In the last post, I shared with you 5 COMPLETELY FREE Acts of Self-Care. I hope you noticed that the theme was making connections, between yourself and your breath, your body, your mind, and your friends.
Is Self-Care Escapism?
But for so many people, there is a belief that self-care is a form of escapism. That is, they feel that in order to recharge they need to withdraw from others.
Let me be clear: if your personality is more introverted, you likely do need time to yourself to feel your best. If you like to take long walks in nature to reconnect with yourself so that you can be your best self, that’s fantastic.
But what I want to talk about today is the misconception that other forms of escapism are self-care. Notably, that need that so many people have to zone out, using food or alcohol or digital media as a pacification method.
Self-care is about nourishing yourself and building yourself up. If you find yourself caught up in endless internet surfing, mindlessly watching cat videos night after night, ask yourself: Is this really the best way to feed my soul?
A lot of people use TV or the internet as an evening wind down. But as we learn more and more about the detrimental effects of blue light (as emitted by digital devices) on sleep, we need to be mindful of how our evening escapism is affecting our overall wellness.
This desire to zone out may be necessary from time to time. Life can be overwhelming. The number of people competing for our attention and time often makes women want to run for the hills. Mindless consumption– whether it is caloric or media– as a one-off event won’t really hurt you. But if it becomes a pattern, a way of soothing yourself, then you’ve moved on from protective self-care to an unhealthy behavior.
Look, I’m no angel. One time several years ago, in the middle of the night awake with an unsettled baby, I googled, “Silent Retreat Center near me.” The thought of running away for a weekend and talking to NO ONE seemed positively dreamy. (Let’s be honest– it still does.) And while this escapist strategy would have been lovely, what I really needed to do was reassess why I felt the need to run away in the first place.
My regular running workouts give me a tiny escape a few days a week. No headphones; nothing but my footfalls. Running is a productive form of escapist self-care, as I get to be outside and work my body at the same time.
As with any type of healthy habit building, a thoughtful reflection about your behaviors can help you craft the wellness lifestyle you seek. Finding the balance between escapism and connection can outline the best self-care practices for you to adopt.
Good health and great happiness to you!