DEBUNKING THE MYTHS ABOUT SELF-CARE


(Photo by Carli Jeen on Unsplash)

Self-care is intentionally taking time to do something healthy that energizes you. Sounds

simple, right? But if we’re honest, we don't often prioritize ourselves because we've

been told a LOT of false things about self-care. Here are some of the most common

misconceptions about self-care and some ways to help us reframe them.

MYTH 1: Self-care is selfish. "If I'm caring for myself, I'm taking away time to care for

the people that need me."

This is the most common myth out there, and the one that I've struggled with the most! If we ignore ourselves "for the sake of others" then we give ourselves a reason to actually ignore our own physical, emotional and spiritual needs. This simply isn't healthy.

REFRAME: "When I treat myself with care and kindness, only then can I practice

authentic compassion and care towards other people. I simply can't be my best self or

have anything healthy to offer if I'm constantly running on empty."

REMEMBER: There is no greater thing to offer the world than YOU at your BEST. Then you have so much more love and care to offer back!

MYTH 2: Self-care is anything that soothes you. "If I'm doing something that quickly

makes me feel better after a long day, it's automatically self-care."

Well...not so fast. Many people turn to activities such as food, drinking, video games,

Netflixbinges, etc... for instant stress relief and numbing down. These are undeniably

soothing activities, but can be the opposite of what self-care promotes when done in

excess and without moderation. Did you know that many of these can actually cause MORE STRESS on your body? This type of thinking can grant us permission to be compulsive, or makes a path for addictive or harmful behaviors to your mind, body, emotions....and wallet (#amiright)! Self-care and self-indulgence aren't the same thing.

REFRAME: "When I choose to put in the time and effort of healthy self-care, I am

investing in my well-being and not just indulging on what feels good in the moment."

REMEMBER: You have what it takes to learn and practice healthy stress relief that will

actually REDUCE stress and help you maintain an integrated, well-balanced lifestyle.

There are better ways to self-soothe to destress (like mindfulness, yoga, breath work,

exercise, balanced nutrition, and positive thinking to name just a few).

MYTH 3: Self-care is the same for everybody. "If it worked for somebody else, it will

work for me."

Sure, there are common techniques for self-care that can be helpful for a wide range of

people, but there's just not a "one size fits all" self-care practice that works for everyone.

What works for you will depend on your own unique needs.

REFRAME: "The best way to care for myself is to focus on my individual needs and not

compare them to the needs or practices of others."

REMEMBER: Idolizing or strictly following someone else's journey or plan won't lead

you to a better YOU. You're a unique person, after all. Stay focused on your individual

needs to develop a self-care practice that actually works for YOU.

What other myths have you heard and believed that have prevented you from taking the

best care of yourself? My hope is that you have the courage to confront them so that

you can radiate light and love from the inside out.

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    © 2016 by The Brookhaven Center for Counseling & Wellness, LLC.