Do You Feel Guilty For Taking Care Of Yourself?


Would you feel guilty taking a vacation right now?

What about a break for a day at the beach?

How about a break during the day?

A massage?  Reading a book for fun?

It is perpetually astonishing to me that the top problem I see plaguing people these days in my work as well as my life is this—

Feeling guilty for taking time to feel good. 

Seriously. And not just guilt, but also anxiety, panic, a feeling of laziness or being “bad” for taking time to feel good!!!!

Even on the weekends!!!

As one person told me recently: I feel as though I’m working if I’m at least staring at my computer screen doing nothing.

But the more this person stares blankly into a glowing screen to assuage this sense of guilt, the more draining energy takes over, the more that “work” feel challenging and the more life feels like an enormous burden. Soon, work seems like torture. Soon, days feel like prison.

And yet, somehow that seems to be “virtuous” in a paradoxical way for so many people.

I’ve been there… pretending to be engaged. Dialing it in so that I didn’t feel like I was blowing off my work. But… soon my work sucked. Same for relationships… the more you force things, the more they suck. Same for anything that involves pouring yourself into something you don’t feel great about out of obligation and ignoring your own need for breaks, rest, play, sleep… and FUN!

So the question of the day:

Do you feel guilty for taking care of yourself?

And, here are a few very big – and some science-backed- reasons why you shouldn’t feel guilty for feeling good!


Some compelling reasons to take more breaks during the day and take better care of yourself… without guilt: 

1. Breaks for things like meditation make you more productive, happy and healthier. Of course, if you feel guilty, the last thing you will want to do is take fifteen or thirty minutes and sit down with your eyes closed to breathe.  Perhaps even to breathe and visualize better outcomes for your day, or daydream a bit.  What a waste of time, right?!

Well, here are 20 science-based reasons to start meditating.  The full article in Psychology Today is HERE but the exerpt specifically on productivity I am highlighting below for the sake of our conversation today:

It Improves Your Productivity (yup, by doing nothing)

16 – Increases your focus & attention

17 – Improves your ability to multitask

18 – Improves your memory

19 – Improves your ability to be creative & think outside the box (see research by J. Schooler)

*all the scientific research to back up each point csan be found HERE in the full article. 

 color wheel (via)

2. You need to take breaks to be a genius. If you do the same things every day, you become robotic and you don’t expand your brain function. While you might not immediately care about “expanded brain function”,  it has big implications.

– Something as simple as listening to music lights up parts of your brain that activate everything from your body’s motor functions and healing systems to the crative and dreamy parts of the brain.

– Creativity lights up your whole brain and the act of being creative is actually the act of making new connections between things we already know to some degree.  These connections tend to happen when we REST MORE, take time to PLAY more and even SLEEP more!  THIS fascinating science will help you to see the huge benefits of giving yourself time and space to creatively solve problems by resting! 



3. If you don’t replenish your energy, you will have nothing to give.  Welcome to the ancient art and science of feng shui and all of Traditional Chinese Medicine revered for thousands of years.  It boils down to common sense.

Think about it:

If you have a car that you keep driving but you refuse to do maintenance on it and you refuse to charge it up and you refuse to wash it… soon you won’t see out of the windows, soon it will break down and ultimately it will run out of gas and stop.

Of course it will.

But we are energetic beings too!  Not even in a woo-woo spirit sense, in a real physical way your heart beats on electric impulse.  THe exchanges between cells are charged with positive and negative ions.  This is all chemical reaction based on energy being moved through your life.   Stop eating, stop breathing, stop drinking and soon you will cease to exist at all.

Of course you will.  I know you might be thinking, “Yes, I know that.”

But yet, lots of us look at self-maintenance as some sort of frivolous luxury, yet daily self care is like maintenance on a car.  It’s washing the windows, putting air in your tires, keeping up with your oil changes… It’s the fuel you need to keep your brain strong, your body flexible… and yes, it can keep you happy!

And, in case you think happiness is a luxury, HERE’s some proof for you that happy people are more successful, too!

Idea for the week: Next time you feel guilty taking time for you, taking breaks, playing with art supplies, going on a big hike, taking a vacation, a nap or even a little break during the day to do absolutely nothing, do it double as long as you think you should.  Spend four hours instead of two on your morning hike, hanging out on a bench.  Paint for an hour  instead of messing around for a few minutes with some watercolors.  Double your vacation days off.  Take a bath that is an experience loaded with candles and lusciousness rather than a quick dip in the tub.

I bet you will find that the world didn’t fall apart because you took more time for yourself!  You likely just feel much better.

And if anyone makes you feel guilty for feeling better (you know: “Must be nice that you can just blow off real work and lay around on the beach…”) , well, THIS might be a good article for you.  Surround yourself with people who are happy that you are happy… not angry that you are happy!

Ready to enjoy the day a lot more…every day?!   xoxo Dana

P.S.: If you are ready for more space in your days to take care of yourself and your life… the de-cluttering season is here!   The FREE feng shui de-cluttering videos are coming soon and you can find them right HERE! xoxo !!! Dana


feng shui 101And, if you want to dive in to your own personalized feng shui in a modern, practical way, Say hello to Feng Shui 101.  Its the guide I made for you to create your own personalized feng shui at home, in the office, wherever you may be… in 8 weeks.  It’s not filled with strict rules or what you “must” do.  Its filled with information, questions, exercises and even videos and classes to help you confidently create amazing spaces with killer feng shui and live with more flow.   Learn more about the 8-week feng shui adventure & grab your copy to get started right HERE…   And, as always, please let me know what happens!


Kim October 25, 2014 at 10:22 pm


I just ordered your e-book as a gift to myself since I’ve been feeling so down in the dumps lately. I have big dreams, and I’m working towards them, but nothing is happening right now. Just reading the first few pages of your book has opened my eyes. My house is not a “home” – it’s just a place to live. I am getting started already – I’m making the changes necessary to get my energy and my home’s energy in the right place. Thank you!!

danaclaudat October 27, 2014 at 1:02 am

thats so awesome Kim! i’m thrilled to hear it and excited for your home-making!!!

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