Can We Not Feel Guilty About Self-Caring?

It is quite too common for me to get a text from family or friends asking to hang out during the weekend. Usually, it’s in the middle of a busy week – whether from work or other commitments – and a weekend filled with Netflix while working on a crocheting project is pretty much the only thing that is getting me through it. However, time and time again, I feel guilty about just wanting to chill. So, I either say yes, and go even though I am exhausted. Other times, I am honest with them by saying that no, I’m exhausted. 

Sometimes, people are understanding about it. Other times, not so much. 

Now, I understand that having a social life is really important. I also get that sometimes, you have times where you’re doing a ton of social engagements because it’s a certain time of year (i.e. the holidays), someone is in town that isn’t normally, or even just it’s someone’s birthday. 

That said, I also think that before we can do things for others, we do need to have it start at home. Yes, that means self-care. 

I personally think that the importance of self-care needs to be more normalized. I’ve had conversations with friends about the fact that they feel awful rejecting a social engagement because they need some time to themselves, whatever that may be. Newsflash – no one should get upset with you for saying no to a social plan because you just need a night. I mean, if you hurt your leg, would you be expected to be going out to drinks instead of icing it or getting an X-Ray to make sure that it’s taken care of? 

I don’t think so.

Furthermore, I would much rather be upfront with someone if I am feeling overwhelmed and need a night, versus making plans and cancel them last minute. I think that shows a lot more respect for the person and their time. 

However, that said, I do think that the person on the other end of the conversation needs to show respect as well. For example, if a friend says that they are unable to make plans because they need a night to just slow down and practice whatever self-care they need, then that needs to be respected – not met with “well, can you do it another night?” or “well, I really want/need to do this and it’s been a while since I saw you so . . .” 

I am going to be honest here. I am the type of person who needs a few minutes to recollect myself. I guess that is the Cancer in me. That said, I sometimes get overwhelmed whenever my social calendar gets too full. 

While I recognize that I am the type of person who gets overwhelmed when my calendar way too easily, I am also the type of person who can feel guilty for disappointing someone as well. 

However, I want to make this clear. It’s not as if I don’t want to socialize with someone. It’s just that I need a night to myself. 

What I’ve been doing to help create a healthy balance is to try to have one or two social engagements per week. That way, I can pencil time in for myself, but also try to make sure that I see my friends and family. I think that it’s really important to implement both sides of the coin – that way, you are being fair to both sides.

And, even though that I am creating this balance, I want to be clear. I still feel guilty about it, because I feel like I am letting the people in my life down. However, I have learned that lets me know. As much as I care about spending time with my loved ones, it is also important to me to ensure that I am taken care of – whatever that means.

Overall, I want to conclude with this statement that has been my rock for the past year: self care is not selfish. It is okay to take the time you need to take care of you. And, it is okay to say no to a night out because you need a night of self-care. 

Now, if you can get rid of the guilt that comes with this, that would be great. 

10 thoughts on “Can We Not Feel Guilty About Self-Caring?

  1. I always feel guilty if myself care isn’t productive– ie. I consider exercise self care but it’s also productive in keeping me healthy. I have a hard time just chilling


  2. Yes, I totally agree. Self care is very important, after all, how can you take care of others if you don’t take care of yourself first? When you take care of you, you have energy to give to others


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