How to Create Time for Self-Care Without Feeling Guilty

Life can get pretty hectic. Between work, family, and all the other responsibilities, it can be tough to find time for ourselves. And when we do finally get a moment to ourselves, we often feel guilty for taking it.

However, taking time for ourselves is crucial for our well-being. It helps us recharge and come back to our responsibilities with renewed energy.

(Short on time? Jump to a quick yet helpful summary of this post!)

When you take care of yourself, you have more:

  • Energy
  • Patience
  • Compassion (for others AND yourself)

Overall, this precious and necessary time is meant to give you a little breather from the stresses of life. Self-care positively affects your mind, body, and soul.

Taking care of yourself does not mean neglecting your responsibilities or being lazy. Rather, it means making sure that you are physically, mentally and emotionally healthy so you can handle the demands of everyday life.

How to get around obstacles to self-care so you can return to responsibilities with renewed energy.

Overcoming Obstacles to Self-Care

Do you have lots of reasons (or maybe excuses?) for why you can’t take time for self-care? You’re not alone. Many people struggle to make time for themselves.

Let’s take a look at common obstacles, and how to get around them.

  • “I don’t have enough time.”

    Thinking you don’t have enough time for self-care is a sign that you’re prioritizing other things above yourself.

    The truth is, it’s really a matter of how we choose to use our time. Self-care can be as simple as taking a few minutes to meditate, stretch, or read a book. It doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment, and it’s important to remember that taking care of ourselves will ultimately make us more productive and efficient in the long run.
  • “I can’t afford it.”

    Good news! Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive.

    There are plenty of free or low-cost options, such as going for a walk, doing yoga at home, or journaling. (If you want some activity ideas, check out my 31 Simple & Free Self-Care Activities for Busy Women.)
  • “I don’t know how to do it.”

    Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated nor mean expensive spa days (although it can be). It can be as simple as taking a bubble bath, reading a book, or going for a walk.

    Self-care is different for everyone because we are all different. The key is to find what works for you and make it a regular part of your routine. Start small and experiment with different self-care activities to find what you like and what works best for you.

    Browse this list of great products available on Amazon that promote self-care – gift a few to yourself!
  • “I’m too tired.”

    Even more reason to take time for yourself! Self-care can actually help boost energy levels and improve sleep. Taking time for yourself can reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can lead to increased energy levels.

    Fitting in even 10 minutes of a consistent daily self-care activity will help make you feel better, feel less stressed, and feel more motivated to take on daily responsibilities. 
  • “I don’t have anyone to do it with.”

    While it can be more fun to engage in self-care activities with others, it’s not a requirement. You can still take care of yourself even if you’re flying solo.

Do you have any other obstacles that keep you from a self-care routine? Leave it in a comment and lets find a solution for you!

5 Tips to Take Time for Self-Care Without Feeling Guilty. Woman reading on couch.

5 Tips to Take Time For Self-Care Without Feeling Guilty

People often prioritize work, family, and other responsibilities over self-care, which can lead to feelings of burnout and stress.

But how can you carve out time in your busy schedule for self-care without feeling guilty?

1. Shift the Way You Think About Self-Care

Now that you know the importance of self-care, give yourself permission to take time for yourself.

Instead of guilt, shift your thoughts about self-care to that of well-deserved time to focus on and care for yourself. If you take care of yourself, the people you love will benefit because your mindset will be more healthy and happy to then handle other life demands. It’s a win-win!

Stop putting energy into feeling guilty for taking time for yourself, and start creating a guilt-free, daily self-care routine that works for your life.

As the saying goes… You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first.

2. Prioritize Self-Care

Just like you would schedule a meeting or a doctor’s appointment, prioritize time for yourself by scheduling it. Put it in your calendar and make it non-negotiable.

This will help you to make self-care a habit and make it feel less like a selfish luxury and more like a necessity.

3. Set Boundaries

Practice saying no to things that don’t align with your priorities or that are draining you. Saying no doesn’t make you a bad person, it means you’re taking care of yourself.

(Related Reading: How Saying “No” Protects Your Precious Time, Energy, and Happiness)

4. Small Chunks of Time

If you can’t find a whole hour for yourself, that’s okay. Take 10 minutes here and there throughout the day to do something for yourself. It all adds up and you will reap some benefits.

Set yourself up for success and start by aiming for at least 10 minutes of self-care 3 or 4 times per week. As you get better at finding dedicated time for yourself and as you feel the benefits, you can increase it to a daily routine.

5. Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help… and be willing to accept help! Ask your partner, family or friends for help with tasks or responsibilities so you can have some time for yourself. Help them understand how their support will help you, and ultimately also benefit them as you’ll have more energy to give them. Tell them what you need!

You can also team up with someone who you can support each others’ self-care goals.

Self-Care in a Nutshell

Self-care is one of those things that can easily fall by the wayside, especially when life gets busy. Yet it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Not only does it help keep you physically and mentally healthy, it also helps you be a better version of yourself.

Remember, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive, time-consuming, or complicated. It’s about finding what works for you and making it a priority in your life. You’ll be surprised how much it can improve your life and the lives of the people around you.

By shifting your mindset about self-care along with making self-care a priority, setting boundaries, breaking it down into small chunks of time, and asking for help, you can create time for yourself without feeling guilty. So, go ahead, schedule that yoga class, read that book, or enjoy a a long chat with a friend. You deserve it!

Additional resource: Tony Robbins has some additional thoughts about self-care and prioritizing yourself.