Self-Care V. Self-Improvement: How to Know the Difference

We toss these two terms about back and forth… much like the temp on my middle age thermostat.

It’s easy to see how we make that mistake. 

But the truth is… 

They are not the same thing. 

At the root of self-improvement or self-help ideals is the desire to do and to be better

Self-care is a response to the truth that you have value and worth right where you are. 

Let me give it to you another way…

“If self-help is about fixing something, self-care already thinks you’re great.” -NYT

Genuine self-care means you do what’s necessary to protect your well-being… 

You take intentional action to guard your physical and emotional health by understanding your limits and not exceeding them. 

As women, why in the freakin’ world is self-care such a hard thing for us to embrace?

Let’s talk about that. I can think of a few barriers (you might call them “reasons”, I call them “excuses”) that keep us from making ourselves a priority.

According to The Harris Poll, 44 percent of consumers believe that self-care is only possible for those who have enough time. And 35 percent believe it is only possible for those who have enough money. 

Hmmmm… time and money

Sister… puhleeeeeaaaase hear what I’m saying.

Self-care does not have to be one more activity added to your already long list of daily commitments and responsibilities.

There are ways you can properly care for yourself while doing the things you are already doing. You just need to tweak the way you’re doing them. 

You eat, sleep, and move without even thinking about it. So, let’s start there. 

What changes can you make in those areas that will initiate a self-care trend in your daily routine? 

Consider establishing a consistent bedtime routine, limiting your time on social media, or packing your tennis shoes so you can walk laps in the parking lot while you’re waiting for your kiddo to get out of practice.

And, you know what’s significant about the things I just mentioned? 

Every single one of them is FREEEEEEEEEEE.

So, let’s debunk “excuse” numero dos… money.

Yes, there are many self-care options that cost money. But there are plenty other ways to love on yo’ self without spending a dime

Heck, 99 percent of the things I do on a weekly basis to take care of myself are free… take a hike with my dog, spend time in my garden, go for a bike ride, spend some quiet time journaling.

I need to do those things. My family needs me to do those things. Other people in my circle need me to do those things. 

The bottom line is this…

If you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t properly take care of anyone else. 

Which leads me to the final stumbling block of a self-care mindset… guilt. 

Many women believe that making time for themselves is selfish. We just naturally give to others first. 

Now, no one has ever blatantly told us we shouldn’t care for ourselves, buuuuutttttt we have just assumed we can do so after the needs of everyone else has been met.

We all know how this story ends, don’t we sister? It becomes a perpetual cycle of us not caring for ourselves like we should… er’y. single. day. And, if you’re like me, I find myself in a snippy, bitchy, unsettled, anxious space. 

I call a big ol’ bunch of bunk on the misnomer that self-care is selfish. In fact, the opposite is true.

Neglecting to properly care for yourself is what’s selfish because you are denying your best self to those you care about. 

So, what is one small change you can make in your everyday routine that will add a bit of self-care to your life… just one? It’s ok to take it slow. In fact, I encourage it. 

We’ll be talking about what it means to give the best of you instead of what’s left of you and practical ways to do that in our Facebook. 

If you aren’t a part of our incredible Facebook community, then what are you waiting for? Come on over and join us. 

I hope to see you there, sister.

Beautifully designed resources created with YOUR biggest business needs in mind.

Buy My Books