Self-care has become such a trendy buzzword in recent years. But in a world that can be so stressful, and in a society that can be so fast-paced, what does it really mean to treat yo self?
As it turns out, self-care extends far beyond warm bubble baths and eating your favorite piece of chocolate (although these activities can certainly help!). Self-care is an intentional mindset that you choose to embrace. It's a way of living that honors your well-being.
It's important to know about the common myths about self-care. Understanding these myths will help you discover the best way to move forward in optimizing your health.
Myth: Self-Care Is Selfish
This may be the most prevalent myth about self-care, and it's also one of the most harmful ones.
Self-care isn't synonymous with disregarding the needs of others. It isn't even about other people at all!
Self-care simply refers to consciously choosing to take time for yourself. It's about unwinding, recharging, and restoring your energy. We all need different levels of self-care. And during difficult times, we often need more self-care (although we tend to do it less often).
When you think about it, self-care isn't selfish at all. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The more you take care of yourself, the more present you are for other people. You may be more compassionate, patient, and eager to help, which makes the world a better place.
Myth: Self-Care Needs To Be Earned
No, self-care isn't something you reward yourself with after doing all the hard work.
Try not to get into the habit of making self-care an optional activity. Instead, try to build it into your daily routine. The more you can embrace self-care, the more you can benefit from its merit.
We all deserve to feel happy and healthy. Self-care helps you achieve that. Therefore, it shouldn't be contingent based on external accomplishments.
Myth: Self-Care Means Spas and Relaxation
Self-care can include an element of indulgence. But relaxation is just one part of self-care (although it's the part that tends to gain the most attention).
Instead, self-care can include anything that aims to preserve or improve your health. Health comes in numerous dimensions- emotional, physical, financial, spiritual, relational- and they are all interconnected. They all require some attention. If you neglect any one of these dimensions, your sense of stability may collapse altogether.
For one person, self-care certainly might mean a day at the spa. But for someone else, self-care might come in the form of a long, arduous hike. Or, it may come from attending church with a close friend. Or, it may just mean a few moments meditating before bed.
Myth: Self-Care Requires Time
Let's be real. We're all busy. Life itself is busy, and it isn't slowing down anytime soon.
Self-care does require some time, but it doesn't necessitate hours of serious commitment. As mentioned, self-care can come in the form of a few deep breaths. It can be in choosing your favorite restaurant for lunch.
And it can also be in the things you already do- exercise, calling friends, attending recovery meetings, going to therapy, etc.
Just make sure you're making room for intentional acts of self-kindness. And when you do have more time, try to really optimize that for yourself.
Myth: You Need To Spend Time Alone To Do Self-Care
Not true! Self-care can be shared with others! Strengthening your relationships can be such an important part of your well-being. You can engage in self-care with your loved ones by:
sharing a meal together.
doing an act of kindness for someone else.
taking a walk or hike together.
talking on the phone or FaceTiming one another.
spending the day going shopping or doing another planned activity.
Just keep in mind that you should have some activities that you enjoy doing yourself. No matter your circumstances, it's important to feel comfortable spending time alone. This ensures that you can be okay even if other people aren't around.
Why Myths About Self-Care Are Harmful
Many people struggling with addiction or mental illness don't implement enough self-care in their lives. Some don't practice any self-care at all!
But recovery entails self-care. You must be willing to focus on your emotional and physical wellness. You must also commit to being more compassionate and forgiving towards yourself and others.
At The Resurface Group, we help our clients and their loved ones with self-care. We can support you on your journey towards a happier and more confident life. Contact us today to get started.