Updated: Jul 24
Throughout this whole exposure of self-care myths, keep in mind that the purpose of self-care is for you to take intentional steps that nurture, preserve and restore your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. It’s a personal responsibility that only you can fulfill because let’s face it… who knows you better than you? (And if you answered with anyone other than yourself, then we’ve got a lot of work to do! But no problem! I got you!)
It’s important to denounce these myths because they act as barriers that make it seem like self-care is for a certain kind of person. Self-care is for everyone. We all need a healthy mental, physical, spiritual and emotional balance within us because it greatly impacts how we interact with the world.
The Myths of Self-care
1. It is expensive.
If you go to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or even Google and search for self-care, you are likely to find pictures and posts of people expressing self-care but it really looks a lot like they are on vacation. An expensive vacation! They might be at a spa getting a hot coal massage, mountain climbing with gurus, splurging with retail therapy or sitting on the deck of a yacht in the middle of the ocean.
Yes, these can be forms of self-care (if you have the means), but that is not all that self-care looks like. Practicing self-care does not have to take a large amount of money and often costs you nothing more than your time. For example:
Mental self-care may require you to meditate to calm your mind or to take a walk in the park or to simply take a 10-minute break!
Physical self-care can be as simple as eating healthy, exercising and taking care of your medical issues.
Emotional self-care is as simple as journaling, speaking to someone about how you feel [read: GET A THERAPIST] or maintaining the bond between your family and friends.
Spiritual self-care can be reading a religious book or doing more activities that enhance your spiritual being.
2. It needs a lot of your time.
The blueprint that social media gives you is that when you decide to practice self-care, it has to be this weekend long journey that happens every few months. It’s something that needs so much of your time that it can get exhausting just trying to plan it.
Let’s hold it right there. Self-care does need your time, but this can be as little as 5 - 15 minutes of your day. That 15 minutes of you refreshing your mind, having a chat with a good friend or saying a prayer can greatly influence the rest of your day, week, or even month.
And let’s be honest, no matter how busy your day can get, you do have time and that time exists because you intentionally set it apart for a moment of self-care. Remember that self-care is your responsibility so blaming your busy schedule for not having time to stabilize yourself is an irresponsible act. It’ll only do you a disservice.
3. Self-care is anything that makes me feel good.
I’m sure you’ve heard of sayings like, “You Only Live Once (YOLO)” or “When in Rome…” Don’t get me wrong, these sayings do keep us living life in the moment, but they are not ideal motivators for self-care. What makes you feel good is not always good for you.
Spending money you don’t have just to do something that makes you feel good, only to later stress about mismanaged money isn’t self-care. It’s more like self-sabotage and it doesn’t sound like the expected restoring outcome that self-care is meant to bring.
Yes, self-care makes you feel good in the moment (sometimes - but that’s another post for another day). However, that good feeling should flow into other areas of your life because self-care brings harmony. Caring for your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health does not come at an expense but at an advantage because caring for one part of yourself influences caring for the other parts of yourself, too.
4. Self-care is optional
For some, self-care is considered to be a luxury that you do if you have time and resources. Or maybe you tell yourself that prioritizing your needs is a selfish act. Repeat after me:
“SELF-CARE IS NOT SELFISH! I DESERVE TO PRIORITIZE MY NEEDS TO MAINTAIN EVERY AREA OF MY HEALTH!”
Why? Because self-care is giving the world the BEST of you instead of the rest of you! Not all leftovers are good, mmkay?! Neglecting your health makes you physically and mentally sick. Not getting enough rest leads to burnout. Increased risks of heart disease, depression, anxiety, & more are also some results! Self-care is a necessity that your body, mind and soul requires to maintain its optimal functioning. When you neglect self-care, you neglect YOU! And eventually, that neglect will catch up to you.
Different forms of self-care work for different people, but remember that the intention is to nurture, preserve and restore your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health. You define what self-care looks like for you. Just make sure you do it regularly!
Blessings & Abundance
Your Resident Mindset Coach,
P.S. Often it's hidden struggles with our self-worth that make us neglect self-care. So, to help you with that part, download a FREE sample of Affirmations For Self-Worth by clicking here.
If you need more in depth guidance to increase your clarity and identify the underlying cause, then book a complimentary consultation call here.