August has become known as the mid-year New Year. As summer winds down and schools reopen, we’re all settling back into our regular routines. Many of us will revisit those New Year’s resolutions and reset our goals. Gearing up for a new school year also brings new stresses. As you’re recommitting to bettering yourself, remember to add self-care to the list. It’s a buzzword that means a lot of different things to different people. We’re tackling 5 of the biggest self-care myths today.
Myth #1: Self-care is Selfish and Self-indulgent.
Truth: Remember the story about how flight attendants tell you that in case of an emergency you should put your mask on before helping others put on their mask? That’s self-care. It’s not indulgent or selfish, but responsible. If you’re exhausted and unhealthy, you won’t have the ability to care for your family or your community the way you want.
Myth #2: Self-care is Expensive.
Truth: Of all the self-care myths, this one is the most repeated. Did you brush your teeth today? Shower? Drink a bottle of water? All of those are examples of self-care. You’re doing them anyway, or should be. We take those everyday tasks for granted when life is going well. Of course, you’re going to do those things. They are basic hygiene. But what happens when you’re so depressed or anxious that you can’t get out of bed? What happens when you take on so much that you don’t have time to even wash your hair? Sure a full day at the spa sounds ideal, but that’s not what self-care really is. Self-care can be anything you do to take care of your mind, body, and spirit.
Myth #3: Self-care is only for Women.
Truth: Self-care is for everyone. Gender roles often dictate that men aren’t focused on their emotions. Those same roles make women the caregiver of others, not of themselves. That kind of thinking means self-care is for no one. If you’re using the example in #2, you’ll see we all need to take some self-care steps. It might be time in the gym, reading a book, taking a walk, or just spending an extra five minutes in the shower. Those ideas fit both genders.
Myth #4: Self-care is anything that Soothes You
Truth: Sure scheduling a big vacation sounds like self-care, but when it overdraws your bank account it brings more stress than it relieves. That’s not self-care. Neither is any behavior that’s addictive, compulsive, or harmful. If your method of self-care becomes a crutch or addiction, the best thing you can do for yourself is to break the habit. Are you taking whatever action you’ve deemed “self-care” because it feeds your body, mind, and spirit in healthy ways or simply because it feels good?
Myth #5: Self-Care requires too much time
Truth: Again, we’re referring back to #2. Many of these self-care activities and routines you’re doing (or should do) anyway. Go to bed a little earlier so you’re rested in the morning. Turn off electronics a few minutes before you go to bed. Take a walk through your neighborhood. Eat a balanced diet. Many of these activities take mere minutes. You don’t have to spend an entire day at the spa or an hour in the gym for it to count as self-care.
We’re concerned about your whole self. If you’ve believed any of these self-care myths or if you’re struggling with physical or emotional health, we’re here to help. Walk-ins are welcome at EliteCare Family Medicine 7 days a week or request an appointment online.