Self-care is a trending topic right now. Articles, videos, and books flood the market, revealing so many ways for women to prioritize themselves.
We’re increasing awareness of the relationship between self-care and burning out. That is, if you neglect taking care of yourself, you increase the risks of experiencing signs of burnout.
However, there are also some self-care misconceptions out there. Some companies and media outlets are actually missing the mark — reducing self-care to a pore-shrinking face mask or an excuse to treat yourself to a new outfit.
Self-care runs much deeper than that.
In this article, we’re debunking some self-care misconceptions and embracing the essence behind taking genuine care of yourself.
First Off, What is Self-Care?
Quite literally, self-care is taking care of yourself — your mind, body, spirit, and emotions. In an overworked culture where 96% of employees are burned out, self-care is especially critical to your well-being.
And self-care looks different for every woman.
For me, self-care is being mindful of how I care for myself daily, starting with a morning routine that grounds me and sets the tone for each day. I also take periodic breaks throughout the day to re-vitalize myself.
What does self-care look like for you? Let me know in the comments below!
Whatever activity you enjoy, self-care is how you recharge your batteries. It helps you enjoy your life. It builds your resilience during hardship. And it strengthens your physical and mental well-being.
More importantly, self-care is necessary for a happy and fulfilling life.
But what happens when self-care is misinterpreted?
What are the consequences when today’s trends skew your perception of self-care?
When Self-Care Gets Problematic for Women…
While contemporary culture has increased the popularity of self-care, it has also distorted it.
Women are often fed unrealistic or idealized versions of what taking care of yourself looks like. And some women use self-care as an excuse or escape from certain aspects of their lives.
My goal is to debunk these self-care myths. Also, I advocate that self-care is both essential and accessible to all women.
Coming up are five scenarios where self-care is actually misinterpreted and done wrong.
5 Self-Care Misconceptions to Watch Out For
#1 You Do It For Others
The popularity of social media makes it tempting to share everything you do with your followers.
Online influencers flood the self-improvement industry with their morning routines, diet regimens, workout routines, and more.
From a self-care perspective, this may have a hidden consequence…
You obsess over likes and comments and lose sight of what’s truly important: your health and well-being.
Remember: you practice self-care because you love and take care of yourself — not for the likes and comments.
#2 Self-Care Conflicts With Your Goals
You may not realize it, but you might be sabotaging your goals with self-care “treats.”
Let’s say your goal is to lose weight. After two weeks of dedicated diet and exercise, it’s tempting to reward yourself with a decadent (but calorie-rich and sugary) slice of cake. Your internal dialogue may eventually convince you that you deserve it.
However, indulging your appetite is at odds with what you’re hoping to achieve: a healthier you.
Let’s use another example: you want more time for yourself because you’re often over-extended. Then you hear your friends are volunteering for a fundraiser event this weekend. Sounds like it’ll be fun and it’s for a good cause, right? You decide you’ll join.
But even that goes against your goal to recharge by taking away your “me” time.
Self-care is important. However, it must also align with your goals and lifestyle.
Is your “self-care” moving you toward or away from your goals?
#3 You Put a Clever Disguise on Procrastination
If you meditated, recited your affirmations, and soaked in a bubble bath, that’s wonderful! You must be feeling great.
If you did all of that but neglected your responsibilities, then that’s not so wonderful.
Self-care can often be a pretty disguise for procrastination.
Are you practicing self-care to relax and recharge? Or is it a convenient excuse to postpone your responsibilities?
Be honest with yourself about when it’s time to work and time to relax.
#4 You Make It Your Go-To Avoidance Tactic
Sometimes, we use self-care as a way to avoid something uncomfortable.
For example, if you struggle with socializing, you might be tempted to isolate yourself all weekend and call it “me time” and “self-care.”
If you make this behavior a habit, you may be using “self-care” to mask your fear of social interaction.
When this happens, you close opportunities to challenge yourself.
Self-care isn’t strictly rest and relaxation. It can also be an opportunity for personal growth. In this scenario, self-care might actually look like scheduling coffee with a close friend to slowly overcome your social anxiety.
#5 You Attach a Price Tag
Businesses are capitalizing on the self-care trends you see on social media. That’s why industries, like skincare and fashion, are booming. Businesses want women to look and feel great when buying their products.
However, you don’t need to spend buckets of money to take care of yourself.
Self-care doesn’t have to be an expensive retreat to a tropical climate. It doesn’t have to be a luxurious day at the spa either.
Self-care can be as simple as enjoying ten minutes of silence. Or improving your sleep quality by heading to bed an hour earlier. Even going for a walk outside can be considered self-care!
Taking care of yourself can be both nourishing AND free.
What free or low-cost self-care activities do you practice? I’d love to know!
When Self-Care is Done Right…
When you make self-care a top priority, you’ll notice a positive shift in your life.
Your mood lifts. You’re more resilient. You find fulfillment in life. Your overall well-being improves.
That’s the power of self-care.
And I want to help you achieve those amazing benefits with my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge
During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout and I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and enjoying your life (again).
If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…
- Relaxed and confident, knowing you’re tending to the most important priorities
- Energized, clear and focused
- Calm, easy-going and peaceful
- Sleeping like a baby and waking up rested
- Engaged, inspired and passionate about your life