Self Care

10 Bad Self Care Mistakes You Need to Avoid

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Self care is all the rage right now. People are boasting online about their self care spa day, how they took a break to relax, and all the little self care activities they’re doing to make their lives just a little bit better. What if I told you that there are certain bad self care habits you need to avoid?

Sorry, sorry! I know you’re trying your best to take care of yourself, and here comes me running and screaming “That’s not how you do it!”.

Self care, in essence, is not a bad thing if done right!

The whole goal of self care activities is to make you a happier and healthier human.

However, some things we do in the name of self care might be doing you more harm than good.

Not sure if you’re making these self care mistakes? Keep on reading!

You’re Isolating Yourself as a Self Care Habit

Courtesy Noah Silliman.

So, you might be an introvert and need to take a break from people when it gets to be too much. That’s understandable!

There is a limit to how much quiet time is too much, though.

Take a breather when you’re feeling overstimulated and anxious.

Do NOT keep taking a break for days on end.

You’re a social animal, dude. Alone time is great, but too much alone time can cause you to feel lonely, and might be a sign of depression!

Alternative Self Care Habit:

Go for a car ride for a few hours. A few hours being the important part of that statement.

Doing something alone for a few hours gives you enough time to recharge your energy and be productive, but won’t make you lonely and affect your relationships with people!

Moderate the time you spend alone, and you’ll be golden.

Putting On Rose-Coloured Glasses

Eep, you’re living in La La Land.

You always avoid hearing negative things, including the news or even constructive criticism. You’re a delicate little flower, and comments like that get to you.

I get it. Positivity is great! But negativity can be used for good.

Hearing negative things helps you learn. Things like constructive criticism might be hurtful the first few times you encounter those comments, but you can actually gain insight from comments that aren’t positive.

Same with the news. You learn about what’s going on in the world, and can thank your lucky stars that your situation is much better than what other people are experiencing.

Alternative Self Care Habit:

Small doses, baby.

I’m not telling you to start watching sad videos on repeat and deliberately ask people to roast you, but develop the strategies to process negativity.

This is called practical self care, by the way. Acquiring skills to better yourself is self care! You can read more about it HERE.

When you’re faced with some negative news, start doing some deep breathing exercises. Find the silver lining in the news, and if you can’t, keep breathing. Try learning how to meditate to help relax your mind!

You’ll become a stronger person when you develop your ability to calm yourself down.

Cutting People Out of Your Life for Small Reasons

fighting is a bad self care habit

Setting boundaries is essential for maintaining healthy relationships! But what if your boundaries are a bit too rigid?

RELATED: How to Set Boundaries and Build that Backbone

So, what are small reasons? Anything that can’t be fixed quickly and with an apology.

The reason why cutting people off quickly can be a bad self care habit is that you might be using it as an unhealthy coping mechanism.

Think about it: you don’t want confrontation and might be scared of communicating with them, so cutting them out of your life is easier.

But is it worth it if you can’t improve your relationships and establish healthy relationships? No.

Alternative Self Care Habit:

Review the boundaries you set with people and their importance. Is someone chewing loudly a reason to end the friendship? No. Is someone stealing from you a good reason? YES.

Then, as another practical self care activity, learn the proper way to set boundaries without being aggressive!

I outline this in my article about boundaries, but here’s a refresher:

“Hey, I feel (emotion) when you (insert their behaviour here). If this happens again, (consequence).”


“Hey, I feel (emotion) when you (insert their behaviour here). I’d like you to not do that anymore.”

You’re saying it nicely and still being assertive. You now have a foolproof way of seeing people’s true colours!

You Sleep Too Much

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE sleep. The blankets are cozy, I don’t have to do anything and my brain can shut off for a while.


Sleeping too much is a bad because it could be the sign of an underlying health problem!

I know, I know, it sounds alarmist. But hear me out.

People who have low iron sleep a lot. People who have depression can sleep a lot.

A normal amount of sleep a night ranges around 7 to 9 hours, depending on your age. If you get more than that and you’re still tired, it’s definitely something you need to look at

DISCLAIMER: Please visit a doctor before diagnosing yourself with any of the diagnoses mentioned above. I am not a medical professional and can therefore not diagnose you. I am not responsible for any action, direct or indirect, taken from your interpretations of the above statement.

Alternative Self Care Habit:

Go see your doctor! Again with the practical self care advice, but if you’re having issues with your sleeping, only they have the answers you need.

Taking care of your physical and mental health is the best kind of routine there is.

You Splash out Lots of Cash for Self Care

spa days used in moderation is good self care habit

This does NOT mean the cash you need to spend for therapy.

