How to stop feeling guilty for prioritising yourself

I feel guilty about prioritising myself

Does this sound familiar?

Do you ever go to the gym and wrestle with a feeling of guilt, and thinking you could be spending more time with the family or doing important chores at home?

Let me tell you, you are not alone. Over the last 3 years, Seven Movement has become so family-friendly that now over 60% of all our members are working mums, so hearing about these feelings has become the norm.  A week doesn’t go by without someone telling me about how they’ve struggled to get to the gym over fears that they should be doing something with their children. What I’ve realised is that many of these mums have something in common. They all tend to put their own needs last. These women are telling me they feel selfish that they are doing something for themselves.


I recently came across a lady called Cara Maksimow, a clinical social worker. She says that many people connect self-care with being selfish, and this is a stumbling block for many. Being selfish implies that we are doing something that makes us happier or better at the expense of others, even when that is not the case. It leads to the belief that if we take care of ourselves we are not taking care of others. But if we are not healthy and happy ourselves then our ability to care for others is diminished. When I read this, I thought this is exactly what some of my members need to hear.


You see there is another side to this story.


There are many mums at Seven Movement who don’t feel this way, they don’t feel guilty about going to the gym and doing something for themselves.


These mums have a different mindset.


They believe that if they don’t give themselves time to prioritise their own health and happiness, they feel more stressed and grumpy. Naturally, this in turn affects the whole family. Everyone agrees they want a happy and stress free mum!  So they schedule time where exercise is their priority and they make sure each week they get to the gym, for their own sake and that of their family. I hear things like, I need to be a role model for my kids, if they see me exercising and practising self-care then they are more likely to do it when they are older. Putting yourself first and making your health a priority is something that will benefit the whole family.

So the next time you think about missing a gym visit or deciding to quit altogether because you feel guilty, remember these points

  1. Self-care and putting yourself first is not selfish
  2. You will be less stressed if you exercise, which makes you a happier person
  3. You are a role model to your kids
  4. Feel guilty if you don’t prioritise yourself for once!

Plan your next workout now. Book a class, schedule a gym visit or a run. Pop it in your diary and let your family know you’ve got plans to exercise so won’t be at home.