Self-care routines are all the rage now with a lot of emphasis being put on taking care of one's self first. However, if yours is not working for you, here's why.
Self-care is a broad term that encompasses just about anything you do to be good to yourself. In short, it’s about being as kind to yourself as you would be to other people. It’s about understanding that you cannot pour from any empty cup and stepping back to replenish them rather than draining yourself in the process.
It also centers around integrating into your daily life, little ways that make you feel special, cared for and help prevent even the possibility of a burnout.
However, it’s important to note that not everything that feels good is self-care. We can all be tempted to use unhealthy coping mechanisms like drugs, drink, over-indulgence and thrill-seeking in general. These self-destructive activities help us to regulate challenging emotions, but the relief is temporary.
When practiced correctly, real self-care has long-term benefits for the mind, the body and soul. It's a vehicle for true introspection and understanding. Self-care allows you to really think about what you really love to do. The exercise of figuring out what makes you feel passionate and inspired can help you understand yourself more profoundly.
However, not all self-care is equal and even if you feel you are practicing it correctly, it may not be having the desired effects. The frustration at your failed efforts may drive you towards more unhealthy coping mechanisms making the whole process null.
Here are 3 reasons why your self-care routine is not working and how to resolve them!
1. You're doing what's 'in' instead of what works best for YOU
Everything has trends, including self-care. These range from acupuncture, workout bands, fung shui, crystals and essential oils. All of that is great but they don't work for you and what if what does, is not trending? Don't follow the crowd, follow yourself and go with what works best for you.
Trying new things is how we grow but you will never work out what works for you if you're constantly reading what's popular in the media world or being influence by what your friends are trying. For some people, the epitome of self-care is a deep tissue, full-body massage but what if you feel uncomfortable being touched? In that case, what is supposed to be a relaxing massage can turn into an anxiety-ridden experience and have the complete opposite effect.
Self-care trends don't work for everyone because each of us is unique. It's fine to research what's hot but it's also OK to reject it because when it comes to what works for you, they'e just not.
2. You are not aware of the different types of self-care
A part of the reason why a lot of us tend to focus on only the physical aspect of self-care is because that's what is show in the media often. However, if we really research the depths of self-care, we would see that it is far more profound than that and it's not only about doing what's good for your body but your mental, emotional, spiritual, psychological, and even professional well-being too.
A form of mental self-care is going on a social media break or spending a weekend doing nothing but relaxing at home.
A form of emotional self-care is setting boundaries in your relationships or writing positive affirmations about yourself.
A form of spiritual self-care is meditating in the mornings or volunteering at a local children's home.
A form of psychological self-care is enlisting the help of a therapist to unpack your trauma and emotional baggage to help you get your life together.
A form of professional self-care is sprucing up your work space or looking for a job that's a better fit for you.
Working on only one form of self-care is the quickest way to set yourself up for failure.
3. It's beginning to feel like a chore
When you first start implementing a self-care regimen into your life, it might seem a little like work. We get so used to doing anything and everything but taking care of ourselves that it can feel strange. After a few months, if you're not actually looking forward to your self-care routines then something has gone wrong somewhere.
Use this as an opportunity to go back to the drawing board and see the two previous posts to help you work out the right self-care fit for you and eventually it will flow and not feel forced.