodie who is passionate about health, wellness and helping people discover their true purpose in life. Visit laurensarahyoga.com for articles and healthy recipes.