Should You Feel Guilty About Your Guilty Pleasures?

Taking time out for yourself isn’t selfish, it’s selfless.

Sujona Chatterjee
3 min readAug 5, 2023
Photo by Dainis Graveris on Unsplash

“I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you enjoy something, you just enjoy it. No sense feeling guilty about it.”
― Cristina Moracho

We all use one medium to escape reality. The high of an exercise, getting lost in a story while reading, enjoying a sinful chocolate pastry, or just going for a drive. Simple pleasures of life turn out to be our guilty pleasures. But there is a reason why we attach the term guilty to our pleasures. Because we are guilty of running away from our reality.

Life is funny. Our whole lives we are either trying to find the exact balance through our routines or we live in two opposite dimensions. Either we are too invested in something, or we are lazy. Either we are burnt out or we just end up doing nothing. In this race we need an escape or a time out just to give our mind a break from our nagging thoughts. And that’s where our guilty pleasures come as a rescue.

Therefore, should we really feel guilty about our guilty pleasures, or should we say thanks because it gave us the much-needed time out to deal with gut-wrenching life circumstances?

If you have ever visited a hospital, all you want to do is escape. Recently my father was admitted to the hospital for two weeks. Thanks to all the lovely prayers from friends and well-wishers he is home and recovering. But while he was there, all I wanted to do was escape. I couldn’t see him this helpless and all I wanted was for him to come home in good health. This thought was on loop in my head and I was just feeling exhausted every waking moment.

I knew I needed an escape. Because when your loved one is ill there is no time to feel your emotions. You need to act on your feet and get things in order at home and at the hospital. There will be a moment where you can let go and cry about your feelings. But until then you must compose yourself. Therefore, I gravitated towards books. To just dive into someone else’s life helped me take a break from mine.

Some would say that I was selfish. That rather being at the hospital, I was indulging in my guilty pleasure. But if there ever was a time to truly feel the statement ‘you must take care of yourself first before you care for others’, it is this very time when your loved one is ill.

You just cannot be there for others if you are an emotional mess. If you want to be there for others, you must find a way to be sane. If that means taking an hour or two just for yourself, that isn’t selfish. That is selfless because you are recharging yourself to be there for someone. If that isn’t selfless what is?

Thus, indulging in your guilty pleasures to help others in need is the most humbling thing you can do. Because even though taking time out for yourself during a stressful time seems uncaring, in reality, it is you being selfless behind closed doors.

Thanks so much for your time!



Sujona Chatterjee

Living life the only way I know how — one day at a time.