Guilt About Self-Care

One of the first emotions to come up when we think about practicing self-care is guilt. Right? Think about it… when I ask you to take time to practice breathing, tapping, or guided relaxation, what’s the first thing that comes to your mind? Here are some responses that I have heard:

“I couldn’t possibly take the time each day just for myself.”
“There is too much else I need to do at work and for my family.”
“I don’t have time.”
“I can’t afford to take a class just to take care of myself.”

Notice a pattern? It’s all about taking care of everything and everyone else.

Notice the word “just” mentioned twice? When used in that context, “just” minimizes us and our importance in the world. It means that we don’t value our worth. Take a moment to think about how much you do each day. You do enough. You ARE enough. And you ARE worthy of taking care of yourself. “Yes, but…” I heard that!

So even though intellectually we may know that we do enough for others, we still feel guilty when we think about doing something for ourselves, like self-care. Let’s take two minutes to tap about that. (Here’s the EFT Basic Recipe with a diagram of the tapping points if you’re new to tapping.)

Think about how intense your feelings of guilt are right now when you think about practicing self-care, on a scale of 0 to 10, where 0 is no guilt at all, and 10 is maximum guilt. Write that number down on a piece of paper or in your tapping journal. Take a slow, calming breath, and let’s tap!

Starting on the side of the hand:

“Even though I feel guilty for even thinking about taking time for myself, I accept myself anyway.
Even though I feel too guilty to actually do anything just for myself, I accept myself and how I feel.
Even though there’s no time or money for self-care, that’s just the way it is for me right now.”

Tap through the other Basic Recipe points now and repeat these reminder statements:

Top of the Head (TOH): “I feel guilty when I think about taking care of myself.”
Eyebrow (EB): “I couldn’t possibly justify the time or the money just for me.”
Side of the Eye (SE): “I have too much to do already.”
Under the Eye (UE): “Who am I to take time for myself?”
Under the Nose (UN): “I feel guilty even thinking about it!”
Chin (Ch): “What would people say?”
Collarbone (CB): “They’ll think I’m being selfish.”
Under the Arm (UA): “I feel so guilty and selfish.”

TOH: “I wonder if I can look at this in a new way.”
EB: “If I take a little time for myself each day, I could show up better for others.”
SE: “You can’t pour from an empty vessel.”
UE: “And I know that’s true.”
UN: “There are times when I’m at my breaking point.”
Ch: “How can I take care of others if I’m not even thinking clearly?”
CB: “Maybe I can consider taking better care of myself,”
UA: “As a way of taking better care of others.”

TOH: “I know this might be hard at first.”
EB: “But I know in my heart it’s the right thing to do.”
SE: “I AM worthy of self-care.”
UE: “Baby steps to taking care of myself.”
UN: “I’m ready to start today with my self-care practice.”
Ch: “Building it slowly and knowing I need and deserve it. ”
CB: “Practicing self-care is not selfish.”
UA: “It helps me be stronger for myself and others.”

Take a slow, calming breath and estimate your level of guilt now (0 to 10) about practicing self-care. Write that number down next to your original number. Repeat more tapping rounds as needed to get your number as close to 0 as possible.

And here’s the fun part: planning your first step toward self-care. So many options!  What will you choose? Let me know by sending me an email! And if you need help with how to start, I’m here. It’s okay to ask.

Keep Calm and Tap On!

Please remember: It's important to contact a professional if things feel too big for you, whether it be a physician, psychologist, psychiatrist, or certified EFT practitioner. Never discontinue your current medications without first consulting your doctor.