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Debunking the Myths of Self-Care

We all feel overwhelmed and stressed at times.  But with the current health crisis we are experiencing, those feelings might be even more exaggerated.  During uncertain times, it’s perfectly normal for fear and anxiety to creep in as well as thoughts of anger and sadness.  These feelings can leave you feeling helpless and discouraged.  They can even affect your physical health in ways such as sleeplessness, headaches, and fatigue.

Now, more than ever, it’s important to recognize these feelings and allow yourself some “down time” to rest and recharge.  Practicing self-care is vital for your physical, emotional and mental well-being.  But often, people feel that self-care is selfish or indulgent.  Let’s explore some of these myths and understand the importance of self-care.

Myth #1:   Self-care is selfish.  This couldn’t be further from the truth.  When you take time for yourself and get sufficient rest and exercise, you feel more energetic and are less likely to lash out or project your negative feelings on others.  It’s actually one of the healthiest things you can do to recharge and connect with those around you.

Myth #2: The effects of self-care are temporary.  In truth, self-care is so much more than just getting a massage or taking a short walk to relax.  True self-care is finding not only what helps you unwind, but what recharges you for more than the length of a bubble bath.  Not only is it important to find something specific that works for you, spending time being mindful during self-care activities will help increase the benefits.

Myth #3: Self-care is just for women.  Women certainly have many challenges these days, but men are just as susceptible to stress and burnout.  Any adult, male or female can benefit from the practice of regular self-care.

Myth #4: Self-care takes too much time.  We are all busy, but self-care does not require a huge chunk of time from your busy day.   However, instead of waiting to see if you have idle time on your hands, add some self-care time to your schedule and plan your day around it.  Make it a regular part of your routine instead of something you fit in if you have time.

Myth #5:  Self-care is doing anything that soothes you.  It’s important that self-care is something you enjoy doing.  But overindulging on food, watching excessive amounts of TV, or drinking alcohol are the opposite of self-care.  Self-care should support and promote health and wellness and should not be addictive or harmful to your body.

Myth #6:  Self-care is the same for everyone.  While we all have challenges and stressors in our lives, the way we each handle those issues is different.  The ways we unwind and recharge also vary from person to person. For some, scheduling a golf outing or hike might be the ticket.  For others, a yoga class or massage is what they need to get back on track.  Some people need to carve out time to meditate or just to take a nap.  Self-care is different for each person.

Prioritizing some time for self-care can go a long way towards helping us lead healthier, happier lives. Trying different things will help you find your own rhythm and know what works best for you. Make the time to do the things you love and that make you feel recharged. Before long, you’ll see the benefits of self-care in your life.

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