5 self care mistakes that destroy your efforts to improve

Self care mistakes introduction

self care mistakes

If you want to be more active in self care, you will find that there are a number of self care mistakes you can make.

When you decide to start sometimes putting yourself first for part of the time, you need to make sure you avoid these self care mistakes that are easy habits to fall into.

Adding self care routines into your life isn’t always as easy as it may sound.  You have to really evaluate your thinking to decide what is truly a self care activity, and more to the point, what isn’t self care.

There are some activities that you may start to get involved in because you think they will help your self care regime.  But further examination will show that, although they make you feel good momentarily, overall they can be more harmful than helpful to your health and wellbeing.

I want to help you avoid some of the more common mistakes you can make when starting self care so that you can get started on a good footing and feel good about the things you are doing for yourself.

In this article I’ll help you discover 5 common activities that can easily become mistakes you will not want to take part in!

#1 Using alcohol to relax as self care

self care mistakes alcohol

One mistake many people make is in thinking it’s okay to use alcohol to relax on a regular basis.

It’s sometimes nice to enjoy a glass of wine in the evening after work and it’s hard to resist.  It can give you a warm numb and fuzzy feeling and help you forget about any troubles or conflicts you have experienced that day.

But getting into the habit of relying on alcohol to unwind on a regular basis is a bad idea, and should not be part of any self care regimen.

Drinking alcohol in the evening, but particularly in larger quantities, will likely result in disruption to your sleep.  This goes against your goal of getting a good night’s sleep, a cornerstone of good self-care.

It can also leave you in a bit of a haze the next morning and is sure to impair your performance at work or in the home as a result.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying you should completely abstain and become tee-total here.  A little alcohol is absolutely fine for your health, and some studies actually recommend it for good health.

Many people enjoy a drink in a social environment and you shouldn’t neglect the benefits spending happy times with friends and family bring you.

But for self care purposes, it’s important that you don’t use it as a tool to unwind at the end of the day and that you moderate your consumption.


#2 Don’t overdo shopping as self-care

It’s perfectly acceptable for you to ensure you look and feel good as part of your self care thinking.  Allowing yourself to feel good is extremely beneficial in taking care of yourself.

Treating yourself to some new clothes now and then would be considered a practical, and maybe essential, part of feeling good about yourself.  But beware getting carried away and seeing the act of shopping as the end in itself to make yourself feel good.

Treat yourself by all means but make sure you are doing it as part of your overall plan and that it’s not going to cause you stress in the financial area of your plan because you have overspent and now owe it to your credit card.

This is going to be counter-productive in your attempts to produce more happiness in your life.  Worse, it’s going to generate negative feelings of stress, guilt and overwhelm about money you can do without.

So, still do it but be aware of when and how often you treat yourself by shopping.  Impose a limit on yourself of one or two things a month, for example, and commit to sticking to it.

Self care is important but as in all aspects of life, you need to keep a balance between treating yourself to some new clothes while still keeping integrity in other areas of your life.


#3 Don’t use food to feel good

As with alcohol and shopping, you should avoid getting into the habit of treating yourself with food treats or using them as a way to unwind.

Rewarding your efforts by indulging in food will just make you feel guilty and cause you to gain weight.

Again, as with all things in life we come to realise, it’s all about balance.  It’s good to give yourself the occasional food treat but you don’t want to live there.

As far as possible you should make it a goal to eat a healthy balanced diet as often as possible.  Train your brain to understand that food is fuel and only occasionally for fun.


#4 Walk your self care before you run

If you have decided to improve your self-care and have completed a self-audit, you may have a number of aspects of your life you want to address.

In the early stages of the process and being very motivated by the novelty and promise of it, it can be very tempting to try to tackle too many things at once.

It’s understandable because you are excited about the prospect of making positive changes in your life and you try to focus on them all at once.

The problem with trying too much too soon is that you will struggle to keep up the momentum.  Addressing too many aspects of change at once will need you to do and monitor too many daily activities.

You will become overwhelmed and ultimately achieve few or none of your goals.

I recommend you pick just one of your self care activities at a time and focus totally on it until you master it.  Once you have, you can then start work on the next activity.


#5 You don’t keep at it consistently

Once you have decided upon and set up new self care routines, one of the biggest mistakes is not following up on it every day.

It’s easy to keep at it for a short period after starting because of the excitement of the project and the promise of the benefits.

But then things happen in your life that get in the way and you skip a day or two.  Before you fully realise it, it’s been some time and you have stopped the new activity altogether.

Like many habit changes that leas to better things, improving self-care demands a level of commitment and dedication.

You need to make sure you make time every day to do that thing which you have identified will improve your life in some way.

If the activity you have chosen turns out to be one that is hard to fit in, or you realise you are not getting the benefit or enjoyment you thought, just change it and pick another!

There are many different ways you can practice self care so find something you you do enjoy and can fit into your lifestyle so you make it a consistent practice.

Try journaling as a way to record your self-care efforts and ensure you do it every day.

Self care mistakes summary

Really read each of the five self care traps and examine your activity to make sure you don’t fall into any of them.

While it’s really important to make sure that you take care of yourself so that you are fully able to participate in the world in the way you want to, you need to make sure self care doesn’t turn into overindulgence.

Your self care mustn’t interfere with your other responsibilities in a negative way.  If they do, they aren’t self care.

I hope you enjoyed this article on the 5 self care mistakes you should look out for.  If you did, please consider leaving a comment.  I’d love to hear from you.

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