When Self-Care Goes Wrong: 7 Tools We Can Use To Separate Self-Care From Laziness

I got the idea for this post from a conversation I had yesterday at work. I was part of a discussion about how each of us practice self-care to show up for others, and someone’s response was; they had to be careful not to cross over from self-care to laziness. It made me think about the meme above and I also thought it would a great topic for us to discuss. I talk a lot about the importance of taking time for self-care but there is a line between self-care and being lazy. I want to stress that self-care is not a form of laziness, it’s not neglecting your responsibilities so you can have time to yourself. Self-care is giving yourself a break when you need it so that you can fully show up for yourself and others. Self-care shifts into laziness when you’re no longer being productive in life. According to Psychology Today, “a person is being lazy if they are able to perform their activity but is disinclined to do so because of the effort involved. Instead, the person engages in a less boring or less strenuous activity.”

My Sunday post are the post that I use to provide you with self-care challenges for each day of the week. This week will be different, instead of providing you with challenges I want to encourage you to use this week to identify whether you’re being lazy or actually engaging in some form of self-care. This is the last Sunday in month, and if you’ve read the first self-care challenge post I wrote this month, then you probably remember that this month’s self-care love language focus was Acts of Service. If you have no idea what I’m talking about then check out this post and this post. The idea for today’s blog came right on time for two reasons; 1). It encourages us to be productive which falls right in line with acts of service, and 2). It’s the perfect way for us to end this month’s self-care focus. Below are some tools you can use to identify whether you’re engaging in self-care or if you’re just being lazy.

YOU’RE NOT GETTING ANYTHING DONE your chores are starting to pile up but instead of taking care of them, you chose to take yet another day of “self-care” because you feel completely overwhelmed by the thought and sight of handling your chores. The downside to this is, the more you avoid it, the worse it’s going to get.

Suggestion: Instead of trying to get it all done in one day, choose one area to focus on and get that done, even if it takes all day. I suggest taking short (15-30min) breaks but only IF you need it and then get right back to work.

YOUR PRODUCTIVITY IS LOW similar to the above, but at this stage you’re devoting too much time to “self-care” and not enough time to getting things done. For example, you swept the floor but spent hours binge watching Netflix. When in fact you needed to clean the entire kitchen, there’s no balance.

Suggestion: carve out some time during your day and devote it to completing the entire chore during that time frame.

GUILT you start to feel guilty because you know that you should be getting things done but instead you chose to lay around. I also want to point out, if you’re a pretty active person—someone who always get things done and takes care of their responsibilities, but you start to feel guilty when you decide to take time for yourself, that’s not laziness. I think that falls under changing your mindset. Taking time for yourself is never a bad thing, it becomes an issue when you start to fall way behind on all your responsibilities.

Suggestion: see above. If you’re starting to feel guilty about taking so much time for yourself, then I suggest implementing some of the suggested habits that I’ve already mentioned.

DEPRESSION I am not a healthcare professional so this is not a diagnoses. But if you’re unable to get things done because of your lack of energy (and it’s been going on for several weeks), you may want to look into symptoms of depression or any other potential health concerns. DISCLAIMER: Depression is NOT a form of laziness. That is not the message I’m trying to imply.

Suggestion: consult a medical professional for additional information.

AVOIDANCE you find every reason possible not to handle your business. This can range from constant traveling, making plans to hang out with friends, sleeping in, etc. If you’re constantly on the move then you’re probably not being lazy but avoiding your responsibilities at extreme cost, is not a form of self-care.

Suggestion: assess your environment. How are things looking? What’s piling up? What needs attention? How are you finances looking since you’re always on the move and doing something?

EXCUSES I think excuses are okay sometimes because there are times when we really don’t want to be bothered and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if your response to something always comes with an excuse then something else is going on. You’re likely avoiding (see above). Making excuses to avoid your responsibilities in not self-care. For example, “I work all week, I need the weekend to rest.” This is a very valid point, but how many weekends are you using to rest? Unfortunately, our lives do not stop on the weekends, so things still needs to get done, this is adulting.

Suggestion: ask a friend or someone you live with if you always make excuses to get out of getting things done. Sometimes we can’t see what other people see in us. But be open and receptive to what they say, often times we get defensive and feel attacked when we hear the truth.

ABUSING THE WORD “SELF-CARE” this is similar to the above, in fact it ties all the tools together. There are some people who use the word “self-care” to get out of doing everything and that’s not self-care. Again, this falls under being lazy, you’re avoiding, and it’s also an excuse that we use to do what we want to do instead of doing what we need to do.

Suggestion: I would suggestion doing an evaluation of all the suggestions listed above. Do you fall in all or any of the categories? If so, adjust your “self-care” accordingly.

If you’re naturally a lazy person or have a hard time getting things done, then this is my way of encouraging you to change your lifestyle habits. I would never suggest going all in at once, if you’ve always spent most of your time lounging and distracting yourself by doing other things. I recommend starting slow when implementing something new in your routine. The key is not to fall back into your old habits. I also want to point out that you may have an extended period in your life when you fall short in a lot of areas that’s a phase, and it’s okay, we’re human, not perfect but it’s an issue if it shifts from being a phase into your full lifestyle. Self-care isn’t going anywhere, so there’s no need to abuse it. In the grand scheme of things abusing self-care can cause more harm than good so act accordingly.

I know I gypped you guys out of challenges for this week but you can use some of the challenges I have this week for my Self-Care On the Go challenges. Self-Care on the go are essentially bite size versions of my self-care challenges. It’s open to anyone but it’s specifically created for moms and other working women; who may not have time to participate in all (or any) of the challenges that I provide weekly because of their mommy duties or busy work schedule. You can access the infographic HERE. You an also check out some of the earlier challenges from when I first started posting self-care challenges. There may be some self-care routines that you haven’t done in a while. I’ve done some fo the leg work for you:

By the way, if you’re interested, my Newsletter and Self-Care Accountability Worksheet is now available. The worksheet will act as a supplement to my daily self-care challenges. The purpose is to help you stay on track with your daily self-care routines. If you’re interested in receiving these items weekly, email me at tam33ks@yahoo.com. The self-care worksheet is FREE, but will only be available to my Newsletter subscribers. I will NOT spam you, I will only email once per week.

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Published by tam33ks

I have a long history with mental illness. Overcoming depression made me realize my own resilience. It also made it clear that I wasn’t taking care of myself. I believe that in order for us to fully engage with ourselves and others we have to make time for self-love through our self-care habits. My goal with this blog is to encourage women in my age group to make time for self-care daily.

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