There are no easy 1,2,3's of why it is so difficult for me to spend time on myself. I can echo the usual responses of: I'm too busy. There is too much to do. Other's are expecting me to perform, to produce. These can all be true. Maybe it is unique to women, but I think not. I believe we all have difficulty taking time for ourselves because we feel it might be considered selfish.
From our young days we were instructed to "not be selfish". (thinking only of self). Children don't seem to have a problem with thinking of themselves first and foremost, this comes naturally. Until the instruction from adults come and interrupt their worlds. Teaching how to put others first. I think maybe we are cautioned so much to think of others, that thinking of ourselves becomes a "no-no".
For those who struggle with perfectionism, and doing things "right", taking time for oneself is usually considered "selfish". Of course, this is not true. But if perfectionism is a challenge that you face, then accurate thinking is already being distorted by your need for the highest standard attainable. One of the problem's with this standard is, it can never be reached. , Even if one tried to their utmost, they would still fall short, because in their mind, perfect is really never attainable. It is like a mystical place. It cannot be fully realized. It is a mirage of the mind.
So how does one settle the argument of selfish versus self-care? For me, this continues to be a life long learning experience because I am a "recovering perfectionist". I'm continually "tripped" up by the enemy who would deceive me into thinking that I must not give myself one iota of a thought, for that would be selfish. The truth however, is that I am LOVED with an abiding, unchangeable, unimaginable love. God loves me so much and is constantly thinking about me;(Psalm 139: 17-18 NLT). He desires that I walk in truth and not deceit;(3 John 1:4 NLT). He desires that I spend time with him;(Song of Solomon 7:10 NIV.) He wants me to care for my body;(1 Cor. 6:19-20 NLT). He desires for me to rest;(Heb.4:10 NLT). And the LOVE list goes on.
I'm continually learning how to practice self-care each and every day. One of the ways of taking care of myself, is taking time out for me. Actually, "scheduling", me time. Listening to the Holy Spirit whisper to my soul. That is where I always need to start, and then find things that restore my spirit, mind and body. The Spirit reminds me of who I am in Christ. The unique OOAK person I am. He brings to mind things that I enjoy, or that refresh. Joy filled things. I am on treasure hunt of JOY!