Dodging self-care myths while navigating the wellness waters isn’t an easy task—especially when we’re just starting out and looking for some sage advice that’ll actually help you take good care of ourselves.
I mean, look at how tedious the process can be. We have to think twice about what we put in and on our bodies; develop a routine that works with our schedules; and go through periods of trial and error with the products and methods we use.
And this is only made more complicated when the practitioners, influencers, and even friends and family we trust all have completely different pieces of advice.
At the end of the day, what’s best for you can only truly be determined by you. However, there are a few self-care myths you definitely need to steer clear of if you want to make some real progress in your personal growth.
Myth #1: “Going vegan is better for your health.”
If you haven’t noticed, there’s definitely been an increase in veganism and plant-based eating over the last few years. And when it comes to general wellness, going vegan is seen as the pinnacle of healthy living—but this isn’t exactly true. Not completely, anyways.
Of course adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet is a wonderful idea, and actually something we should all do. However, the idea that living a healthier life means you must cut out meat and animal products is somewhat of a myth.
Really, you should be eating (and moving!) according to what makes your body feel good. This idea is called intuitive eating, and the 10 principles behind it are simple and familiar:
- Reject the “fad diet” mentality. You don’t need a cabbage soup, flat tummy tea, or any other trendy weight loss gimmick to be healthy—ditch it all.
- Honor your hunger. When you’re truly hungry, eat. Fasting is a wonderful tool, but starvation is not.
- Make peace with food. Unless you have health-related dietary restrictions or allergies, why are you so focused on limiting your food options? Give yourself permission to eat. Yes, that means carbs, too.
- Challenge the idea of “good” and “bad”. Take a look at all the unreasonable rules about how you eat. Make sure you see food as more than just calories.
- Create a satisfying environment. When create an inviting space to eat in, you’ll likely feel more content and satisfied both physically and emotionally after a meal.
- Feel your fullness. Learn the signals your body gives you when you should keep eating to satisfaction and when you’re ready to stop. This will help with over/under eating.
- Channel your emotions. A lot of us are prone to eating “comfort foods” as a way to deal with emotional and mental pressures. Find new, healthy outlets to channel your emotions such as journaling, talk therapy, or meditation.
- Respect yourself. You are who you are, and there’s no need to judge yourself against any unreasonable beauty or health standards. Accept your unique existence with love and gratitude.
- Move your body. You don’t need a full blown workout routine meant. Simply get active.
- Honor your health. When making decisions, prioritize your health and not beauty standards or trends.
Adopting this mindset will help you understand that veganism is only one of many different ways to be healthy. If it doesn’t resonate with you, don’t do it.
Myth #2: “You need to do a detox.”
The myth of the detox is one that we desperately need to detach from. While the concept of ridding your mind, body, and soul of unhealthy stimuli and toxins is one that we should wholeheartedly accept, we need to revise how we do that.
Long story short, we don’t need expensive pills, juices, teas, or vitamins to get it done. Truth be told, drinking enough water is all you need considering that our kidneys and bladder work as our body’s natural filtration system.
So what should we do to detox instead?
- Drink water and eat whole foods.
- Unplug from electronics and social media at least once a week.
- Meditate, pray, and practice mindfulness.
- Cut back on refined carbs.
- Practice being mindful of the negative words that come out of your mouth.
- Listen to music with healthier, more positive messages.
- With permission from your physician, go on a fast.
The idea that detoxing requires anything but common sense is a myth. For the most part, it’s free and quite simple.
Myth #3: “There’s only one way to do self-care.”
Is it me, or have y’all noticed that “self-care” comes with a particular aesthetic now? You know, the same bubble bath, candle burning, yoga-laden pictures floating around social media that make you feel like you have to do exactly that for your wellness routine?
Yeah girl, it’s a myth. Well, kinda. The true problem is that it only shows one face of self-care and not the true diversity of it.
Sometimes taking good care of yourself means curling up in bed with a glass of wine and a good book after a long day at work; walking your dog while listening to your favorite podcast; or even sitting down to a nice dinner with your friends and family.
You don’t have to look like anything in particular — just do and be what is true to you.