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Here's why you're not the problem when it comes to struggling with self care

Let me ask you some questions and if you answer yes to any, then you need to keep reading!

  1. Do you find the idea of having to think about self care (even though you know it will help you) overwhelming?

  2. Do you feel so mentally drained at the end of the day that you're unable to make new choices?

  3. Do you find it hard to remain consistent and focused with self care?

If any of these apply to you then you need to hear this: YOU ARE NOT THE PROBLEM!

So many of my clients feel as if they are bad at self care or failing in some way because even though they want to support themselves, they just cant seem to. If like them, you beat yourself up and blame yourself or feel like you will never be able to support your mental health consistently then I want to explain something to you that will help:


Decision fatigue is something that is so helpful to understand because it explains so much about why we struggle to implement change, remain consistent and make good choices for ourselves. Let's start with the basics.

What Is Decision Fatigue?

In simple terms, we do not have an endless supply of mental energy, it gets drained throughout the day by various things meaning that the reserve of energy that's left for other unrelated tasks is depleted. One of the things that studies has shown depletes our energy reserve is decision making! This means the more choices you are having to make during the day, the less energy you are going to have for further choices as the day goes on.

How does this impact self care?

Research shows, that other things are impacted by a low mental energy reserve as well, such as our ability to exercise will power, to be persistent, to focus and to show self control. Interestingly, all of these behaviours (decision making, self control, will power and focus) are of course important when it comes to engaging with and maintaining self care.

So if you have found implementing and sticking to self care hard, you could be experiencing decision fatigue and a drained resource of mental energy, putting you in a position of being less capable of supporting yourself the way you want to.

What can you do about this?

Stress is one of the main causes of decision fatigue, ie being in a high stress environment having to make pressured or difficult decisions, but it isn't always easy or possible to remove or reduce the stress from our external environment. So instead I have adopted an approach to self care that works WITH our energy reserve rather than against it:


The best thing you can do to support yourself even with decision fatigue is take the most simple approach possible and pre-plan. You only need one to two acts of self care and as long as you have the magical ingredient of being MEANINGFUL, it doesn't need to be any more complicated than that.

Top tips for keeping it simple:

  • Make sure your self care has meaning - it isn't random and something you are doing just because you think you should or see it done by others. If it's not meaningful to your journey it isn't worth your precious energy

  • Don't engage in any more than two acts of self care

  • Pre-plan ahead of time (which wont take long if you only have one or two things to choose) and take away that 'in the moment' choice making that drains energy.

Download my free daily planner to help you keep it simple and easy, even in moments of decision fatigue!

The Simple Self Care Daily Planner
Download PDF • 6.07MB

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