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Self-care myths pervade our culture to a point where the understanding of self-care is but a muddy reflection of what it actually is – but, worse than that ... the many benefits of self-care have been buried so deep in that mud we don’t even know what we are missing!

Self-care brings a sense of ease and lightness to life, an awareness of the preciousness of who you are, and a knowing that you are cared for (without needing anyone else to do it for you).

Magazines, TV and the internet implore women to build the perfect butt, or surgically enhance your breasts, or for men to have a washboard 6-pack of abs. But of what value is a so-called perfect body if the person living inside that body has low self-esteem, self-confidence, or struggles with self-love?

Self-care fosters a sense of wellbeing that comes from the lived dedication of caring for yourself. This is not in any way a burden, but a joyful rhythm that is part of each day. The transformative and life-changing benefits of this simple but powerful way of living are too valuable to let these myths continue . . .

Myth                 Truth
Self-care is hard work Self-care is by definition caring, and is also very simple. Caring for yourself quickly becomes second nature and is a normal part of your everyday life.
Self-care is about pampering yourself Self-care is not concerned with feeling good for an hour or two, or even a week or two – it is about a forever and daily care of self. It cares for the whole body, so eating a box of chocolates doesn’t count as self-care (given the sugar low and potential mood swings that will inevitably follow)!
Self-care takes a lot of effort Self-care is in the little things, like closing the car door gently, or leaving enough time to get ready for work so you don’t have to rush, or going for a walk at lunch time simply to enjoy the fresh air.
No pain no gain This old exercise adage is the antithesis of self-care. Pain is a warning that something is not right in the body. Change the mantra to, “If it’s not caring, it’s not happening.”
Self-care is expensive Self-care doesn’t involve needing to buy anything. You can start being caring with your-self today with any number of simple activities like a 5-minute Gentle Breath Meditation or going to bed early, or taking a moment to appreciate who you are. The Self-Care Tips section has some great ideas for getting started with self-care.
Self-care is tedious
(even boring!)
Fun, joy and lightness are all part of self-care. You don’t take care of yourself because you have to, or because it's good for you – you take care of yourself because you are the only one on earth like you, you are precious and you deserve to be cared for.
Self-care is about having a great-looking body With self-care you will see the body through different eyes. It won’t be about whether there is an absence of fat or sculpted muscles, but about whether there is a tenderness, joy and love emanating from within. The physical look of the body will naturally follow the tenderness.
Self-care is for people who
are sick
Self-care is immensely beneficial for everyone, and there is nothing to stop anyone adopting self-care ways, no matter their age, state of health or physical fitness. While self-care has common principles, the activity of self-care will look different for everyone.
Self-help is self-care Hundreds if not thousands of self-help books, courses and recordings have invaded our culture. Life and fitness coaches abound, and yet rates of illness and disease continue to rise. Self-care isn’t about finding a 'better you', it is about honouring and caring for who you already are.
Self-care is a to-do list Self-care is a way of being and living that is a foundation of your day. It is not so much about what to do, but about a way of being in the activity you undertake.

The journey of self-care can begin today, and evolve in your own way in every day that follows. Use the Self-care tips section for getting started, or browse through our incredibly delicious and simple recipes to support you in a new way of eating, or for building a daily connection with yourself, check out the super simple Gentle Breath Meditation.

Filed under

Well-beingSelf-awarenessSelf-worth

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    By Heather Pope, Corporate Executive

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    Photography: Dean Whitling, Brisbane based photographer and film maker of 13 years.

    Dean shoots photos and videos for corporate portraits, architecture, products, events, marketing material, advertising & website content. Dean's philosophy - create photos and videos that have magic about them.