Let the Guilt Go!


Why? Why do so many of us feel so guilty when it comes to doing things for ourselves? Research has shown that habitual guilt is more common in women than in men, and I really noticed this during my yoga retreat last week.
One of the common themes in several conversations we had centered around how much we all do for the important people in our lives (kids, partners, parents, friends, coworkers) and how when we do something for ourselves, it is overshadowed by that voice in our heads saying. . . “I shouldn’t be doing this.” Many shared that taking time away from their busy lives for a few days to be in Miami for fabulous yoga, great food, and female bonding felt indulgent, maybe a little selfish, and yes, made them feel guilty.
The truth is, as women we tend to be controlled by what we “should” be doing—yet self-care needs to be included in what you “should” do. The more you avoid taking time for yourself, and doing things that make you happy, the more tired and resentful you’ll feel—and the less you’ll have to give to others.   
Technique of the week: Begin to notice when you ruminate about things you "should or shouldn’t" be doing—awareness is the first step toward any kind of change. Then make sure to build in small acts of daily self-care (10 minutes alone, a short nap, a class you may want to take). Work up to something more—maybe a night or two away (doing something you love) if possible. Take baby steps and little by little you’ll recognize the value of letting the guilt go! The most important thing? Recognize and believe that you are WORTH it!

Melissa Garson