3 Myths and 2 Truths – Why is Self-Care So Hard and How Can I Overcome It?

Self-care is something we hear about often.  We hear that adding in a self-care practice is important for our overall well-being.

So then why is it so hard to actually get the ball rolling on taking care of our needs?

Self-care may sound good in theory, but to actually implement it is an entirely different story.  Do you ever wonder why that might be the case?

Myth 1 – Self-Care is just too indulgent

Self-care can sound a bit self-indulgent.  It sounds like something only the elite do.  There are also different perceptions about what a self-care practice looks like.

There is a belief that a self-care practice only applies to those with the time and money to indulge in long baths, regular massage appointments and in general, laying around and not being productive.

Myth 2 – Self-Care is Selfish Behavior

To even consider possibly introducing some self-care practices feels selfish to many people.  The idea of putting yourself first ahead of others oftentimes goes against how we were raised.

We likely have been around others who seem to always be generous and giving of their time to meet the needs of others.  These people do it willingly while ignoring their own self-care.

We have conditioned ourselves to believe that this is the only way to behave in the world.  That it is the honorable way to live and behave because it is just “the right thing to do.”

Oftentimes when I bring up the idea of adding in self-care practices with clients, they look at me as if I am from another planet.  They feel that my sense of reality is completely skewed and is out-of-touch with their roles and daily responsibilities.  Again though, this is because they have determined that self-care requires a lot of time, is indulgent and is even selfish.

Myth 3 – I Don’t Have Time to Check in With How I Feel

This concept can really feel self-indulgent to many who make the argument that taking breaks during the day is just too time consuming.  Maybe though, it brings up the idea that these breaks can be used to check in with how we are feeling.

Is it possible that these feelings make us uncomfortable and unsettled which is why we keep ourselves busy as much as possible?

The busy schedule could be the glue that helps us to feel put together, productive and efficient in our roles as boss, employee, friend and parent.  To disrupt that pattern could make us feel vulnerable in how we see ourselves in the world.

Self-Care Truth 1 – I Need More Support and It’s Okay

Now let’s look at some truths.  Maybe the act of actually admitting we need to add in self-care is a rude awakening to be faced with.  It could be that coming to this decision somehow reveals that we are not as strong as we would like to think we are.

But do we have to be strong all the time?  No way!  It really is okay to let our guard down from time to time.  It is healthy and authentic to let others know what we need.

Being honest with ourselves about having more down time is crucial in achieving greater balance in life.

Hopefully at this point you are feeling a big sigh of relief.  Yes, all will be well if we let this belief go.  As those old thoughts fade away, new perspectives on self-care can come to the forefront.

Self-Care Truth 2 – Taking on a New Perspective

With these new perspectives there is more room for greater self-acceptance about what we need to feel better emotionally and physically.

This space of less self-criticism can be really liberating too.  Now it is the time for self-discovery.  Revisiting old interests and hobbies that in the past made you feel good are now getting another chance be explored.  It might be photography, hiking, volunteering for instance.  Whatever it is, it does not have to be time consuming.

You set aside the time commitment that works for your schedule.  It could be ten minutes of singing each day, meditation or some light stretching.  Self-care is on your terms and the benefits it can bring are limitless.

So where will you start and what pleasant experiences will you encounter?

How will adding in self-care activities add value and richness to your life?

Daniela Paolone

Daniela Paolone is a Marriage and Family Therapist and founder of Westlake Village Counseling serving residents of California and Wyoming. She helps those working through pain, illness, depression and anxiety using a secure online counseling platform ensuring client confidentiality. Using education, helpful resources, unconditional support and understanding, she strives to help people transform their pain into power so they can live their best lives!

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 10 comments
Tabitha - August 17, 2017

I truly liked your article. It is so hard to find time for ourselves so we just don’t and that is simply not the way to be.

    Daniela Paolone - August 17, 2017

    Thank you Tabitha. Glad to hear you found it helpful!

Jessica - August 17, 2017

I love this! I’m really passionate about self-care since becoming a mom. And I love how you brought light to the fact that self-care isn’t an act of selfishness. Great post!

    Daniela Paolone - August 21, 2017

    So happy to hear that it resonated with you Jessica!

Robert - August 21, 2017

Great blog. We all need take self-care to live a good life. Stephen Covey called it “Sharpening the Saw”.

    Daniela Paolone - August 21, 2017

    Oh that is really interesting Robert! I will have to read up on Stephen Covey. Thanks for sharing that will me 🙂

Dalila - August 30, 2017

This is such a good article. We women really do struggle with this concept.

    Daniela Paolone - August 30, 2017

    Happy to hear you liked the article Dalila.

Chris Marrero-Howieson - August 30, 2017

I am so glad you wrote in this. I think it’s hard for so many of us- especially socialized as women- and doubly so for people in helping professions — to feel comfortable setting limits, admitting to ourselves or others that we need a hand, and not feeling guilty. Thank you. We all need a little TLC…more often than we’d like to admit. 🙂

    Daniela Paolone - August 30, 2017

    Thank you Chris for sharing your thoughts. I am so glad to hear it resonated with you 🙂


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