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5 Ways to Drop the Guilt of Putting Yourself First

How to Enjoy Guilt-Free Self-Care

Do you ever feel guilty when you do something for yourself? If so, you're far from alone. It's hard to quiet the nagging inner voice that tells you to skip “me time” in favor of other responsibilities.

On the other hand, falling into a routine of putting everyone else's needs before your own can feel very natural. This is unfortunate, because self-care helps us recharge so that we can be better parents, partners, friends, and coworkers.

If you're ready to add some more self-care into your life, these 5 tips will ensure you stop feeling guilty.

1. Learn more about the importance of self-care

Learning more about the science of self-care is a great way to teach yourself how necessary these activities are. There's even established science that supports the importance of self-care , especially as it relates to stress.

Putting yourself first can improve your resilience to stressful things, which will prevent the negative physical and mental effects of chronic stress.

2. Give yourself permission to focus on yourself

It might sound silly, but try telling yourself, “It's okay to focus on me right now. I need this downtime to be the best version of myself.”

You don't have to use those exact words, but try to find a mantra that empowers you to take a yoga class, read a book, go for a walk, or whatever other self-care activities you need to feel rejuvenated. Repeat this mantra to yourself often, until you truly believe the words.

3. Remind yourself that the people you love and care about the most love you, too

Think about all of the most cherished relationships in your life. Next, spend a few moments thinking about how those important relationships are better when your loved ones are emotionally and physically well. When those people aren't getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising regularly, or doing enough of the things they love, the relationship suffers.

The same logic can be applied to you, too. When you get burnt out putting everyone else before yourself you can't be fully present in relationships. That's why your loved ones need you to focus on your own health and happiness, not just theirs.

4. Learn how to say “no” to demands on your time

Unfortunately, some of your loved ones may have a difficult time adjusting to your new focus on self-care. When this happens, it's helpful to acknowledge and honor your limits by setting healthy boundaries .

Boundaries are a major component of healthy relationships. They also show that you respect yourself. When you have self-respect, everyone else in your life is more likely to respect you, too.

5. Brainstorm quick ways to take care of yourself

Putting your needs first doesn't always require a big time investment. There are so many self-care activities that you can do if you're limited on time or money. Here are some quick articles you can read to get started on your new guilt-free self-care journey:

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