As more people struggle with the pressures of daily life, self-care has become everyone’s priority. This was further fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic, as the global crisis encouraged people to turn to a variety of self-care practices, such as retail therapy, waxing services, and meditation exercises.
While self-care is the best way to treat yourself for some self-indulgence, the wrong type of self-care can take a huge toll on your health and well-being. Learn about the worst self-care mistakes that can affect the quality of your life.
Self-care mistake #1: Overindulgence
Let’s face it. We’re all guilty about pigging out for the sake of self-care. At first glance, self-care may mean to consume what we want — whether it’s shopping, food, alcohol, a night of Netflix binges, or the things we normally restrain ourselves from. Truth is, overindulgence creates more problems than we imagine!
Apart from hangovers, weight gain, and unnecessary spending, overspending affects the quality of our life. When we treat ourselves excessively after a period of restraint, we end up feeling guilty by engaging in self-punishment. As a result, we tend to feel even much worse than before we indulged. This will drive you to a never-ending cycle of guilt, reward, and restriction, the complete opposite of what self-care is about.
While it’s important to treat ourselves, keep in mind that there’s a big difference between enjoying a treat to consuming the entire bag of chips in just one sitting. If you think your body needs a break from all types of self-imposed restrictions, then maybe the type of self-care you need is to reassess whether your restrictions are actually serving you.
Never restrict yourself to the extent that you are depriving yourself to the point that overindulgence becomes a self-care treat. Instead, find the right balance between self-restraint and giving yourself a chance to enjoy things in moderation.
Self-care mistake #2: Treating self-care as superficial
This second self-care mistake has become very common so much so that it’s becoming widely recognized by many people. When we hear the words “self-care”, the first few things that come into our minds are pedicures, retail therapy, candlelit bubble baths, and indulging in a delicious meal from a fine dining restaurant.
Truth is, the world of self-care can stretch into every part of your life. Self-care can also mean having complete hours of sleep every night, maintaining a healthy work-life balance, and creating a bucket list of things that make you happy.
Those high-end shoes or sparkly bath bombs may be tempting, but there are other more affordable ways to experience self-care. In fact, there are plenty of free self-care activities you can do at home without spending anything at all.
If you truly want to invest in self-care, you can prioritize purchases that pay off, such as retreats, books, coaching, and training courses. Although a bath bomb can make you happy for a short period, the best self-care will provide you with skills and experiences that will benefit you in the long term.
Self-care mistake #3: Using self-care as an escape
People often fall into a habit of escaping from things when life feels overwhelming, or something confuses them. They turn to self-care as an escape to create some distance between themselves and whatever that is making them overwhelmed. Truth is, using self-care to avoid facing your problems isn’t the right way to deal with things.
By definition, self-care is supposed to improve and preserve your health and well-being. It is meant to sustain and renew you, and provide what you need to face day-to-day challenges in a positive way. But once you use it to escape your problems, you’re undermining the potential benefits you’ll reap from it.
Keep in mind that the more you resist something from your life, the more you bring it to you. This means the temporary relief you’re feeling from your self-care practice to avoid your troubles will eventually confront you in the long run. More often, the problem can be worse the next time you faced it.
In the end, make sure your self-care practice will revitalize your energy, strengthen your character, and provide you with the confidence and courage to overcome the challenges that come your way.
Taking care of your mind and body is the best way to overcome life’s challenges. This creates a significant impact on your life as it reduces the risk of physical health complications and mental illness. As you explore the best self-care practices that suit you, make sure to set your healthy boundaries to give you a sense of agency over your physical body and feelings.