When I first launched ASW, it was for people who are living with persistent pain. I am a certified chronic pain coach, and I’m also a national board certified health and wellness coach. Over two years my business has expanded to include working with individuals who need to take better care of themselves and don’t know how to make it all work with their busy schedules.
Many people believe that chronic pain is generally linked to genetics however 80% of the time these conditions are created by lifestyle behaviors. That means the little things you do daily directly impact your health and whether your life will result in illness or pain. To move upstream and offset the possibility of a life resulting in chronic illness or pain it essential to learn how to implement self-care and create healthy habits.
While many of us believe we don’t have time for self-care, the truth is we don’t have time to not take care of ourselves. We’ve become a society so focused on productivity, that we have lost sight of your well-being.
Let’s define self-care: specific time and attention devoted to your wellbeing that fills your energy.
Here are some myths that stop people from taking care of themselves and nurturing their well-being
I don’t have Time:
This is one of the biggest myths that I hear people saying. In truth, self-care does not require a lot of time. You can implement efficient self-care in less than ten minutes a day. Break it up into two five minute increments morning and evening. Unplug, find a quiet place and check in with your body. Notice if you are feeling stress. Breath. On each exhale and release the stress from your body. Intentionally think a positive thought.
Myth: Self-care is all or nothing.
In truth: self-care does not mean spending an entire day of pampering yourself. While pampering is a great way to nurture yourself, it doesn’t define self-care. Many have found that self-care can be the small moments of life – like when you give yourself three minutes before bed to sit quietly and reflect on your day.”
One of the top misconceptions of Self Care is that it’s too expensive. This is not correct.
For some self-care can include things like pedicures, however, there are many types of free self-care, examples are going for a walk, just washing your face, reading a page from a good book.
Joyce Marter, LCPC, a therapist and owner of the counseling practice Urban Balance believes Self-care is viewed as a luxury that many of us have neither the time nor the money to enjoy. “Self-care does not need to involve an expensive spa or tropical vacation, nor does it need to take hours of your day,”
Take an Epsom salt bath, do some stretching or meditate for ten minutes.
Myth: Self-care is optional.
In truth running yourself into the ground increase unhealthy habits because you are not meeting your needs. Using self-care to check in and ask yourself, what do I need can help you live healthily. It’s crucial to self-nurture as an adult because it’s up to you. Making time to rest and play increases productivity. So if you want to avoid compulsive behaviors like overeating then it’s time to make self-care a priority.
Myth: anything that soothes you is self-care.
Self-care needs to support health and wellness in your life and not be addictive or harmful to your mind, body or bank account. Many people turn to Netflix, alcohol, smart phones, or food to soothe their stress and unwind. However, these habits are the opposite of self-care.
Myth: I’m a parent, and Child care is hard:
This was a big one in my life because I am a mother. There are some important things to consider like what if taking better care of yourself would allow you to be more present for your children.
Listen I ran myself into the ground being busy. All the things I thought were important like checking the mail stopped dead in their tracks when my body shut down. I was left realizing that the things that were most important like playing with my daughter I was incapable of doing.
Keep in mind that you are teaching your children what self-care looks like and is. Here are some ways you can do Self Care with your kids: teach them to meditate with you, have them do some yoga with you, quiet time and reading for ten minutes each day. Allow them to participate in self-care with so that it is a habit in their life as well. Set your children up for success
Myth: Practicing self-care means choosing between yourself and others.
Fact: when you neglect to take care of yourself you end up depleting your energy reserves. Normal daily things become burdensome. We become cranky, irritated, frustrated, and needy and we look to others to meet our needs and replenish our reserves. In a weird twist of fate despite our best efforts to be there for all the people we love not taking care of ourselves make us vulnerable to actually ‘being selfish.
When we’re meeting our needs, we have more energy to give to others. “There is nothing greater to offer the world than your inspired and well-nourished self.”
Self-care is an integral part of our lives. It is the basis for our well-being.