The Balance Between Self-Care and Making Excuses

Recently I’ve been struggling to put words on the page. It’s the busiest season at work. I’ve been grieving the loss of a loved one. I’ve had some valid excuses. Stress and grief can both get in the way of creativity, and they drain you — so as you can imagine, I haven’t been feeling quite as creative as usual this month.

At first, I was proud of myself for taking a little break. I was prioritizing imperfection to make room for self-care, giving myself time to reboot and rebalance — all of the things I’ve touted as smart ways to take care of yourself.

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve tried to sit down and work on some writing, but the more time passes between blog posts, the more the self-doubt starts to creep in. What if my writer’s block doesn’t let up? What if what I write isn’t “good enough”? 

When I realized that fear-based thinking was becoming the driving force for not writing — as opposed to intentional self-care — I knew I had to stop making excuses.

Don’t get me wrong — self-care is SO important. Sometimes you need a large, healthy dose of it to get back on track or feel better about yourself. Maybe it’s an indulgent meal, or a nice long nap, or a splurge at the spa. But when your self-care starts to equate to 10 unhealthy pounds, or a wasted weekend, or bloated credit card bill, it might also make you feel worse — and that defeats the purpose!

As always, it’s a balance. Sometimes a little bit of guilt comes with our self-care, and it’s our job to say “you’re wrong!” to those guilty thoughts to remind ourselves that THIS IS WHAT WE NEED. That said, when the guilt or the negativity builds up to an unhealthy amount, then it’s time to recalibrate.

So, here I am — recalibrating! No more excuses for me. I need to stop worrying about what’s “good enough” writing and just put some damn words on the page. Writing is therapeutic for me, and habits are healthy, so today I’m resolving to get back into my writing habit. Self-care isn’t always about relaxing. Sometimes it’s about kicking yourself back into gear (even if it takes one step — or one word! — at a time) to generate positive feelings like pride and confidence.


As I reboot my writing habit, I am resetting my standards. Although I loved my blogging sprint earlier this year, it’s clear that posting twice a week is a little much for me to maintain while still excelling at my full-time job and making time for my freelance design business. So now, my goal is to write a little bit every day, whether it’s just a paragraph or a full blog post — and I’ll share my thoughts whenever the time is right. I will be retiring my “Tip of the Week” series — instead integrating useful tips or ideas into every post.

In my next post, I’ll be sharing my thoughts about a book I read recently called The Power of Habit. As I work on the post, I invite you to consider this for yourself: Is there a habit you’ve lost that you want to bring back into your life? Or, what is a habit you wish you could cement but haven’t succeeded at yet?

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