The pandemic already increases our stress level and we are looking for self-care. We hope that self care can help to soothe and alleviate our stress. However, with all the “insta-fabulous” self-care posts out there, self-care seems unreachable for some people. Does self-care is all about bath salts, massage, or fancy dinner? We talk so much about self-care until it seems to have lost its meaning. Let’s discover 10 self-care myths and debunk them!
Myth #1: You have to “buy” your self-care
The message we received from media, advertising, and corporations is that self-care is all about consumption. I think it’s the biggest self-care myths you shouldn’t believe. Yes, face masks are comforting. However, I don’t mean that you shouldn’t buy bath salts, face masks, or essential oil. I do like lavender oil so much! But, so many ways to indulge on self-care that’s not about using a product.
Moreover, you don’t have to buy something to indulge in self-care. Journaling and sleeping are a form of self-care, too!
So, be aware of what you truly need and what the ads have told you so. After all, self-care doesn’t have to be expensive. Regarding the ads, we should be aware of its hidden message. As Daniel Kahneman said it:
Indeed, there is evidence that people are more likely to be influenced by empty persuasive messages, such as commercials, when they are tired and depleted.Daniel Kahneman – Thinking, Fast and Slow
Myth #2: Self-care is selfish
It’s common to think that “pampering yourself” is selfish. But, nothing wrong with pampering yourself as long as it’s beneficial to your mental health. Self-care is meant to nourish your mind, body, and soul. We all need to care for ourselves, especially after experiencing a bad day or hard work. Nothing selfish about that!
Myth #3: Self-care is feminine
Self-care ads often target women and portray that women are the most in need of self-care. While in fact, both women and men need to practice self-care. Yes, women and men have different exposure to stress but that doesn’t mean that men don’t need self-care.
Myth #4: The form of self-care has to be pretty
Most of the self-care pictures show that self-care is fancy and pretty. While in reality, your self-care activity may look like a “mess” or even normal. I quote this because it’s just a perspective! Reading a book with your underpants may not look “pretty”. But, it can give you a tremendous amount of pleasure.
Myth #5: Self-care is the same for everyone
Every person is different, so you have a different self-care method with your friends. I know that so many self-care checklists and products that tell you how a “proper” self-care really like. Yes, the checklist is meant to help and inspire us to start on our self-care journey. However, don’t make it burden you! You are the one who knows yourself best. Define your own version of self-care and get the most of it.
Myth #6: Self-care has to be the same every time you do it
I think this myths really resonates the most with me. At some nights, I feel soothed by diffusing lavender essential oil and drifted to sleep easily. On the other night, it doesn’t work at all. I found that I get frustrated on why it doesn’t work because I think it should work all the time. While in fact, the fruits of self-care are not something we can fully control.
Yes, you might already expect that the blossom face mask should make you relaxed. But you may experience where it will make your skin itchy or dry. The fact is, it’s not that the product is bad. We are the one who expects that it should be good. When this happens, remember that the act of expecting itself will make you frustrated.
You know the phrase, expectation kills? So, try to lower your expectation to enjoy your self-care activity.
Myth #7: Self-care has to be perfect
Perfection is a subjective term. Therefore, what looks perfect for your friend may not look perfect for you. And building a perfection is not easy. Life is already hard, then why makes self-care hard, too?
There’s no need to be so hard on ourselves because it doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.Anne Bogel – Don’t Overthink It
Moreover, you don’t need to focus on perfectionism when it comes to self-care. Self-care is about the experience, not the “shoulds” or “standards” you need to fulfill.
Myth #8: Self-care takes too much time
So many self-care ideas that don’t require too much time. Doing a 10-minute yoga or drink a warm cup of tea can be done quickly. On the other hand, taking a bubble bath may take much time. Pick a realistic self-care activity that fits your schedule.
Myth #9: Self-care is anything that soothes you
It’s another self-care myths. You should be aware that not everything that soothes you is great for your health and wellbeing. Indulging in alcohol, sugary snacks, or binge-watching all day may soothe you, but there are side effects from that. I’m not saying that you cannot drink alcohol, tho. I do drink in several weekends.
What I meant to say is, do everything in moderation. When possible, choose the healthier form of self-care activity. Your body will thank to you later, I promise!
Myth #10: You have to earn your self-care
With the current culture that praises “productivity”, self-care seems to be the contrary of it. However, if you think like that, knows that you’re not alone. If you haven’t realize it yet, be aware that life is not all about being productive. So, it’s okay to indulge in self-care. Even, you can do your self-care even before you start doing anything.
So, you don’t have to clean your bathroom first to have your self-care. Do it whenever you can. Self-care is a right for everyone! You don’t have to earn it.
After debunking these self-care myths, hopefully, you won’t feel guilty again when indulging in self-care! Self-care is important for everyone as it maintains your wellbeing. To keep your wellbeing intact, don’t forget to stay active, too.
Speaking of wellbeing, keeping a healthy life is also as important as doing your self-care. Having a healthy lifestyle is not hard! Start doing simple actions to build a healthy life.
So, that’s it! What are the other self-care myths you know? Share yours in the comment below.