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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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The Toxic Side of Self-Care and What to Do About It

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Ah, the beautiful thing about self-care. You are living your best life, taking care of yourself, and feeling GR8. What could go wrong? We’ve talked about why self-care isn’t selfish, but it might be time to find out if your view towards self-care is healthy. You may think you’re practicing a fantastic self-care routine, but what if what you’re doing is toxic to yourself and your relationships?

First, check out the four signs your self-care is headed in the wrong direction. It’s important to recognize when you’re headed off the path of ensuring that you’re physically, mentally, and emotionally well. And into the territory of procrastination, avoiding responsibility, excessive vanity, or problems with mental health.

Recognizing Unhealthy Self-Care

Unhealthy self-care isn’t self-care at all. You may not realize that you’re doing it until you take a good look at your behaviors and the reasons behind them.

When it Comes to Mental Health

“I’m having a ‘me’ day today,” you say to a friend who invites you out. You tell yourself that you need the time alone to reset and spend the day in bed binge-watching TV. Doing this once in a while is normal. If you find yourself doing it frequently when friends and family invite you out, it may be a sign of something more. Depression and generalized anxiety disorder often cause people to isolate themselves.

What to do about it: Talk to a professional counselor if you’re having mental health issues and do your best to get some social interaction into your day. Try these self-care ideas for those who struggle with self-love.

Regarding Procrastination

Do you have a paper or a work report due tomorrow, but you need to get your nails done? “It’s self-care,” you tell yourself. In reality, it’s justifying putting off an important obligation in lieu of something that doesn’t need to happen. It can have consequences on your grade or career if you continue to put things off in the name of self-care. There are many downsides to having poor time management.

What to do about it: Do the work first. Then get a manicure after as a reward to yourself. Also, check out these self-care tips for students.

When it Comes to Excessive Vanity

Are you spending oodles on your hair every month or doing lots of retail therapy? Maybe you’re going over your monthly budget. Buying things you can’t afford in the name of self-care. You tell yourself that looking your best is part of being your best, and it’s all part of self-care. In reality, it’s damaging to both your bank account and self-image when you become dependent on material objects to feel good.

What to do about it: Take a good look at your inner self and find out who you are. Capitalize on your GR8EST strengths personally and professionally.

A Note from GR8NESS

The process of self-care is one of self-development, enabling you to be your best self so that you can be there for others. If your self-care routine is starting to damage your relationships or cause problems in other areas of your life, it’s time to stop and reevaluate.

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Anne
GR8NESS Writer
Anne is a GR8NESS Contributing Writer, covering mental health, self-development, body, health, and pet care. She believes that self-betterment comes from addressing all aspects of the mind, body, and soul. When she’s not writing, you will definitely find her giving her dog belly rubs and reading the first half of every book she buys.
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