Booze. Netflix. A chocolate fix. Self-care is important, but sometimes it turns into self-destruction. Keep an eye out for these scenarios.
I’m a big advocate of self-care because if you don’t take care of yourself, who will? Plus, if you’re a giver or caretaker without giving back to yourself, you’ll eventually burn out, which helps no one. Self-care is not selfish!
But sometimes, our attempts at self-care are closer to self-destruction. Do any of these scenarios sound familiar?
1. Letting yourself give in, such as by hitting your favorite restaurant, grabbing takeout, or eating a bowl of popcorn on the couch and calling it dinner because you feel too tired or stressed to cook. When you frequently use food as a reward for making it through the day, you’re unlikely to make food choices that support total well-being. Possible solutions include:
• Batch cooking when you have the time and energy, or at least having leftovers to reduce the number of nights you cook.
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• Developing a repertoire of a few nutritious dinners that you can prepare with little time or effort.
• Listening to music (or a podcast) that you love while you cook.
• Planning a restaurant visit toward the end of the workweek. This gives you something to look forward to, plus you can make a more informed — and less impulsive — decision about what to eat.
2. Using food as a reward for exercising, or “allowing” yourself a certain food with the promise of doing extra exercise. One of the best things you can do for your overall health and well-being is to uncouple food and activity. Food is food, activity is activity. Make food choices that serve you well, and pick the types of activity that help keep you strong, flexible and energetic.
3. Automatically acting on cravings. When you have a craving for chocolate, do you tend to tell yourself that you need chocolate?…