The Myth of Self-Care

Are you taking care of yourself? I mean, really taking care of your “self?” Are you dedicating enough time to self-care? Are you meditating daily, eating clean, getting enough protein (but not too much animal protein), doing adequate strength training plus flexibility training plus 10,000 step per day? Are you getting enough sleep, taking time for hobbies, nurturing your personal relationships and also getting some time alone to do nothing but dream?

This isn’t self-care. This is self-sabotage! The wellness industry is trying to sell our own care back to us at an inflated price. But should we be buying it?

Self-care is indeed vital to our well-being. Making choices that maintain good mental and physical health including exercise, adequate rest, eating well, and deciding how and with whom we spend our time is important and necessary.

But we are not super-women. We can’t do it all and we can’t afford to feel any more guilt about not doing enough. We are enough. You are enough.

Self-care is about you taking care of your needs. Almost always, those needs include more time and less stress. To add an element of self-care to your day means an element of some other’s care needs to be reassigned or abandoned. We need to acknowledge it’s not always that simple.

When the idea of self-care becomes just several burdensome additions on your to-do list, it ceases to serve its purpose.

It’s true that creating healthy habits in our lives actually creates more space and time. Exercise and mindfulness mediation help us sleep better. When we are better rested, we eat better and are less likely to crave high-sugar and high-fat foods. A clearer head and a “lighter” body make us more productive. A 30-minute walk with a friend or a pet will relax and refresh us much more than 30 minutes on Facebook or Instagram.

After a summer of less routine and some needed down-time, we are all pulling out our calendars to see when we can fit in what and how soon and how much. How about we practice some self-care around our fall schedule and give ourselves a break?  Sure, salsa lessons and training for a 5k seem like good additions – and so good for me. But seriously, can I fit all that in on top of everything else?

This fall let’s keep our to-do list in check. Let’s actually take it easy and take care of us.

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