What Self Care Is Not

There’s so much confusion about self care.

Most of the information out there is flat out wrong.

In this post, I’m sharing the truth about self care and exactly how you can start taking better care of yourself today.

Let’s get started by getting an idea of what self care is not… 

If you want to listen instead of read, here’s the podcast episode that goes along with this post — The Self Care Myth.

The Self Care Myth: What Self Care Is Not

Part of the confusion with self care is that self care always feels good.

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Self Care Is Not…

  • Taking bubble baths
  • Doing what feels good in the moment
  • Taking a break
  • Eating sugar or drinking wine
  • Seeking pleasure at the expense of your future goals

We tend to talk about self care in terms of “feeling good.”

While it’s important to remember that pleasure is an amazing part of life, pleasure at the expense of your long term goals is the opposite of self care.

For example, if you decide you’re too tired and overwhelmed to work on your goals, even thought that’s what you put on your calendar, you’re not taking care of yourself. In fact, your future self is going to be a little pissed that you slowed down and took a break. Your future self is not going to thank you.

If you’re feeling negative emotion, such as disappointment or frustration, the way to take care of yourself is to allow the negative emotion. It is NOT to go take a bubble bath and feel sorry for yourself.

If you do this, it’s okay. Seriously, I’ve been there. But the truth is when you do that, you’re only hurting yourself. You’re not empowered to take action and live your life to the fullest.

So from this point on, I want you to really think about whether you’re doing something to take care of yourself, or just because you don’t want to feel negative emotion. True self care looks at your future. It trades short term discomfort for long term gratification.

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The Truth About Self Care

Put simply, self care is taking care of yourself. It’s not pleasuring yourself in exchange for feeling less discomfort. It’s doing hard things so that you live your life in integrity.

More specifically, here’s what self care really is…

1. Decision Making in Your Best Interest

Self care is making decisions with your own personal best interest. This means…

  • Saying yes when you want to. 
  • Saying no when you don’t want to.

2. Hooking Up Your Future Self

Self care means hooking up your future self.

Setting yourself up for the best future possible can look like…

  • Doing hard things
  • Eating on plan
  • Going on more dates

It’s anything that your future self will say “thank you” for. If you want to be healthier, get married, or change your future, then choose things now that will make those things happen. 

Are you willing to prioritize your future even when it’s hard to do in the present moment? 

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3. Self Examination (Awareness)

Self care is being aware of your thoughts and feelings. It’s being aware that you’re the creator of your life.

Increase your self awareness by asking questions like…

  • What are your thoughts, feelings, actions, and what are the results?
  • What do you like? 
  • What don’t you like?

Approach yourself with curiosity and compassion. Don’t hate on yourself for your past decisions. Think about why you did the things that you did. You were trying your best in that moment! 

4. Self Confidence And Self Love

Self care is self confidence and self love.

Self confidence is…

  • What your opinion of yourself is.
  • Talking to yourself with kindness.
  • Giving yourself compliments!

You get to decide deliberately what you think about you, and when you show up for you.

Loving yourself is…

  • Feeling love towards yourself.
  • Appreciating yourself. 
  • Judging yourself LESS. 

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5. Telling the Truth

Telling the truth to yourself is self care.

Be honest with yourself. You don’t want to focus on being a people pleaser. 

Choosing to say no to someone doesn’t mean that you don’t love the other person. You do love them, but you are choosing to love yourself, too.

6. Self Respect 

Self care is respecting yourself. It’s showing up and having self accountability.

How do you treat yourself? Do you give yourself a break when you need it? Do you hold yourself accountable and show up when you say you’re going to? 

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7. Having Your Own Back 

Self care is having your own back. It’s honoring yourself and being proud of yourself.

It’s so important to have your own back. This goes for when you’re AMAZING. And also for when you make mistakes.

Be supportive of yourself no matter what. 

8. Take Responsibility For How You Think And Feel

Self care is taking responsibility for how you think and feel.

You can think anything you want at any time.

You can feel any emotion.

No one can make you think and feel anything.

Most people don’t know this. They don’t know they’re not their thoughts and feelings.

What if you believed that you could think anything? What would you think if anything were possible? How would you act if you knew you were responsible for your feelings 100% of the time?

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Your Relationship With Yourself

Self care has so much to do with your relationship with yourself. It’s how you think and feel about you.

