Self-care has become such a prime focus in recent years. But what does it actually mean? And how much is too much self-care before it becomes over indulgent?
When the term self-care is said, most people think of massages, lavender oil infused baths, and general feel-good activities. While these are beautiful aspects of self-care, they are also the more surface level ones. Because we are all diverse and layered as humans, self-care can look different for everyone. Essentially, self-care means committing to looking after yourself: mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Over the years self-care has become an all encompassing buzz word, and its true meaning has been forgotten.
Self-care is really a form of healing. When we allow our cups to be drained, (giving too much to others) more than we are allowing our cups to be filled (not receiving enough from others) it leads to high levels of emotional and energetic burn out. So, what self-care really means for many, is creating and enforcing stronger boundaries for yourself.
Although self-care is essential in today’s high pressure society, when we put pressure on ourselves to engage in self-care, we defeat the purpose of it. Our well-being and emotional health is nuanced, and it’s important to remember not to frame our self-care in absolute “either-or” terms. Of course, it is important (and essential) to take care of yourself, but self care doesn’t mean completely retreating into yourself, constantly hibernating and disengaging from everyone else and the world that surrounds you.
When you are completely inflexible with your routine, it is a sure sign that your self-care is too much. It is not meant to feel restrictive. It’s not meant to include pressure, and it’s not meant to resemble a chore.
When self-care includes pressure in the equation, it is signalling that self-care has become ‘too much’.
Putting pressure on yourself to engage in self-care can look like:
~ Rushing to that nail appointment or massage, and feeling stressed throughout, because of the rush to get there
~ Feeling like you need to ‘check off’ certain items off your self-care list
~ Sometimes just having a “self-care list” is a sign that it’s too much
~ Completely retreating within, and never attending social arrangements, because you’re having a ‘self-care day.’
Bottom line: balance is the key to everything in life, including self-care. So yes, there is such a thing as “too much” self-care.
Looking after yourself is absolutely imperative to balance your emotional, physical, and mental well-being, but when you are overcompensating and overindulging in your self-care routine, it is time to possibly pause, and reassess if your self-care is becoming too much.
The purpose of self-care is to balance yourself and feel aligned, and if your self-care is causing the opposite to occur, then it’s time to reset.