Self-Care Done Right: 4 Do’s & Don’ts
In the craziness of life, it can be all too easy to forget about taking care of ourselves. We forget to check in with how we are feeling and provide ourselves with what we want and deserve. In these times, it is important to practice self-care. Self-care is the time we take to ourselves that helps us recharge and refresh.
However, there is often a fine line between self-care and laziness. Many people disguise their laziness as self-care. Self-care can easily cross into laziness when you are unaware of what self-care actually means and entails. Learning the difference between the two is essential, as it can help you find meaningful, practical, and helpful self-care strategies while avoiding the trap of laziness.
What Is Self-Care?
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines self-care as "the ability of individuals, families, and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider.” Self-care is a set of activities you can engage in that help you look after yourself, care for yourself, and maintain your physical and emotional health. It’s also the practice of creating and maintaining habits that contribute to a more positive living experience. Finally, self-care is doing things or activities to recharge your batteries for a more productive day or week ahead.
When Self-Care Crosses into Laziness
It can be easy to justify laziness as self-care, especially when you do not have clear goals for taking care of yourself. You can help yourself identify when self-care is turning into laziness by watching out for the following:
#1. You Procrastinate
Procrastination means delaying the things you need to get done. When you procrastinate, you may think to yourself, “I'll do that later” or “I still have a lot of time.” When you procrastinate, you most often spend that time doing something less productive that you deem as beneficial.
#2. You Feel Guilty and Selfish
It's crucial to remember that self-care is not selfish. It is not selfish if you put yourself first and think about your well-being. Practicing self-care gives you the motivation, energy, and mindset to help others – the complete opposite of being selfish. However, If you feel guilty about taking time to take care of yourself because you know that you are doing nothing productive, you may have crossed the line over to laziness. If you feel selfish and guilty because you think that you are wasting your day, it may be because you are.
#3. You Don't Do Anything Beneficial
While many activities can seem beneficial to taking care of yourself, they may not be. If you notice you aren't engaging in activities that contribute to your personal growth and well-being – such as working out, meditating, reading, or getting outside – you may have crossed the line into laziness.
#4. You Make Excuses
If you’re constantly using “self-care” as a reason to sit back and watch 10 hours of Netflix because you don’t feel like doing something, this isn’t true self-care. You should be participating in self-care activities if you’re feeling worn out or overwhelmed as a tool and strategy to recharge and reset before tackling what you need to do for the day. For example, if you’re not truly exhausted and simply feeling lazy, don’t use self-care as an excuse to not exercise for the day. You might feel like your body is asking for the “rest,” but it most likely needs that extra push and rush of endorphins to get you back to feeling energized.
How to Practice Self-Care Without Laziness
There is no standard guideline for self-care. As long as you do things that contribute to your overall well-being, productivity, growth, and mindset, you are practicing self-care without laziness.
However, if you are still unsure of how to start taking care of yourself in the most productive way, you may want to consider the following:
#1. Make a Goal Checklist
The first step you must do to start your self-care practice effectively is to identify and set your goals. Your self-care routine will highly depend on the goals you have set for yourself. These goals can be as broad or as specific as you want them to be. Your goals can be personal, financial, or career goals.
#2. Make a Daily Checklist
Once you create goals for yourself, you can list down the activities that will help you reach those goals. Remember, it is self-care if it is beneficial for yourself, your well-being, and your growth. You do not need to be strict with yourself or overwhelm yourself with rigorous tasks to reach your goals. You can start with simple and easy activities and then add more to your routine as you go.
#3. Make Self-Care a Habit
To make your self-care practice genuinely effective, you need to make it a part of your daily or weekly routine. To do this, you need to start small. You do not need to overwhelm yourself with daunting tasks at the beginning of your self-care journey. Instead, make sure you have accomplished the small tasks you have set for yourself and become confident in making them a part of your routine.
#4. Relax and Quiet the Mind
Relaxing is essential to taking care of yourself. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and relax. Your self-care activities are for you. Tune out all the daily stressors in your life and think about yourself. Be at peace with yourself and listen to what your body needs. You deserve to love and care for yourself.
Self-Care Is Essential … Especially In Recovery
Taking care of yourself allows you the opportunity to recharge and ensure you are maintaining your overall well-being. However, self-care can easily cross into laziness. if you find yourself procrastinating, feeling guilty or selfish, not doing anything beneficial, or making excuses, you may be using self-care as a mask for your loneliness.
The Edge Treatment Center can help you learn how to take care of yourself in recovery. Our Orange County, CA-based treatment center is committed to providing the necessary tools for long-term drug and alcohol recovery. To learn more, call (800) 778-1772.