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Why Many Women Fail At Taking Care Of Themselves, And What You Can Do About It

Updated: Jul 25, 2023


Have you ever had an epiphany that changed the trajectory of your life? Well yeah, that happened to me three weeks ago, and is why I'm two weeks behind with my 'self-care' series. I'll tell you all about that in a few weeks, though. I cannot wait... so excited! But enough of that, let's get back to the subject at hand. And even if it takes me until April, I promise, I'll finish it.

Welcome back to my series on 'self-care'. For the month of March, my intention was to do a weekly post on self-care. However, as stated above, I got side-tracked juuust a little. In my first post we discussed the importance of self-care and some signs that you may be in serious need of starting your own ASAP. You can read all about it here. So let's get started with the second post in this series.

Even when you know how important self-care is to your wellbeing, it isn’t always easy to incorporate it into your daily routine. In fact, many women fail when it comes to taking care of themselves. And because it doesn't go right the first time, they all but give up. For the next few minutes, we’ll look at why women usually fail at self-care and what you can do about it.

It's Often Viewed As Selfish

One of the major reasons people fail to take care of themselves is because they feel it is selfish. It could be that you feel guilty when you take time to focus on you. Or, you may worry what other people think, or that you are a terrible parent or spouse for not focusing solely on your family’s needs. Let me stop you there. It's a total lie that self-care is selfish. In my opinion, it is selfless. In fact, taking care of yourself first can help you be a better parent, friend, spouse, coworker, etc. The more you take care of yourself, the easier you’ll find it to take care of others. First, you'll be filled, therefore you'll be able to give more of yourself to those you care about. I don't care who you are, you'll never be able to give from an empty tank. It just ain't happening. Besides, you’ll be able to show your children the importance of self-care. Teaching them to take care of their own needs is a crucial life skill that will take them far in life and help them grow up to be happier adults.

It Requires You to Put Forth Effort

Yes, this is true and there's no getting around the fact that self-care does take some level of effort in the beginning. When you're not used to making taking care of yourself a priority, you’re going to need to make a few changes to your normal routine. Coming up with a self-care plan can feel like a second job at times, making it easy to put it off. However, there are ways to reduce this feeling of overwhelm. For example, focusing on one thing you want to improve at a time can really help. Maybe you’d like to start working out more. Scheduling time to exercise as soon as you wake up, for example, can be a great start. Or, if you’re looking to drink more water, focus on that goal first. If you break down your self-care tasks, it makes them much easier, reducing a lot of the effort and stress involved on your part.

It's Too Expensive

There's this misconception that taking care of yourself will cost you an arm and a leg. I'm here to tell you, that's not true at all. There are many things you can do to bring yourself joy, that cost you absolutely nothing. For instance, one of my favorites is an afternoon nap. Yep, adults need naps too. As a matter of fact, I just started doing this one, and I could kick myself for not starting it sooner, lol! But seriously, self-care doesn't require finances at all. In my Women's Guide to Self-Care, that I'll make available to everyone at the end of this series will contain many of those inexpensive self-care routines you can start immediately.

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You've Tried It Before and It Didn't Work

Everything doesn't work for everyone... that's true. And every one of us is different, which means we enjoy and dislike different things. When you look at examples of self-care, you’ll find a lot of them relate to things like reading a book or taking a hot bubble bath. And look, I get it, that's not everyone's cup of tea, so they might feel self-care isn’t for them. But that's the misconception about self-care. It isn’t just bubble baths, yoga, and meditation. It's anything that relaxes and takes care of you. Anything that lessens your stress and calms you down. So, if you find going for a run is a more effective way of feeling good, then that's your self-care, so go for it. If you find one self-care method isn’t working, try something else. There are no rules to this game. Keep trying until you find what works for you. Self-care should be personal to your own needs and what you like, otherwise it will feel more like a task than something you actually look forward to doing.

Not Enough Time

One of the biggest challenges many women face with self-care is finding the time to fit it into our busy schedules. When you live a busy lifestyle, it can seem almost impossible to find extra time to look after you. Especially now that more women than ever are venturing into entrepreneurship. This has added even more work for us to try to fit into our already busy schedules. And because this is one of the biggest obstacles when it comes to establishing and maintaining a self-care routine, we'll go more in depth into it next. So, how can you balance practicing self-care with a busy lifestyle? Below are some great tips you can follow.

  • Schedule it in. Yep, just schedule it in! You already do it with every aspect of your life anyway. Think about it, you schedule in everything else, so why not self-care? When you set a time to focus on yourself, you're more likely to stick to it. No matter how busy you think you are, there will always be time for self-care somewhere in your schedule.

  • Establish a morning routine. If you're struggling to find the best time of day to practice self-care, you might find it easier in the morning. If you’re a busy parent, you might disagree here but think about it. In the morning, you could get up just 30 minutes earlier, or 15 minutes if that works better. This can be the perfect opportunity to practice your self-care routine. Then again, as a parent you could also focus on self-care in the evenings when the kids have gone to bed. It doesn’t take long to implement it, so you should be able to squeeze it in somewhere.

  • Look at automating daily tasks. There are all kinds of gadgets and apps that can automate different areas of our lives. If you're constantly busy, you’ll find automating certain tasks can be a game changer. For example, you could switch from going to the grocery store to ordering groceries online. If you have items you frequently purchase, these can be added to your favorites list, making it easier to add them to your order next time. Doing your grocery shopping online can free up a lot of free time during the week that can be used on self-care.

  • Start small. You don’t have to start by completely overhauling your lifestyle. Instead, you can take small steps. Begin by taking just 10 minutes out of each day to focus on a self-care activity. Focus on developing one positive self-care habit at a time. Once you've mastered that, you can move on to the next task. By starting small, it makes it easier to fit it into your busy life. Many people mistakenly think they need to begin with at least 30 minutes a day. Whatever time you can free up for self-care is enough. and once you get started, you’ll find it easier to focus on self-care because of the benefits you'll experience.

Balancing practicing self-care with a busy lifestyle isn’t always easy. So I hope the tips above can give you some ideas to get you started. You can also find a lot of tips online from busy women just like you. Remember, self-care is essential to your health and wellbeing. So no matter how busy you are, you should always try to make time for it daily.

These are the most common reasons women fail to take good care of themselves. Sure, it can be difficult at first getting into the groove of a self-care routine. However, once you understand what and how important it is and fully embrace it, you’ll find it much easier to stick to it. Now, stay tuned for my next post in this series, where we'll talk about assessing the areas in your life where you need to take better care of yourself. But don't worry, I'll make it easy for you. By taking my "Self-Care Assessment", you'll be able to pinpoint exactly what areas of your life you need to work on, and find some ways to improve each one. Until next week, continue to... do you well!

Ephesians 2:10; 5:29, 1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20; 10:31, 3 John 1:2, Mark 6:31

All Rights Reserved copyright© 2012-2021 "The Cultured Life" blog by Michell Pulliam

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