I’m taking about spending more than you should for spa treatments, shopping, and other ways you temporarily feel better. The surface self care activities.

If you’re putting your bank balance on the back burner because getting new things or getting a facial makes you feel better, that’s not a really good coping mechanism.

In the long run, you’ll feel bad about yourself for spending a lot of money on these things. Plus, it doesn’t really solve anything. You don’t want future you to be upset, do you?

Alternative Self Care Habit:

At home spa day! If you want to be pampered, do a DIY face mask with the ingredients you have at home, light a candle and soak in the bath.

If shopping is your vice, make something! Avoid the online shopping by cooking something, or organizing your closet. Bonus: Organizing your closet might give you new outfit ideas or dig up some pieces you forgot about!

Creating Elaborate Fantasies in Your Head to Get Away

Are you the type to just sit there and daydream when something bad is happening? Like if you’re at lunch with your friends and they start arguing, you’ll space out and create some kind of scenario?

It might work in the moment, but constantly using that as a self care method to preserve your happiness might not be the best thing.

You know it’s a bad thing when you feel dissociated from your reality, and you prefer your fantasy world to your current reality.

Alternative Self Care Habit:

If you find that your reality pales in comparison to the fantasies you have in your head, go on a self improvement kick!

Create the reality you want. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, visit beautiful places and find a hobby that you enjoy. Most of the time, you’ll give your fantasies up for the awesome life you’re creating!

Having the “My Way or the High Way” Mentality

You might be the type to want to do everything yourself instead of collaborating with people.

You would definitely classify yourself as a type A person, and by doing everything yourself, you’re happier.

So, uh, that’s not sustainable, unfortunately. I know, I know!

Having a “my way or the highway” mentality can be really stressful when a little thing goes wrong, which is the opposite of self care.

So, how do you switch it up when you’re type A?

Alternative Self Care Habit:

Start by delegating little tasks to people. You’re a natural-born leader, so you’ll have no problem doing that. You still have control, but you’re letting people into your little world as well.

Eventually, you’ll get more and more comfortable delegating more tasks to people when you start trusting that they’re competent!

It’s all about retraining your brain to let certain things go.

Another important self care habit you could do is have a set time where you won’t concern yourself with work and getting it right. That means not checking your email and going to bed at a decent time.

You can do it!

You Feel Pressured to Maintain a Self Care Routine

It’s everywhere: self care is taking the world by storm and people are super proud of posting their aesthetic spa nights on Instagram.

You look at that and feel bad, because you don’t have the time or energy to do all those trendy self care activities!

This whole movement can be toxic when it’s used to one up people and for bragging. It’s not self care if the intention behind it is to show off.

Alternative Self Care Habit:

Do what you can. Pushing yourself to compete with other people is not the kind of self care you need.

If you’re depressed and things like eating and showering are rough, trying to meet other people’s standards is not the way to go.

Strive to be better than you were yesterday. If you couldn’t shower yesterday, try it today. Baby steps.

Partying When You’re Stressed

I get it – it’s the whole package! Loud music, socializing, and alcohol to loosen you up. The stress just melts away!

The effects of partying all the time aren’t good for self care, though.

Your sleep schedule can get messed up, your liver is screaming and you’re dehydrated. Not exactly the epitome of self care when all you want to do is puke.

So how can you melt the stress away without partying?

Alternative Self Care Habit:

What aspect of partying do you love? The socializing? The dancing? Implement it in your house!

Have a dance party when you need to let out some steam.

If you like to socialize, invite friends over or have a zoom party.

Take aspects of partying that you love and implement them (don’t drink too much!).

You Use Food to Cope

If you drastically increase or decrease how much food you eat if you’ve had a bad day, that’s not self care.

This is part of physical self care, eating to make sure we get the nutrients we need to survive. That can be hard, especially when you use food to cope.

Alternative Self Care Habit:

If you need to keep your hands busy when you’re stressed, there are so many sensory toys out there that might suit your fancy. Things like a stress ball or a fidget spinner might keep your hands busy if you tend to snack a lot.

Those are surface level self care activities, though, so you can modify that to new habits that suit you!

This kind of coping mechanism can be a tough one to work through, so go easy on yourself if you slip up. You can only try to be better than who you were yesterday.

Bad Self Care Habits Do Not Make You a Bad Person

You’re not a failure just because you have a few bad self care habits. In fact, most of us do!

You’re actually ahead of the game because you’re taking the time to read about it to try and get better. No one can fault you for that!

Let me know which bad self care habit you’re trying to fix in the comment, and pin this post on your Pinterest boards!

Wanna upgrade your self care game? Check out my FREE Self Care Checklist down below! Easy peasy.

Peace out!

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