What is Self-Care and What Isn’t? How to Avoid Unhealthy Habits

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Instagram influencers and millennials love to throw the term “self-care” around, but often times it can lead to unhealthy habits and bad coping skills.

While it’s important to take time for oneself and to focus on self-betterment, the term self-care can be confused with self-indulgence.

a woman meditating
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We’re all trying to get through this year as best as we can, but it’s important to invest in things that will better us long-term.

Read on to learn more about what’s considered good self-care and what isn’t. 

Self-Care: Asking For Help

One of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is asking someone for help. If you’re struggling, whether it be with anxiety, depression, trauma, or something else, do not be afraid to tell somebody. 

Not only will sharing your struggles lift some weight off your shoulders, but your friends and family can help you find therapists or other people to talk to.

Not Self-Care: Binge-eating

How many times have we watched movies or TV shows where the main character eats a box of donuts and justifies it as “self-care?” The answer? A lot. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, we should all treat ourselves to the food we like, but there’s a difference between treating ourselves and over-indulging. 

Binge-eating will only lead to more anxiety and stress in the future, so try your best not to self-soothe with food. 

Self-Care: Getting Rest

It is more than OK to say no to a night out with friends if you’ve just spent the entire week grinding at work and haven’t had time to sleep. 

Never let anyone make you feel bad for choosing rest, especially as so many of us struggle to get a good night’s sleep these days.

Now, this isn’t to say you should be spending the whole day in bed and ignoring obligations. But, you should be focusing on getting a solid eight to 10 hours of sleep a night. 

Not Self-Care: Retail Therapy

Scrolling on fashion websites and buying new clothes may make you feel better temporarily, but it doesn’t do anything to help the root of your issues.

Retail therapy is a bandaid for whatever it is you’re dealing with and it will never solve your major issues. You can have all the bags and shoes in the world, but ultimately you’ll be left feeling the way you felt before you filled up your cart.

Self-Care: Exercise

It is not selfish to schedule an hour into your day just for exercise. In fact, it is incredibly vital to our health that we spend time moving our bodies.

Many of us forgo exercise because we feel like we have a thousand other things to do in our day, but it is worth investing in. Giving ourselves time to sweat will ultimately make us better people to be around.