4 Reasons why self-care doesn’t work

Some people find it hard to develop a self-care routine because they believe that self-care doesn’t work. However, there may be several reasons and I give 4 of them below.

1. Being too ambitious

We might set our sights too high initially and set goals that are unachievable, at least at the beginning. For example, someone might start an exercise regime and set themselves a target to exercise 5-6 days a week.

However, this might be too high a frequency for someone just starting out. The danger is that 5-6 days a week will be too much and they may end up quitting.

Don’t do too much too soon. Start off with small achievable targets and build up from there. Better to do it that way than to aim too high and get dishearted when it gets tough.

2. You might not know what will make you feel better

At this stage, you might not be aware of what self-care strategies will work for you. You might try a few, not enjoy them and then give up.

Think of this as experimentation. Try out different things to see what resonates with you. We’re all different, so our interests will vary.

There’s no point in continuing with something you don’t enjoy. When you find something you really enjoy, you’re more likely to stick at it.


I also made a video on this topic, which you can watch here.

3. You aren’t consistent with your self-care

When working with clients, I get quite a few who say that the self-care strategies they’re trying aren’t working. However, when we explore it a little deeper it turns out that they’re not being consistent with their self-care routines.

Consistency is key if you want to see results. Doing something once but then nothing for a week or two means you are less likely to see the benefits of your self-care regime.

As with point 1, starting off small will help you to be consistent. Give things a good go before you assess whether or not they’re effective.

4. You don’t have the support

Sometimes we might need support from others in order to do our self-care activities. For example, we might need our spouse or a family member to watch our children while we take some time out.

It can be difficult to do certain self-care activities if we’re reliant on others, but sometimes there’s no way around it. It might be worth considering whether another self-care activity would be easier to do for the time being.

I hope this has helped you think about why sometimes self-care doesn’t work. Are there any strategies you’ve used that have helped increase the impact of your self-care routine? Let me know in the comments!