Overcoming Barriers to Self-Care

Overcoming Barriers to Self-Care

While the importance of self-care is widely acknowledged, many people still struggle to integrate self-care practices into their daily lives. Various barriers can make prioritising self-care difficult, from a lack of time to feelings of guilt or unworthiness.

In this blog, we will explore common obstacles to self-care and provide practical strategies to help you overcome these barriers and make self-care a consistent part of your life.


  1. Time Constraints

One of the most common barriers to self-care is a lack of time. With busy schedules and numerous responsibilities, it can be challenging to find the time to engage in self-care activities.

How to Overcome:

  • Schedule self-care activities: Treat self-care as a non-negotiable appointment in your calendar. Set aside dedicated time for self-care practices, whether it’s daily, weekly, or monthly.
  • Break activities into smaller tasks: If time is limited, break self-care activities into smaller, more manageable tasks. For example, instead of an hour-long workout, engage in three 20-minute sessions throughout the day.
  • Prioritise: Assess your current schedule and prioritise tasks based on their importance. Consider delegating or eliminating fewer essential tasks to create more time for self-care.


  1. Guilt and Unworthiness

Many people feel guilty or unworthy of taking time for themselves, believing that they should be constantly available to others or focused on work and responsibilities.

How to Overcome:

  • Challenge negative beliefs: Recognise and challenge any negative beliefs surrounding self-care, such as the idea that it is selfish or indulgent. Remind yourself that self-care is essential for your overall well-being and helps you better support others.
  • Set boundaries: Communicate your needs and limits to others, and practice saying no when necessary. By setting boundaries, you create space for self-care and give yourself permission to prioritise your well-being.
  • Cultivate self-compassion: Practice self-compassion by acknowledging that you are deserving of care and kindness, just as much as anyone else. Treat yourself with the same understanding and empathy that you would offer a friend.


  1. Financial Constraints

Financial limitations can make engaging in certain self-care activities, such as spa treatments or therapy, seem out of reach for some individuals.

How to Overcome:

  • Explore low-cost or free alternatives: Many self-care practices, such as meditation, walking, or journaling, can be done with little or no cost. Look for free or low-cost resources in your community, such as support groups or workshops.
  • Budget for self-care: If possible, allocate a portion of your budget to self-care activities. This demonstrates a commitment to your well-being and ensures that you have the financial means to engage in self-care practices.
  • Be creative: Find ways to engage in self-care activities that don’t require a significant financial investment. For example, create a DIY spa day at home, practice yoga using online videos, or spend time in nature.


  1. Lack of Awareness or Knowledge

Some people may not engage in self-care simply because they are unaware of its importance or do not know which practices to implement.

How to Overcome:

  • Educate yourself: Learn about the benefits of self-care and the various practices that can contribute to your overall well-being. Read books, articles, or blogs on self-care, or attend workshops or seminars to expand your knowledge.
  • Seek guidance: Reach out to professionals, such as therapists or coaches, who can provide guidance and support in developing a personalised self-care plan.
  • Experiment: Try different self-care practices to discover which ones resonate with you and best support your well-being. Remember that self-care is a personal journey, and what works for one person may not work for another


5. Overwhelm and Decision Paralysis

With so many potential self-care activities to choose from, some individuals may feel overwhelmed or unsure of where to begin, leading to decision paralysis.

How to Overcome:

  • Start small: Begin with one or two simple self-care practices, such as going for a walk or spending 10 minutes in quiet reflection. As you become more comfortable with these activities, gradually incorporate additional practices into your routine.
  • Focus on your needs: Consider your unique needs and preferences when selecting self-care practices. Choose activities that address specific areas of your well-being, such as physical health, emotional balance, or stress reduction.
  • Create a self-care menu: Develop a list of self-care activities that you enjoy and find beneficial. This “menu” can serve as a reference when you feel overwhelmed or unsure of which practice to engage in.


6. Lack of Support

A lack of support from friends, family, or colleagues can make prioritising self-care challenging.

How to Overcome:

  • Communicate your needs: Share your self-care goals with those close to you and explain the importance of self-care for your overall well-being. This can help foster understanding and support from your social network.
  • Seek out like-minded individuals: Connect with people who share your commitment to self-care, whether through support groups, online forums, or social activities. Surrounding yourself with a supportive community can help reinforce your self-care habits.
  • Be your own advocate: Remind yourself that self-care is essential, even if others do not fully understand or support your efforts. Practice self-compassion and prioritise your well-being, regardless of external influences.



Overcoming barriers to self-care is an important step in prioritising your well-being and leading a balanced, fulfilling life. By addressing common obstacles such as time constraints, guilt, financial limitations, lack of awareness, overwhelm, and lack of support, you can create space for self-care practices that nurture your physical, emotional, and mental health.

Remember that self-care is a personal journey, and it may take time to find the practices that resonate with you and fit seamlessly into your daily routine. Be patient with yourself and maintain a mindset of self-compassion and growth as you navigate the process of incorporating self-care into your life. By overcoming barriers and prioritising self-care, you invest in your own well-being and lay the foundation for a healthier, more resilient, and more fulfilling life.

Reach out if self-care is too difficult.

Overcoming your own perceptions of self-care can be difficult, especially if you are overly critical of yourself and failing. You need to remember that self-care practices that you can maintain, will be ones that fit effortlessly into your everyday life. Sometimes we try to force things that we don’t enjoy, or don’t work, and then feel a sense of shame that we couldn’t keep to it.

Negative self-talk can be the deciding factor to whether you can try to practice self-care, and that voice that tells you there is no point, and you will fail anyway.

Stop that negative self-talk. Reach out to your support system or an experienced psychologist to help. Begin your self-care journey with an experienced psychologist that can help identify where your limitations come from, and how to rise above them.

Our experienced psychologists at CBT Professionals, can help you strive towards self-care goals, to live your best life. Our Brisbane and Gold Coast offices are home to some highly skilled, knowledgeable, and professional psychologists, that can help you take that necessary steps to overcome the barriers that we set for ourselves.

Please download our referral form here and take it with you to your GP appointment for preparation of a referral.

Contact us now via telephone or online enquiry via www.cbtprofessionals.com.au to book.

Coomera – (07) 5551 0251

Nerang – (07) 5668 3490

Mount Gravatt – (07) 3102 1366

If you, or someone you know, required urgent help, please reach out to organisations like Beyond Blue. Or call the mental health helpline on 1300 22 4636. If this is an emergency, please contact 000 or visit your local emergency department.

We have also complied another blog that can help with your journey to self-care and taking care of yourself. See below:


Disclaimer: Firstly, content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Lastly, readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns.


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