Erika Doomes

With many of us looking for ways to combat things like burnout, anxiety, and zoom fatigue intensified by the pandemic, the “self-care movement” exploded across social media platforms. We began to find ourselves scrolling across seas of squares in pastel hues reminding us to breathe­– countless posts of serene colored pages with cartoons of spa days, face masks, and bubble baths. Before we knew it, self-care had become trendy – but for some reason, many of us still couldn’t “make fetch happen”. It seemed like the more posts we made, the further away from self-care we traveled.

Hearing people say that self-care wasn’t working for them sparked my curiosity. After doing some digging, I noticed that although some of the messaging in the “self-care movement” is helpful, there are many myths and misconceptions about self-care that can be discouraging for those on their healing and self-love journeys.

Three common myths about self-care:

  1. Self-care is expensive and time consuming: self-care can feel out of reach when we limit our self-care practice to big budgets and lengthy time away from our daily responsibilities. While sometimes those things are great, self-care isn’t about the price-tag or the time commitment! There are many free ways to pour into yourself that don’t take a ton of time. Something as simple as taking three deep breaths during a hectic day can be considered self-care.
  • It is only for women: self-care isn’t gender specific. Everyone deserves to engage in acts that help them feel replenished and grounded, and this may look different from person to person.
  • Practicing self-care is selfish and must be earned: self-care is a basic human need, and we don’t need to be overly productive to earn it. We are better able to show up for others when we are intentional about showing up for ourselves. It is much more difficult to fill someone else’s cup when ours is empty.

So, what is self-care, and why do we need it? Self-care is being intentional about engaging in acts that promote your mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. When we practice self-care, we engage in restorative ways that fill our cup, ground us, and help us to show up more fully for ourselves and for those we care for.

Self-care can look different for everyone and isn’t a one size fits all. Here are a few ideas of ways you can incorporate a little more self-care into your daily routine:

MeditationGoing to bed early, or taking a nap
Having your favorite mealGetting outside, opening your windows
Breaks from social mediaFocus on your breathing
Dance, stretch, or do yogaTending to plants
Drink waterDeclutter your space

Self-care is about showing yourself grace, listening to your body, and being aware of what drains your battery and what recharges you. For me, the most important key to self-care is remembering to be intentional about engaging in acts that fill my cup.

What are some ways that you practice self-care?