What’s the first thought that pops in your mind when someone introduces you to self-care?
When I first learned about self-care from social media I had some misconceptions about it. Some of these misconceptions sprung from my religious background and the way I was raised. I was taught to live for others and do good unto others. My focus and energy were invested outside myself and the idea of self-care seemed a bit selfish and secular to me.
I saw videos on YouTube telling people to light scented candles or have bubble baths, and so on. And this just seemed odd to me. I couldn’t see how self-care could make the world a better place.
Although lighting scented candles and having bubble baths sounded really romantic to me, it wasn’t practical and a waste of time. Well, this was a misconception of mine that I had, long before I learned that self-care was more than what I had assumed.
Now, these are some misconceptions some have about self-care.
Misconceptions About Self-Care
Myth #1: Self-care is selfish
Self-care literally means caring for oneself. By that, I mean putting yourself first before others. I know this term may sound selfish to most people. I also thought the same thing too.
However, look at it this way – if you’re happy, less stressed, and not feeling down all the time, then you’re more likely to take care of others than when you’re not.
It’s even a lot easier to give back to the world when you’re experiencing joy and fulfillment within yourself.
Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s about prioritizing your mental and physical wellbeing so that you can give more to the world.
Myth #2: Self-care is just for women
Self-care is for men just as much as it is for women.
In society, men are expected to be the providers and protectors of the family. In order to make their families feel safe and provided for, they make a lot of sacrifices and even endure a lot of difficulties.
Most men shoulder the financial responsibilities of the home. And the pressure that comes from providing financial stability in the family can make them feel anxious and stressed all the time.
For this reason, men need to care for themselves more just as much as women.
Myth #3: Self-care is expensive
I know there are still some people who still believe that self-care is for those who can afford to pay for a spa day or go on a vacation in the countryside.
I believe we can still enjoy self-care even when we’re on a budget. We don’t need to go over the top just to care for our bodies.
You can practice self-care in the comfort of your home or at your workplace. You could also go a little extra if you like to as long as it won’t strain your pockets.
Myth #4: Self-care is time-consuming
Self-care is not time-consuming, it just depends on how much time you want to spend on the activity.
If you feel like you need to spend an hour doing meditation because you’re feeling stressed a lot lately, then you can do it. But if you don’t have the time to sit down for an hour, then a short 15-minute meditation can do.
When it comes to self-care, no one is asking you to take an hour off or a day off to look after yourself.
You just have to ask yourself how much time you’re willing to invest in the activity and what kind of results you want to get because at the end of the day it’s about how well you’re doing.
Myth #5: Self-care is pampering yourself
Some people still think that self-care is about binge-watching all day, eating junk food, and sleeping all day. That isn’t self-care. There is a difference between self-care and self-indulgence. Self-care is where you look after your mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. Self-indulgence is doing whatever your body tells you to do – whether what your doing is healthy or not. But self-care’s emphasis is on one’s health.
Myth #6: Self-care is the same for everyone
People are created differently. They have different personalities, different tastes, and various ways of doing things. So self-care is not the same for everyone.
We shouldn’t assume that what may work for one person may also work for us. The great thing about self-care is that it isn’t one-size-fits-all.
There are many practices in self-care that you can explore to see what truly works for you.
It’s also fun trying out different things.
Myth #7: Self-care takes effort
The reason some people give up so easily on self-care is that they think it takes so much effort.
I couldn’t agree more that there’s only so much we can give. Most of our time is invested in work and our families. Some may think self-care shouldn’t be it.
I disagree. Self-care is worth your time and effort. It’s so easy to deal with stress when you’ve practiced how to handle it through your self-care routine. When you know how to care for yourself, you won’t have to turn to unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Myth #8: You need self-care because something is wrong with you
Self-care isn’t applicable only when we have internal struggles. We can incorporate self-care into our daily routines even when we are doing perfectly.
I think that showing ourselves some love should be our top priority because our bodies do a lot for us. The least we can do is show it some love.
Myth #9: Self-care is short-term
If you want to become a great tennis player, playing once won’t make you the best player. You need to practice those swings daily to perfect them. Becoming a better player is similar to self-care.
Self-care is a life-long commitment. You need to nourish your body daily if you want it to be healthy. I have dedicated time in the mornings, if not, in the evenings for self-care. You can try that too.
Myth #10: It’s not worth it to practice self-care
Some of us think that self-care is not worth our time and effort. After all, there are far important things we could be doing with our time. Say, for example, we can spend it on finishing up a project or even working on our goals. In this case, self-care is a complete waste of time.
But looking after your mental and physical well-being is not a waste of time. We need it more especially in this fast-paced world, where so much of our time is spent on doing. Every once in a while, we need to pause and rest so we can replenish our energies.
We are not robots who spend the rest of their lives working. We are also meant to enjoy the fruits of our labor. Even God rested on the seventh day after working so hard creating the world.
Over to You
So, these are some misconceptions about self-care. There is a long list of them but these were what I could come up with.
What are some of the self-care myths you’ve heard of? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.