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3 Things to Do When You Struggle with Self Care

Tiara Abu

What if I told you that self-care is not simply activities like manicures, pedicures and reading books? What if I told you that self-care is in fact, an act of mindfulness, an acknowledgement of your worthiness, and the deliberate act of making time and space for yourself? I know you’ve pinned the “10 Best Self-Care Tips” or read the article on, “25 Ways to Show Self-Care Today”. You can keep those and, in fact, here’s another one…FREE SELF CARE PACK. 🤷🏾‍♀️ But keep, reading and we are going to get a little more intentional about you prioritizing YOU, girlfriend!

“what are you doing to take care of yourself”

I remember sitting on the couch in my therapists’ office spilling out all of the reasons I was feeling overwhelmed and feeling like I was individually responsible for saving the whole world, with nothing but my will, grit and personal fortitude. After I ranted and ranted, she looked up at me from her notes, removed her glasses and asked, “what are you doing to take care of yourself”? Immediately, I’m thinking, What!? Is that some kind of joke? Is that a rhetorical question or was she seriously wanting me to answer that absurd and obvious question. “NOTHING, not a single thing. Who the hell has time for THAT”, was my response? She was not amused, and her blank facial expression could have been turned into a Miranda Priestly meme.

But I was serious. I felt like the number of things I was required to do on a daily basis to even call myself a mediocre mom, plus lead a team of people at work were enough to fill 24 hours of 365 days!

We spent my next couple of sessions with me learning how to take care of myself. Not by taking a spa bath, but by changing my mind about what I deserved and how to take care of myself by making the time to take care of ME. Between my therapist and Brené Brown, I did some serious learning and now I want to pass this on to you!

Here are the 3 things you MUST do to begin truly taking care of yourself, engaging in authentic #selfcare, and vibe your way to get that manicure!


You have to STOP saying you don’t have time for yourself. Every time you say that aloud or think it in your head, you are putting yourself in a life story where you, the main character, are not worthy. You must speak truth to power by exclaiming that you deserve and are worthy of love, time, freedom, silence and FOOD (admit it, we are all skipping meals out here saying we have no time 😒). In every great story, there is a HERO. Girl, you are the HERO in your life story. Nobody wants to bare the responsibility of the hero, no one wants the burden and many times the hero is like, “what, who, me? Are you sure it’s me”? Yes, honey, it’s YOU. You must pinky promise to “acknowledge that you are sacred”. Start by using this affirmation: I am worthy of the time and space I need to care for me. And this aspiration: I will work to make time for myself this week, even if it is 5 minutes of silent reflection.


You are a hero, which according to Google is a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities. It’s why we all love you! 💜 You are NOT a superhero, a benevolent fictional character with superhuman powers, such as Superwoman. I put that first because the sooner you know the difference, the better off you will be. You have many gifts and talents, but you don’t have the time, energy or brain space to use them all, every single day. You must stop believing that you can live up to other people’s definition of your excellence and create your own good enough. What if you let go of the ideal you and just focused on being the real you, imperfect but well put together, high achieving but realistically paced, beautiful but sometimes without eyeliner, master chef but every now the then the kids eat hot dogs. Try letting some of those balls drop and only pick back up the ones that matter most. And if you’re not that risky, try spending a day with your to do list. 1) Cross off things that you were doing because you felt bad. 2) Put a star by the things that you will have to sacrifice your basic needs to get done 3) Check mark things that can be done at a later date. Now, call the people impacted by what you crossed off and say, ”I’m sorry I committed, but I can’t right now”, get your friends, partner, kids, family or hired help to support you with the stars and open your calendar and schedule out those check marks. Last, put your cape in the closet because it’s not coming out until Halloween!


There are some things that you just cannot do anymore. You used to have time to be the team or classroom mom, but the time it takes to create the snack list, send it out and follow up with the parents who miss their day is time you could be hand washing your delicates because you want to look good in that lace. Girl, imagine actually having time to write your kids a note telling them how proud you are and showing up to the game just before it starts. You used to be the friend that always hosted the Book Club for Girls Who Drink Wine More Than Read Books. Honey, you can now be the one who spent more time on the wine you actually want to drink instead of the grocery store go to that you rushed to pick up when you forgot to get the party plates. One more…you used to work every single weekend. And because you are always trying to send that last email, you are late for every family function. Since you have to complete that report, you can never make it to dinner with your friends. As a consequence of your 7-day work week, you are ALLLLWAAAYSS tired. Set boundaries! You have to rope off your time, crime scene tape it…put up a do not enter sign! Just show up to the class party with the cupcakes you signed up for, offer to create the sign-up sheet and host book club on your month, girl manage your calendar such that you have sacred, meeting-free work time built in and STOP working every weekend!

That’s it, I’m done ranting. You can either change your narrative about your worthiness, put down your cape and set boundaries, or slowly (or quickly) deteriorate your physical, mental and spiritual health. Those are your options, friend. It’s as simple as that. I say these things with all the love I can muster.

Don’t forget your FREE SELF CARE PACK and leave us a comment about your thoughts on your self care!


Born and raised in Kansas City, MO (not Kansas), Tiara graduated from the University of Tulsa (B.S.) and Dallas Baptist University (M.Ed). Tiara is a career educator and leadership coach, who has a passion for abolishing injustice in education, coaching/mentoring leaders of color and empowering women to be their best.

Tiara is the founder and editor in chief of The Affinity Blog for women, mother to Ayden and Micah, wife to Austin, and lover of snickers and popcorn. Her favorite quote is from MLK, "injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere", she loves to write, talk and eat almost anything. When she retires (one of these days), Tiara plans to teach 5th graders, open a weekends only brunch restaurant, and rewatch every Marvel movie.


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