Sous la surface : Mythes et faits sur l’autogestion de la santé

In recent years, people have become increasingly aware of mental health. We hear more about wellness, mindfulness, therapy, stress management and self-care.

While people’s increased interest in mental health is quite formidable, the popularization of wellness can sometimes lead to misinformation and the desire to profit from it. In English, the phenomenon is sometimes even called wellness washing , which can be translated as wellness propaganda .

Even though baths with luxurious products can provide pleasant sensations, taking care of yourself goes far beyond that. True wellness requires more than facial serums, kitchen accessories, and scented candles – and you don’t always have to spend more money to feel good.

Taking care of yourself is literally taking care of yourself. It is taking care of your own person as a whole.

To help you better understand self-care, here are some popular myths and facts:

Myths: Self-care is just pampering

Fact: As we said, taking care of yourself is simply the act of caring for yourself. Sometimes that is like having tea while giving yourself a facial, but it can also be like pointing out your limits, exercising, or paying your bills.

Myths: Self-care is only for people who are not in good mental health

Fact: Self-care is for everyone. In fact, you are already taking care of yourself. Even the most essential functions of life count as self-care. If you brush your teeth, you are taking care of yourself. If you go to bed early to get a good night’s sleep, you are taking care of yourself. If you’ve been singing in the shower lately, it may count as a cure. The reason why self-care is better known among those who struggle with their mental health is because the trials of life can sometimes complicate even the most basic of everyday actions.

Myths: You have to spend money to take care of yourself

Fact: Hey no! If you feel like you need to pay yourself a little more attention, you can take care of yourself by taking a walk outside or calling a loved one. Buying a squeezed juice or downloading a fancy app might make you feel good, but these actions are not the only ways to take care of your health and well-being.

Myths: Taking care of yourself is only about the things that feel good

Fact: Sometimes taking care of yourself equates to doing things that immediately feel unpleasant, but have long-term benefits. Cleaning the bathroom or participating in a difficult discussion are good examples. You will benefit from these gestures in the future, even if they are immediately unpleasant.

Myths: Taking care of yourself is just taking care of your mental health

Fact: We are complex beings and there are many things that make up who we are. Think about all the things that make you who you are. Self-care is about meeting your psychological, emotional, physical, social, spiritual, practical and intellectual needs. If you neglect any of them, you will have difficulty finding balance and wellness.

Myths: Self-care is forgiving and selfish

Fact: You have to take care of yourself to be able to take care of others. It is not selfish to meet your needs. Setting aside time for self-care is essential to avoid burnout, whether professional or otherwise. You can’t give others what you don’t already have.

Myths: If you take care of yourself regularly, you will always have good mental health

Fact: Good mental health is not just an individual’s responsibility (see social determinants of health ). It is true that taking care of yourself can improve a person’s mood and help them feel good, but it is not a magic cure that cures all mental health problems and disorders.

Fresh air is not a panacea. A grieving person cannot simply ignore their grief by means of scented candles and steamed vegetables. Also, baking banana bread does not erase the uncertainty and anxiety about the pandemic.

Many factors play a role in wellness, but taking care of yourself is something you can do and control. Sometimes that is enough to alleviate the ill effects of a bad day.

We’ve developed a printable guide that will help you set aside time to take care of yourself and make yourself a priority. Download it here .