Self care is a necessity, not a luxury.
Sufficient sleep, exercise, healthy food, friendship, and peace of mind are necessities, not luxuries.
I come from a background and culture that’s heavily influenced by what others think thus in turn leading to people pleasing, putting others wants and needs before your own (however big or small), and a general sense of martyrdom and sacrifice, especially for women, making it seem like if your having a good time, your obviously doing it wrong!
I’m at a point where I’ve had time and space to reflect and work on myself, and come to the understanding that the way I was going about my life was incredibly dangerous for my body, mind and soul. I would skip and compromise on many aspects (which I now realize were necessities not luxuries) because it didn’t quite work with those around me, what they wanted, their schedule etc.
The most important person in your life is you. Basic things to keep your mind and body functioning healthily is a minimum and anything on top of that is wonderful! And if you do have dependents, remember you can’t serve from an empty vessel. Fill your cup to the brim before you give to others. It's no wonder so many of us feel empty when we’re giving out so much without contributing to ourselves.
I think having a good morning and evening routine is a wonderful way to start and end the day but also ensures you have a set time in the day which is just for you with no distractions. You can use this allocated time everyday to do YOUR thing, whether that's meditating, praying, reflecting, journaling, reading, learning, exercising, preparing breakfast, having a quiet cup of coffee/tea and/or winding down to/getting out of bed mindfully. Giving yourself these anchor points and consistency will have a positive, domino effect in other areas of your day and your life. It's a wonderful thing to give yourself!
So when it comes to doing what’s best for your mind, body and soul, it’s ok to say no. Don’t put yourself through so much harm just because the other person will be upset, it’s honestly not worth it babe. You have no control of how they experience things, it's up to them if they’re going to be understanding or upset. Do what’s necessary for you.