While self-care has become a popular buzzword these days, I’ve seen a fair bit of misinformation spread around. The thing is, self-care myths aren’t harmful in and of themselves, but it may sometimes be the one thing stopping a person from practicing self-care.
That’s why I want to debunk some of the more common self-care myths! I hope that by clearing up some of these myths about self-care, more of you will commit to making self-care an everyday thing.
Keep scrolling to discover common self-care myths, and what the facts about self-care actually are!
Myth #1: Self-care is just about facials and spa days
Fact: There’s more to self-care than that!
There are actually 10 different types of self-care that encompass all the separate facets of your life. Physical self-care includes things like facials and spa days, but there are other self-care activities too.
For example, practicing positive affirmations is an example of mental self-care, decluttering your wardrobe is spatial self-care, creating realistic goals is professional (or occupation self-care), and bonding with your spouse is relationship self-care.
So while a spa day is certainly a type of physical and mental self-care, it’s not all there is. Make sure to branch out a bit, and you might just discover more self-care ideas for yourself!
Myth #2: Self-care is selfish
Fact: Self-care benefits the people around you too
I’ll be completely honest here: this is a myth that I am prone to believing myself. It’s unfortunate that this perception is so widespread, because it really couldn’t be further from the truth!
How many times have you been really stressed out and close to a burnout, and started taking it out on the people close to you? When was the last time you felt frustrated, disappointed, resentful towards your partner or children because you felt completely exhausted and alone?
Prioritising self-care is like the Oxygen Mask Rule – you need to serve yourself first before helping those under your care. Taking a break to practice self-care is a way to prevent yourself from getting overly stressed out and drained.
I now think of self-care as something I do for both myself and the people around me. I mean, they definitely benefit from having a more content and well-rested wife, mother, daughter, and friend, I can tell you that much
Myth #3: Self-care takes too much time
Fact: Self-care doesn’t have to be complex or take a long time to do!
I’m all about helping women find time for themselves in their busy lives, so I wouldn’t be promoting self-care so much if it’s not something you can squeeze into your day! Believe me, there is always time for self-care.
If you’re looking for quickie self care ideas that you can include in your day, I’ve got you covered! I know what it’s like to be time poor but still wanting to practice self care, so I’ve collected a hundred of my favourite self care activities that only take 5 to 15 minutes to do.
Plus, you’ll even get a bonus Self Care Checklist printable that acts as a self care plan template where you can list your favourite self care activities to do when you’ve got a bit of time to spare.
Myth #4: Self-care is optional
Fact: Self-care is vital to your wellbeing
If there was one self-care myth that I’d consider most damaging to normalising self-care, it’s this one! Self-care is not something you do as a bonus, when you’ve got the time for it. No, self-care is necessary to your long-term wellbeing and should be prioritised!
When you have the mindset that self-care is only something you do when you’ve got some spare time, you’re putting yourself at risk of being less productive, motivated, healthy, and happy. Not prioritising self-care comes at a cost, and frankly, it just isn’t worth it.
So shift your perspective and start treating self-care as a vital part of your daily routine. You’ll soon experience plenty of the benefits that consistent self-care will give you!
Myth #5: Self-care is expensive
Fact: Self-care doesn’t have to cost a thing
Look, the latest creams, products, and tools are all lovely little bonuses, but the truth is, you don’t need them to successfully practice self-care!
Here are a few self-care activities you can do for free:
- Practice meditation with an app like Calm
- Do yoga, guided by YouTube videos
- Practice journaling in an old notebook
- Go for a walk out in nature
- Take a cat nap
As you can see, there’s plenty you can do without spending a single cent. The key thing is just to get started, no matter where you are or what you have!
When you find self-care activities that really resonate with you, then you can start investing in the things that will help you do it quicker or easier.
Myth #6: Self-care is whatever makes you feel good
Fact: Self-care is what makes you feel good and is good for you!
Sleeping in everyday and spending all day bingeing Netflix may feel good, but it’s not really good for you in the long run. Self-care isn’t just doing things that bring you joy. It’s doing things that make you happy now and in the future. You need to know the difference between positive self-care and negative self-care.
I like to think of my daily or weekly self-care activities as an investment in my long-term happiness and wellbeing. They’re enjoyable anyway, but they also have some kind of benefit that serves me in the long run.
For example, writing in my journal each morning helps me clear my head each day, and it also nurtures a healthier mindset over time. Another example is committing to a nourishing skincare routine – it’s super relaxing in the morning and night, but I’m also rewarded with healthy skin long-term.
Myth #7: Only weak people need self-care
Fact: Everybody needs self-care
Having been raised in a culture where “motherhood = martyrdom”, letting go of this myth has been quite a challenge for me. For too long, I convinced myself that pushing through and abandoning my needs were a sign of strength. It was something to be admired, or rewarded even.
But it’s all a lie! No one’s going to give you a prize for being tired, miserable, constantly sick, and permanently resentful. All you’re doing is preventing yourself from finding peace, harmony, and balance in your own life.
Everyone needs self-care, and more than that, everyone deserves self-care. So shake off this myth right this second, and start making time for your own self-care!
Myth #8: Self-care is an occasional thing
Fact: No, consistency is key – make it part of your daily routine
While I find some self-care activities are effective as a reward or occasional treat, the truth is you need some form of self-care every day if you want to be happy.
As I said before, it doesn’t have to be too complex or time-consuming – just a few minutes of self-care sprinkled into your day will do you a world of good!
I love habit stacking for this. I attach self-care practices to other existing habits so that it’s easier to incorporate self-care into my day. For example, while I wait for the kettle to boil for my morning coffee, I do quick stretches or yoga. So physical movement is now a part of my morning routine!
Overcome these myths and make consistent self-care a part of your life
Once you can see these myths for what they are (AKA lies!), you can start unpacking your beliefs around self-care and start making them a part of your daily routine.
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