A common misconception about self-care is that it’s always just relaxing and soothing. That’s not necessarily the case. In fact, if you’re always just relaxing, you need to adjust your self-care strategies a bit.
Some parts of self-care are going to be uncomfortable and difficult, but it’ll never be destructive. Even if self-care can be hard, it’s only ever done with the intention of helping you improve yourself.
For example, if you’re used to a pretty sedentary lifestyle, you might think self-care is just relaxing a bit more. Possibly at worst eating some better foods, but never anything too strenuous.
In reality, self-care for you would be getting out of your comfort zone and exercising to become more active. It’s not going to be a comfortable or enjoyable transition, but it’s helping you improve, and would be your ideal form of self-care.
This same idea can be applied to those who work too often. Some people are just addicted to working and refuse to give themselves enough downtime to process things and relax.
For them, self-care would be more focused on relaxing and enjoying themselves. They’d want to go back to work, but they would have to stay at home and find something to do as a hobby, something enjoyable.
Mental health is another part of self-help that might not be as enjoyable as you’d think it will be. You might be imagining taking a mental health day and just not stressing out about things too much, but it can often go a bit deeper than that. You’ll probably have to sit down at some point and think hard about what it is in your life that’s stressing you out - what’s causing you to feel the way you do.
This can be an uncomfortable and deep look into your own mind, so it’s certainly not a cakewalk. Don’t go into self-care with the idea that you’re just going to get to relax. Of course relaxation is an important part of it, but that’s not all it is.
At the end of the day, it’s about bettering yourself, and you can’t expect to improve by just staying stagnant. You need to face up to some less than desirable realities and realize that you’re going to be confronted with some unnerving situations. As long as you can push through these, though, you’ll come out on the other side a better person all around.