What to Do When Self-Care Feels Like a Burden

When even the three-minute breathing space feels like work, we may just need to give ourselves a break.

Photograph by Feeh Costa/ Unsplash

Sometimes I’m just too tired to run through my self-care things and I know it’s a bad cycle, but I work as a nurse and some days, I just can’t do it.

Self-care can feel like a burden. We can get lost in the gap between where we are and where we think we should be. So, when you’re too tired for self-care, try the three-minute breathing space.

First, check in with where you are, what is here for you right now in thoughts, emotions, the body. Just get to know your current experience, wanted or unwanted. Then narrow the attention to the sensation of breathing, the rising and falling of the abdomen with each in-breath and out-breath. And finally, widen the attention to the entire body around the breath, taking in any and all sensations. This brief inquiry into our own experience can give us the awareness we need to be able to take care of ourselves and others.

When even the three-minute breathing space feels like work, we may just need to give ourselves a break.

When even the three-minute breathing space feels like work, we may just need to give ourselves a break. Forget the big self-care list. What is a small thing you can do? It might be something that you might not think of as particularly healthy if it was to become chronic, but what are the things that make you feel good? When you’re tired, choose something small and manageable, and let it be enough.

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