Overcome your self-care stumbling blocks


Let’s start by breaking down what self-care really is and why our society is in desperate need of it. Self-care involves anything and everything to do with taking care of yourself. This includes eating foods that make you feel good, moving your body, making time for relaxation and, importantly, managing stress.

As a nation, we are consumed by stress and stress-related mental health conditions. According to the Mental Health Foundation,13.3 million working days are lost every year due to stress, depression and anxiety. Mental and physical health are complicated and we’re not suggesting that a little self-care is a cure-all solution, but we do know that taking care of ourselves better has a big impact on health and well-being.

Becoming more in tune with what your body and mind needs, listening to yourself and knowing when to slow down is key. These seemingly small actions help you deter feelings of stress and overwhelm, increasing your resilience and general mental strength.

So we know why self-care is important and how it helps us maintain both physical and mental health… but why do so many of us still not do it? There are a whole host of reasons people can give for not looking after themselves, we call these self-care stumbling blocks, and we want to help you overcome yours.

Overcoming your self-care stumbling blocks

To start with, try and identify why it is you don’t prioritise self-care. Take a look below for some common self-care stumbling blocks and how you can overcome them.


This is a common self-care misconception. A lot of us irk at the idea of thinking about ourselves before others. The term selfish has been tarred with negativity and we instead put everyone else’s needs ahead of our own. This can be especially true for parents, those caring for others and those in the healing industry.

And we understand, we really do. But, here’s the thing… if you don’t stop to look after yourself, your health will inevitably suffer. If this continues, if you don’t stop to rest, you will eventually need support and care from someone else – and you’ll be in no position to support others.

Consider self-care a necessity to ensure you are fighting fit and capable of supporting others. We all need a break from time to time.     


This is a sad statement for us to hear, but sadly it’s a common one. Some of us have grown up feeling unworthy of care, love or attention. If you feel this way, there are several things you can do, but working on your self-worthiness has to take priority.

You may find it helpful to speak to a professional like a counsellor and do some self-work to see where these feelings stem from. Journaling, meditation and practising self-care (even if you don’t feel worthy) can all help with this.

Please know that we are all worthy of love, care and support, especially from ourselves.


Life is fast-paced, we’re all busy, we’re all juggling what feels like a million things at once, so why should we add yet another thing to our to-do list? Well, the truth is – if you don’t have time for self-care, you probably need it more than anyone.

Being consistently time-poor is a sign that something isn’t quite right. Remember, you decide how much time you dedicate to certain things and how you prioritise, so set aside an hour for yourself to work out your priorities and where self-care can sit as part of that.


Again, being tired and overwhelmed is a sign that you need to prioritise self-care and be kind to yourself. Block out a little time in your diary to come up with a list of easy, actionable self-care activities you could do and put them in your diary like you would a doctor’s appointment.

How can holistic therapies form part of self-care?

Here at Therapy Directory we are passionate about the world of holistic, complementary and alternative therapies and feel these form an integral part of our self-care practice.

Therapies like massage, Reiki, reflexology and acupuncture can all be used on an ongoing basis to support our health and well-being. If you’re not sure which approach is best to support you, take a look at our therapies page and browse our fact-sheets explaining what each therapy is and how they can help.

You can then use our search tool to find a therapist in your local area and start investing in yourself and your self-care practice.

Self-care resources

From the Happiful team:

Over the next two weeks, Therapy Directory is initiating ‘Self-care Fortnight’, two weeks where we are encouraging you to embrace and practise self-care. We’ll be posting on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using #selfcarefortnight with lots of ideas and tips to help you overcome any self-care stumbling blocks you may have and provide self-care inspiration. Join us and let us know how you practise self-care!

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Written by Kat Nicholls
Kat is a Content Producer for Memiah and writer for Therapy Directory and Happiful magazine.
Written by Kat Nicholls
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