Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge supporter of self care. It’s SO important. You are the most important person in your life, so you should treat yourself as such.
I’m writing this post because I think society has programmed in our heads that “self care” can be an excuse for things that you just want to do – not things that are actually good for you.
I’m not saying that you should never do these things. They aren’t bad things – they just aren’t true self care.
Here’s my rule for actual self care: If you can do this thing for yourself with 100% confidence that you won’t regret it in the future – it’s self care. But if it’s only going to feel good in the moment, it’s not.
That’s the problem with the things I’ve listed below. They’ll make you feel good in the moment, no doubt – but they won’t make you feel good in the next day, week, or month. Trust me, I’ve done all of these things, so I would know – but I think you’ll agree.
Retail Therapy – I love getting new things just as much as the next girl, I promise. But unless you have a never ending financial budget, you’ll probably regret spending $300 dollars on a Tuesday because you failed your biology exam. Letting yourself run out of gas or starve for the rest of the week isn’t self care – but it is something you’ll regret.
Eating – When I was severely depressed, this was my go to. Eating and watching some Netflix was my favorite way to relax and get my mind off things. I’d always tell myself that I had a long day so I deserved it. But did I deserve feeling upset with myself 10 minutes after? Did I deserve hating the way my jeans fit? No. Is that what happened anyway? Every freaking time.
Over Exercising – Remember how I just told you that I hated myself about 10 minutes after I ate something I knew was bad for me? Wanna guess what happened next? I’d tell myself that my body needs a run to make me feel better about myself. I’d run every calorie out but the running still never cancelled out how I felt mentally. I didn’t deserve to do that to myself. Neither do you.
Isolating for Rest – Again, something I always did in the peak of my depression. (I was so tired all the time. I would sleep a regular 8 hours, but then I’d literally need another 4 hour nap just to stay awake for the rest of the day.) Yes, I got to sleep, but I missed out on doing a lot of things with my friends. I missed out on getting a lot of things done that I needed to do. I always complained about how boring I was and that I needed to get out more.. And I felt the same way everyday – until I got medicated and adapted a healthier lifestyle to not need a four hour nap every day!
Drinking the Wine – Ladies. I know it’s good. I know. But it’s not good for you. And let’s be honest, one glass turns into four real quick. That’s all I’ll need to say about this one.
Ignoring Responsibilities – If you’ve had a bad day, or you’re extremely busy and overwhelmed, and you just need a break – I get it. I feel you. But there’s a difference between taking a break and straight up ignoring what you’re supposed to be doing. If you have a deadline that you’re ignoring – you’re still gonna have to do the work! Even if there isn’t a deadline, you’re still missing out on the things that you need to be doing to be successful, happy, healthy – whatever the case may be. It’s okay to take breaks, but that’s all it should be.
Self care isn’t an excuse to not be your best. It’s doing things for yourself to become your best. Let yourself take a break and recharge. Let doing nice things for yourself act as motivation to do the things that you need to do. Just don’t do these things because you’ve had a bad day or because you’re upset with yourself – get to the root of the problem and fix it instead. Most of all, don’t do the things you know you’ll regret tomorrow.
I think I’ve finally done enough preaching. Before you read this post, did you guys see these things as self care or did you see them the same way? Let me know!
Have a great week! 🙂