By Sarri Gilman, LMFT

One of biggest barriers I see with healthy self-care, balancing the mind, body and doing the things you “know” are good for you, the obstacle of selfishness. There are a couple of hurdles everyone needs to jump if they are going to self-care.

The hurdle of making the time.

The hurdle of holding yourself accountable.

The hurdle of investing in you.

I’m going to jump all of these hurdles and focus on the emotional hurdle of feeling “selfish” when you take time to take care of you.

Only very aware caring people have to jump this hurdle. Not everyone feels selfish when they make space in their own lives for what they need.  Not everyone feels guilty when they need to say No, replenish, rest, refuel, balance, set boundaries, and be healthy.   However, if you feel bad taking care of you, let’s take a closer look at what that means and how to free yourself.

Selfish is probably one of the most hurtful words used against you. Most likely spending time thinking about other people and being as helpful and supportive as possible. But what if you turned some of this helpful, caring, support inward, do you call it selfish?

When you turn caring towards yourself, it is still helpful, generous, thoughtful, caring AND add one more word, it is healing.  Self-care is part of the system of self-repair and healing. It is a way you repair yourself from the hurts and pain, fears, trauma, wounds, illness you experience.  Self-care is self-repair. If you do self-care regularly, it is preventive as well. It makes you stronger. It allows you to actually offer the world and others more, not less.

Doing self-care and self-repair does often require turning off your phone, stepping away from responding to help others for time to care for yourself. You need to turn that helpful, thoughtful time onto you creating activities that are nurturing. You may not even know what you need for your own self-care.  If you need assistance and further understanding of self-care, click here to my website and get started.


Sarri Gilman, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist since 1986, during which she was an Executive Director for several non-profits for 20 years, 7 years teaching leadership to managers and executives. She is an author, community leader and creator/founder of the Transform Your Boundaries® and Naming & Taming Overwhelm workshops.