Here’s WHY You Resist Self-Care


A young white woman, Sarah Galeano, has her fingers holding an X shape towards the words SELF-CARE. Sage green background. Gold and white Galeano Massage logo.

Have you wanted to start implementing a self-care routine but found that in the end, you resist performing your self-care? Well, you’re not alone. Many hard-working individuals find that the idea of self-care sounds good yet carrying it through doesn’t seem to work for them.

There are multiple reasons why you may resist self-care such as lack of time, over-scheduling, low motivation, uncertainty, low self-love/worth, overcommitment, procrastination, and low self-esteem. Some people need to learn why and how they should practice self-care.

We are going to learn why self-care is so important for every individual and explore the reasons you may be resisting self-care. Keep reading to see if any of these possibilities apply to you and what you can do to change!

Why We NEED Self-Care

Many of us have so many responsibilities every day that we feel like we’re on a hamster wheel, unable to make any progress and feeling like it’s just never-ending. Life is going at a mile a minute and most of us don’t take the time to stop and analyze how we’re using our time.

Do you remember when you were a kid? It seemed like there was time for EVERYTHING. Breakfast, school, lunch, homework, chores, playtime, dinner, bath time, dad or mom reading a good night storybook, ALL while getting to bed at 8 pm? (Well…for me it was more like 10-11 pm. I’ve ALWAYS struggled with insomnia)

Looking back, maybe we just didn’t realize how much our parents or guardians were doing for us behind the scenes. We can even wish we would’ve known how much they worked so that we could have done more to help them.

Why did your parents care for your needs so well? You were a growing kid and needed proper rest, nutrition, hygiene, and physical activity to be healthy and happy. Have these needs suddenly disappeared now that we’re adults? Not at all! If anything, these needs have only increased as we’ve grown up.

Truth is, we all need proper and adequate rest, sleep, nutrition, physical activity, hygiene practices, and socialization. When we don’t get these things in the amount that we need them, we can start to feel off balance and develop the mental, emotional, and physical symptoms of chronic stress.

Just like a plant needs certain nutrients, environment, and even rest, to grow and flourish, our body and mind need certain things to feel and work their best! We are human and our needs haven’t changed. Even our microbiome and digestion of food need us to be in a calm state (mind and body) to work properly.

A Psychiatrist presents on the Today Show why taking off work is good for us-“The Benefits of Being Lazy”

What Happens When We Don’t Practice Self-Care?

Have you ever wondered what would happen if you didn’t keep up with all the things that you need to do to take care of your husband, kids, mom, dad, siblings, job/boss, pets, and friends? Do these thoughts keep you determined to overcome the pain and exhaustion of a hectic schedule and just keep on truckin’?

Despite what popular productivity culture may teach us, none of us were designed to be productive 24/7. None of us, even the most diligent and hard-working among us should NOT be working ourselves into the ground every day. This is what many have termed as “Toxic Productivity”.

The biggest problem with over-working and not taking care of yourself is BURNOUT. Burnout is something that is now a clinical diagnosis that a medical healthcare professional can make. It is defined as “physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion, accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes towards oneself and others”-according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Signs of burnout include but are not limited to fatigue, insomnia (tired but wired), forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention, chest pain, headaches, frequent illness, loss of appetite or overeating “comfort” food, anxiety, and depression.

If you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of burnout, please contact your healthcare provider so you can get the help you need. If you are on the verge of burnout, start reversing the trajectory so you can recover from overexertion and learn to prevent burnout by taking care of yourself.

Why YOU PROBABLY RESIST Self-Care

You may feel that if you took a break the whole system would come crumbling down and everyone that was counting on you would not only be disappointed in you but even start to hate you. Well, the truth is you’re not responsible for other people’s emotions. What you think your responsibilities are might be either because you were told by all these people that it was your responsibility or you assumed the responsibility for yourself.

LOW SELF-WORTH/SELF-LOVE-If others, even those we love, are taking advantage of us, knowing that we’ll pick up their slack, it’s up to us to acknowledge this and set and enforce the appropriate boundaries. Make a list of everything you do go back through the list and tick off everything that is not actually our responsibility to do. Hand over whatever responsibility isn’t yours. This may upset others but they will learn to do it for themselves.

If we have resumed the responsibility of others, we must look at our motives behind this. Do we feel that others will love us if we earn their love by doing things for them? Do we lack respect for others and their ability and responsibilities that belong to them? It’s important to identify why we are taking on too much so we can make the right changes. Performing self-care is self-love and it will make you a better person to everyone.

POOR SCHEDUELING-We may feel like at the end of the day we just don’t have the time or the energy to practice self-care. This is the problem. Don’t schedule your self-care at the end of the day after everything else feels done. Reframe your mind to see self-care as a priority and something you start doing at the start of your day extending to the close of the day.

If you feel like you just aren’t able to stop performing tasks to do stretches for your sore muscles, eat a meal, drink some water, or get outside in the sunshine for 10 minutes, it’s time to change the routine. Start a schedule from scratch and schedule in doable bite-sized self-care activities FIRST, then schedule in all the other responsibilities and cut back on the time you devote to these secondary activities so you can make sure that you’re not neglecting your self-care by over-committing.

NOT KNOWING HOW OR WHY-It may be that the term “self-care” is somewhat new and vague to you. Much less what makes something “self-care” if I don’t even know what that is. Self-care is any practice, action, or ritual that you do for yourself because it feels good and nurturing to you. It’s what gives you life! Here are some self-care practices that you can incorporate into your life:

  • Sleeping enough (6-10 hours per night)
  • Drinking enough water
  • Eating all your meals and snacks when you’re hungry
  • Going outside for sunshine
  • Doing physical and mental activity you love
  • Taking a desk break to stretch and grab a comforting drink
  • Spending time with friends
  • Doing a hobby you enjoy
  • Bathing
  • Self-massage
  • Taking a rest in the day when you feel tired

The list literally goes on and on.

I want to give you a warning, something to beware of, is the self-care routines you find online in articles and videos. I see a lot of very young guys and gals (some not so young) showing us how they force themselves to wake up at 5 am to start a very regimented and ridged series of repugnant “health tonics”, exercises, journaling, meditating or reading, in the spirit of making us believe this is what we have to do to feel good. This is “Toxic Self-Care” and it isn’t sustainable or healthy for most people.

Now that I have presented you with multiple reasons why you may be resisting self-care, I hope that you will be able to start dealing with the obstacles so you can start taking care of yourself.


MEDICAL DISCLAIMER

The content in this article is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to provide medical advice or to take the place of medical advice or treatment from a trained qualified physician. All readers/viewers of this content are advised to consult their doctors or qualified health professionals regarding specific health questions. Neither Galeano Massage nor the publisher of this content takes responsibility for possible health consequences of any person or persons reading or following the information in this educational content. All viewers of this content, especially those taking prescription or over-the-counter medications, or supplements or those diagnosed with a medical illness should consult their physicians before implementing any of the self-care advice in this article.


Sarah

I've been practicing Massage Therapy since 2014. I'm a health and wellness enthusiast. I'm always learning and experimenting with different techniques, recipes, and healing modalities. I believe that we need to approach health and wellness from a WHOLE-listic point of view and understand that it will constantly be changing and is never stagnant. We are all unique and what works for one person will not necessarily work for another person. As I grow, change, and experiment I will share what I have learned as it may help someone else in need.

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