The act of learning to love yourself and truly care for yourself is often a topic that either scares people or confuses them. When I first created a self care routine, I was terrified. I felt like I needed to get it perfect. I needed to have a plan in place and spend a certain (large) amount of time every week. However, after beginning my self care routine and travelling down this journey, I now believe that self care routines are actually quite the opposite. They never have to be perfect. They aren’t time consuming and my routine is anything I choose to make it. For me, self care started out small and once I started to realize how much better I felt, I started to increase the time. Not because I felt like I had to anymore, but because it felt good.
From my experience, there are four top myths when it comes to the world of self care.
Self care is time consuming.
This is the number one myth I have fallen into. While it is not unusual for me to have a side job on top of my regular full time job, I believed I didn’t have the time for self care. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! I still live a very busy life, but my self care routine is simple. It is scheduled in my calendar, so I don’t neglect it. This is vital for those of us who have jam packed schedules! All together, my self care takes me two hours tops. If I have extra time one week, I’ll add in extra time, but overall my self care is not time consuming.
As mentioned above, I recommend starting out small with the amount of time that you spend on self care. Be realistic with yourself! Set a goal you can maintain. As you get more use to the new experience of taking care of YOU, I’m sure you will want to start increasing how much time you spend on yourself. It won’t feel like a chore. It will feel more like a treat.
Self care is expensive.
When I use to think of self care before my journey began, I always thought of regular pedicures, massages, taking myself out to lunch and a lot of shopping. Ultimately, I focused on the price tag that I thought came along with practicing self care. These things can absolutely be a part of your self care routine if they feel good to you and fit your lifestyle, but self care does not have to be expensive. Two of my favorite ways to practice self care is taking a hot bath and journaling, which are both incredibly cheap. I’m also a firm believer in naps, which is free! Self care is whatever you make it and whatever feels good to you.
Self care is glamorous.
Sure, there might be some luxurious ways to practice self care. However, it is not always pretty and it’s not always enjoyable. When I got started on this journey of learning to love myself, I never realized that there are parts of self care that were far from fun. Taking the time to cook yourself a nutritious meal is self care. Getting up the courage to not ignore your budget or look at your empty bank account is also practicing self care. There’s learning to tell people no and eliminating negative people out of your life. These tasks aren’t necessarily luxurious, but they are so needed when it comes to taking care of yourself.
Self care will make me selfish.
This is another myth that could not be farther from the truth, but it scares a lot of people, including myself once upon a time. Women have a caring nature and it’s natural for us to want to put other people first. In my past, I would constantly do things for others and go out of my way to make others happy, but it wasn’t bringing me joy because I wasn’t giving to myself. It led me to feeling burned out, overwhelmed and anxious. One thing to always remember is that in order to fully serve others, your cup must first be full. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Self care allows you to fully and genuinely give to others. When I haven’t taken time to care for myself first, I know I tend to have resentment when it comes to consistently giving to others. Give from a place of fullness and sincerity by giving to yourself first.