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There are many self-care myths out there. Maybe you believe some of them? Maybe they are stopping you from practising self-care? Or maybe they’re preventing you from getting the most out of your self-care routine?
I’m going to bust open those myths. Because they shouldn’t stop you from practising self-care. It’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
Here are 7 self-care myths you need to stop believing
Myth no. 1: Self-care is just about pampering yourself
Self-care is so much more than pampering!
Self-care is about:
- staying fit and healthy
- being aware of what depletes you and taking steps to replenish your mental and physical health
- treating yourself as kindly as you would treat others
It’s all the activities that help you to protect, maintain and improve your health and wellbeing.
Pampering yourself can certainly form a part of your self-care routine. Bubble baths, manicures, and massages are all lovely, and if these kinds of activities help you feel nourished, calm or refreshed then go for it!
However, don’t stop there. Incorporate other activities to replenish your body, mind and spirit.
Myth no. 2: Self-care is indulgent and/or selfish
Many of us feel guilty about putting ourselves first. I know I have in the past. Not anymore though!
I’ve come to realise a very important truth – if you are not taking care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else?
If you are stressed, overwhelmed or burnt-out, you certainly can’t be your best self, for you or for your loved ones. Remember, you can’t serve from an empty vessel.
Myth no. 3: Self-care is expensive
Self-care is not about heading off to luxury spas, or long vacations, or treating yourself to new clothes, makeup or shoes.
In fact, it’s not about buying anything at all.
Self-care is a mindset. It’s about accepting that you are important and that you deserve your own care and compassion.
Myth no. 4: Self-care is time-consuming
So many of us are time-poor these days, and “I don’t have time for self-care!” is a very common refrain. However, the truth is, self-care doesn’t need to take a lot of time.
In my post 15 Self-Care Tips for Busy Days, all of the suggestions take 5 minutes or less.
Absolutely everyone has 5 minutes they can allocate to self-care.
Myth no. 5: Self-care requires sticking to a strict routine
Routines are important. They help you live intentionally and they ensure that you get the most important things in your day done, including self-care. But routines will be just as effective when you allow for flexibility.
It is important to schedule time in your day for self-care, and that you protect that time. However, you don’t need to be strict about the type of self-care activities you do.
Your needs, and the self-care activities that support you will change depending upon what’s going on in your life. During more difficult or challenging times (for example, during a house move, after a break-up, or when starting a new job) your self-care needs will be very different to the times where you have fewer pressures and more energy.
Pay attention to what you need, and adjust your self-care activities, and routine, as you need to.
Myth no. 6: Self-care is anything that makes you feel better
Sometimes the things that make us feel better in the moment, make us feel worse in the long run (I’m looking at you family-size block of chocolate!)
Self-care is about knowing the difference between what you want and what you need.
Be mindful about what you really need. Ask yourself, does it…
- nourish you?
- calm you?
- recharge you?
Myth no. 7: Self-care can wait
Self-care can’t wait until you’ve completed your to-do list, or until that big project is finished, or until you feel like you’ve earned it, or deserve it.
Self-care isn’t a treat, and self-care isn’t optional.
It can’t wait until the kids are older, or you’ve quit your job. It can’t wait until someone else gives you permission. Give yourself permission to practice self-care now.
Need some self-care ideas?
If you need some inspiration or ideas for self-care, have a look at my post on why you should prioritize self-care, which includes over 50 self-care ideas for you to try.
But remember, the key to effective self-care is to find what works for you.
Write a list of all the things that nourish you, restore you, make you feel calmer, happier or recharged. The things that relax you, or inspire you.
Your list will be different from other people’s. That’s ok. Self-care is about you, and what suits you. Not about what you think you should be doing.
And even if you start with one activity, just get started. Don’t wait for the perfect time, it’ll never come. The right time is now!