Consider these areas of your life…

Your Relationship With Yourself In General 

If your relationship could talk to you, what would it say? 

  • Do you make the time for it?
  • Do you show up when you need to?
  • Do you process your thoughts?
  • Do you examine your emotions?
  • Do you have your own back no matter what?
  • Do you always do your best? 

Would your relationship with yourself describe itself as a good one if it could tell you? 

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Your Relationship With Your Body 

What kind of relationship do you have with your body? Here are some questions to ask yourself about your body…

  • What am I putting into it?
  • What do you say to it?
  • What sorts of thoughts do you have about it?

Are you putting things in your body that can benefit it? Do you uplift your body or do you find yourself hating on the way it looks? Do you think about it in a good way, or do you think that it isn’t good enough? 

It’s so important to be aware of the way that you view your body so you can learn to love your body the way it’s now. 

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Your Relationship With Your Future Life 

Do you find yourself thinking about the future you and who you want to be?

  • Are you hooking your future self up?
  • Are you choosing to do the hard things now?
  • Are you eating healthy and working out?
  • Are you self coaching?
  • Are you receiving life coaching from someone else? 

Do you find that you’re living in such a way that when you look back in a year, five years, ten years, etc., you can thank yourself for the actions you’re taking right?

For me, I think it will be so amazing in ten years that I can look back and say, “I quit drinking ten years ago.” I’m changing the trajectory of my entire life! This is the same thing for all the decisions I’m making with my business, my eating plan, my exercise, my choice to not eat sweets. I’m determining my future. 

This is the same with any decision you’re making right now. They’re all defining your future. Will you be grateful for the decisions you’re making right now, in the future? 

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5 Small Ways You Can Practice Self Care Right Now

Considering everything you read above, a great place to get started taking better care of yourself is doing the following…

1. Ask Yourself, “If I Loved Myself, What Would I Do?”

For example, I wanted some candy the other night but I decided to wait until the morning to re-decide if I wanted to change my commitment to not eating sweets. This is an example of asking myself, “if I loved myself, what would I choose to do?” Love hooks your future self up from a place of compassion and power for you! It thinks about what the best version of yourself looks like and makes decisions accordingly.

2. Go On A Rampage Of Self Appreciation 

Every single time you get into the shower, start saying words of self love and self appreciation to yourself. 

Examples of self love would be saying things like… 

  • I love how ambitious I am.
  • I love how passionate I am.
  • I love how much I love my clients. 
  • I love that I don’t drink.
  • I love that I have figured out romantic love. 

This is not being arrogant and insecure, and talking about how you’re “better than,” but instead, appreciating and loving what you are!  

Start practicing self love and learn to appreciate yourself and your positive aspects. Your primitive brain focuses on your mistakes and self loathing. Choose to love yourself instead. 

3. When Your Brain Says Something Negative Say The Opposite

Whenever your brain tries to attack you with a negative thought about yourself, something that is self critical, turn it around and say something about yourself that is the opposite and is also true. 

  • When your brain tells you you’re not going to get a new job, reply with something that is true, like, you’ve always gotten jobs in the past
  • When your brain brings up something you did wrong, tell yourself something true, like you were doing your best. 

For every negative, you tell yourself a positive. Get yourself out of that negative slump with positive affirmation! 

4. Put Positive Input Into Your Mind

Instead of binging on Netflix or watching the news, take a free trainings that will help you in your life.

Here are free trainings you can get started with right now:

  1. How To Live An Intentional Life
  2. Conquering Anxiety
  3. Overcoming Self Doubt

You can find all the latest free trainings here: Resources Page.

When you fill your mind with positive input, your brain will believe that you’re capable of creating something new. This is the beginning of designing your dream life.

5. Hire A Life Coach

There’s no better self care than hiring a life coach.

A life coach is someone who will help you uplevel your entire life and get you the results you want.

Everyone needs a life coach. Always and forever.

It’s an honor to coach my clients and help them achieve their goals.

To learn more about life coaching, visit Grow You, my virtual life coaching program.

A Final Note! 

Taking care of yourself on the inside is the most important work you can do.

How you show up in the world, how you give back and contribute, how you interact in your relationships, how you parent, how you work, all stems from the way you’re thinking and feeling on the inside.

Self care is taking care of you. It’s making decisions that serve you at your highest self.

Choosing to take care of you is a life long journey that you’ll be oh so happy you went on. I promise.

Up Next, watch the YouTube video…