How to Overcome Resistance and Prioritise Self-Care

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How to Overcome Resistance and Prioritise Self-Care

How to Overcome Resistance and Prioritise Self-Care

In simple terms, self-care is the action we undertake to look after ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally.


In simple terms, self-care is the action we undertake to look after ourselves physically, emotionally and mentally.

It incorporates essential acts of care needed to survive, such as eating well, keeping clean and getting enough sleep, but also includes things that nourish us personally. Things that comfort, calm and make us feel good.

These acts vary from person to person. Some of us feel drawn to creative pursuits or physical activities while others might prefer a combination of both or something different altogether.

Why Self-Care Can Feel Tricky

Self-care is far from easy. There are lots of reasons you may find it hard.

You might think it’s selfish, a luxury or an unnecessary time-suck. If you’re already struggling with your mental health, self-care requires you to act in the opposite way depression would like you too.    

Self-care often comes with connotations of being very girly and fluffy. Popular or trendy forms like spa days and shopping sprees can also make self-care seem expensive.  

Overcoming Resistance

‘It can be helpful to remember that exploring any resistance you encounter is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of yourself. It can also help you integrate self-care practices into your daily life on a long-term basis.’ – Sas Petherick

Clinical Psychologist Elisha Goldstein describes resistance as ‘relentless’. It’s deeply ingrained in our brains to move away from what might be uncomfortable and stay with what feels safe. Not only is this hardwired into most of us, we’ve practiced is so often that it’s strengthened the default.

The first step towards overcoming any resistance is to start noticing it whenever it appears. Understanding how resistance feels in your body helps you recognise the sensations of it, the thoughts surrounding it and behaviours it defaults you to that lead you away from your intention.

The moment you’re aware of it, you’re being mindful. This helps create distance between yourself and the resistance. It also allows you to weigh up what’s best for you in the moment, disentangling yourself from negative thoughts and feelings.

Once you’re aware of your resistance and can see it for what it is, try welcoming it and letting it go.                  

If You Do One Thing This Week…

Spend some time figuring out why you struggle with self-care. What thoughts or feelings prevent you from making it a priority? What do you fear will happen if you take time out to work on your wellbeing?

If you feel overwhelmed, keep things basic. Self-care can be as simple as zoning out in front of the TV for an hour, finding the energy to cook yourself a delicious meal or taking a short walk. Above all, remember you are worthy. Self-care isn’t superficial or indulgent, it’s essential.   

Further Reading/Watching/Listening

Self-Care Isn’t Just a Trend
No Nonsense Self-Care Ideas
Resisting Self-Care? You Are Not Alone
How to Practice Self-Care in 2018 for a Happier You
13 Realistic Self-Care Tips That Will Keep You Calm in Stressful Times
7 of the Best Self-Care Podcasts
Self-Care for the Real World by Nadia Narain

Until next time


Photo credit: Christopher Terry Photography

Make up: Make up by Jenni

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