5 Things That Self Care Isn’t…

It’s not surprising the “you focus” of self care has generated some skepticism and confusion. The concept has raised questions, like: What does self care look like? How do I balance self care with everything else in my life? How do I take care of myself without neglecting my loved ones? But, just because something is hard to wrap our heads around doesn’t mean it’s not good for us. So, in telling you some of the things that self care isn’t, we hope you will have a better understanding of what it is and why you should set aside some “me time” in your life… like ASAP.

1. Self care isn’t selfish.

Let’s say it again: Self care isn’t selfish. Often times, there’s a stigma that follows self care efforts. Whether from other people or ourselves, we end up feeling guilty for taking time for ourselves. We think of taking a break as neglecting our responsibilities, our work, our kids, etc. However, we rarely think of self care as something that enables us to do those things. Just how electronic devices need to be charged in order to work, we need to give ourselves time to charge. If we don’t have anything left in the tank, then we can’t expect to have anything left to give. Self care is mindful of the fact that taking care of our ourselves first helps us cope and take care of everything else.

2. Self care isn’t one-size-fits-all.

Self care doesn’t have to be mediation or yoga. Some people might like quiet time or crafting. For other people, self care is spending time with loved ones or having a good heart to heart with a close friend. Or, for some, self care could look like eating healthy or going to sleep early. Everyone is different, which means everyone practices self care differently. So don’t feel like you have to fit one model of self care and don’t judge others for the self care that they practice. Try out different things. Think of what you like to do and what brings you joy… and do it! (find out more here)

3. Self care isn’t a cop-out.

Skeptics of self care will say that it’s just a way to avoid dealing with what’s going on in your life. You might ask, how is taking a bath going to help me with the fight I just had with my partner. Well, think of it this way: when properly executed, self-care isn’t running away from our problems. It’s getting away just long enough to refocus so we can face our problems rationally and confidently. According to an article by Pick the Brain, practicing self care helps us to stay more in tune with our feelings and more connected to our surroundings. 

4. Self care isn’t a waste of time.

You’re a better you when you love yourself and take care of yourself. But, the idea of taking a break can sometimes be scary, especially if you have a lot on your plate. So, what if taking a break actually helped you perform better? Research shows that practicing self care helps us to be more efficient with the time we do have and to achieve better results. Long story short: you’re worth your time. 

5. Self care isn’t a sign of weakness. 

Not every day is going to be a good day. And that’s okay! We aren’t meant to be superhumans. It requires a kind of bravery to accept the fact that you need to take care of yourself, to take a step back, and to start doing it. We always tell ourselves that we need to give 110% percent. But what if we’re not even feeling at 100% that day? If you’re at 60%, 80% or 20%, be gracious with yourself. Operate out of what you have to give and don’t guilt trip yourself for not being able to give more. There’s a power – not weakness – in knowing your limits and knowing when to say, “no.”  

Don’t let anyone get you down for self caring. There shouldn’t be any shame or guilt that comes with it. Don’t hesitate to set aside some time for yourself.


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