Do you believe you DESERVE self care?

How do you approach self care practices when you tell yourself you ‘should’ or when you say (about the same practices) you ‘deserve’ it?

I remember writing the introduction to the book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing back in 2016 and making it clear that each idea was simply an option, not yet more ‘shoulds’ for readers to beat themselves up about NOT doing.

And I routinely remind my clients and supervisees. And members of the Feel Better Every Day online membership programme.

Yet our conditioning goes deep (I often have to remind MYSELF. And this is the heart of all my work!).

Journal prompts

List your favourite self care practices and the ones you know to be beneficial for you even if they maybe take a bit more effort.

Look at different areas of your life — meditation, sleep, health, fitness, mental health and wellbeing, long held dreams, relationships, fun, social life, food, creativity and anything else…

Notice, as you read each item, whether you’re telling yourself you KNOW you ‘should’ do ___ every day/week etc.

Notice how those ‘shoulds’ feel in your body.

Is it a good feeling? Does it make you WANT to do more of it?

What about the more indulgent items? Or the ones where you experiment with saying you DESERVE to do them?

How do THEY feel, each in turn, as you notice how you feel in your body even THINKING about them?

Which attitude is more likely to help you amp up your self care?


Feel free to email to let me know what surprised you and what you’ll choose to do differently as a result.

And please feel free to share this post on your social media etc so others who may find it helpful can read it.

Originally published at



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Eve Menezes Cunningham

Eve Menezes Cunningham

Author of 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing | journalist | coach | trauma informed therapies | supervision etc ~