Are You Sabotaging Your Self-Care? Here's My Cautionary Tale

Are You Sabotaging Your Self-Care? Here's My Cautionary Tale


Photo credit: Jakob Owens


This may sound like an asinine question and completely counterintuitive to the practice of self-care, but it’s a real truth that’s pervasive with today’s self-care practices.

As you know from my posts, I’m very active. I enjoy weightlifting and as of last year, I began running. Those are my self-care activities.

I realized firsthand that my self-care outlook had gone amiss. When I was really busy with work, other responsibilities and didn’t have time for working out, I became agitated with myself. I was annoyed by not accomplishing my self-care goals for that day. The less time I had to dedicate to self-care, the more my agitation grew.

I felt stressed, anxious, and guilty. I engaged in negative self-talk. Mind you, I’m a firm believer in what you tell your mind, you become. At that point, I had to evaluate why I was being so self-critical.

After doing some research, you know I love my research, I found that self-care in this day-and-age can lead to stress, anxiety, and guilt. Yes, yes, and yes. I was a goner.

For starters, self-care is not something to check off of a ‘To-Do’ list. Self-care isn’t a chore. Self-care is something that you look forward to doing. I enjoy working out. It’s very cathartic. I allowed my type-A personality reduce it to a chore to check-off.

Secondly, in our social media age, practically everything is documented in a perfectly staged photo. When I saw others getting in a serious workout, but I wasn’t working out to my full capacity, it drove me to self-criticism.

Self-care is not a social media moment. Self-care is about me – loving myself and connecting with my inner-self.

Also, technology is not necessary to experience self-care. In actuality, technology can pose a potential threat to self-care. Let’s look at wearable devices and fitness apps. They monitor everything you do. When you don’t accomplish your ten thousand steps or burn amount of calories, you feel guilty for not accomplishing your goals and engage in negative self-talk.

Whoa Nelly! This had my name written all over it. When I didn’t do my written workout verbatim, I discounted the other exercise I did accomplish. Boy, did I find out how counterproductive that is to self-care.

My solution? Get off the grid. I stopped monitoring my run statistics on my running app. I also ditched my pre-planned exercises and went freestyle. I still performed exercises for targeted areas of my body, but I performed the exercises I felt like doing that session.

I also added a new component to my self-care. I began listening to wellness podcasts. I find them soothing. Listening to wellness podcasts allows me to release the pressure valve I place on my self-care.

Finally, let’s address the elephant in the room. Self-care is a hot industry right now. Self-care is an $11 billion industry. Bottom-line, a lot of the commercial self-care market is about capitalism. It’s not about mindful, conscious practice. It’s about the Benjamins. Or as Cardi B sings, Yo quiero, yo quiero dinero. Yo quiero, yo quiero dinero. I just want the green, want the money, want the cash flow.”

In my discovery, I realize that self-care is how you define it for yourself. It’s about showing up for you.

If you can relate to my story, I suggest one thing. Find out what it takes to soothe yourself and give you freedom from your worries. That, my friend, is true self-care.

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