Self-Care Sunday: Is Abstaining From Self-Care Self-Sabotage?


Illustration by Malaika Astorga

Is not participating in self-care a form of self-sabotage?

- Asking as a known self-sabotager.


Self-sabotage. We've all done it. Especially in any process of healing and evolution, there always comes a point where you find yourself sabotaging your own progress by engaging in negative behavior or by not engaging at all. When it comes to mental health and self-care, self-sabotage can present itself in many ways: not taking the necessary medication to get better, eating junk or not eating at all, drinking or using drugs, not changing clothes for days, not showering, not sleeping. Sometimes, you aren’t strong enough to care for yourself and that is fine. Sometimes, just making it through the day needs to be enough. But, when you're actively working towards recovery and balance, if you find yourself constantly skipping out on the most basic forms of self-care, even if it's not intentional, you might be self-sabotaging.

Now, I'm not saying that not doing a facemask every other day is self-sabotaging. But if you're skipping meals or not getting enough rest, then you're actively not taking care of yourself. Self-care is far more than the superficial bubble bath, even though bubble baths are amazing and sometimes a great remedy for a stressful day. Self-care involves doing real work and holding yourself accountable for your wellbeing and health. So, if you know the steps you need to be taking to feel comfortable and happy and you're not taking them, you are sabotaging your own progress and evolution as an individual. Taking the time to reconnect with yourself and your emotions and needs throughout your week needs to be a priority. We lead such busy lives, with a lot of us struggling to kick-start our careers and find our place in the world, that taking the time to check in with how you are feeling is of the utmost importance and if you're consciously skipping out on it, you might find your mental health deteriorating rapidly and even feel physical effects.

So, what can you do to make sure you're not sabotaging yourself? Set small goals. If you're feeling overwhelmed or not motivated enough to engage in self-care rituals, then don't try to do everything at once. Start small. Set important, but small goals for yourself like showering or making your bed every day. The making the bed one is a favorite of mine. Even if it's the only thing you do all day, then you've accomplished at least one thing. Sometimes that's all you need to feel a bit better. You can then focus on making sure you eat one healthy meal per day, or putting some moisturizer on your skin once a week. Start small so you have no chance of setting yourself up to fail. Caring for yourself in a society that pushes for this "work hard, grind every day, go hard or go home" narrative can seem selfish or unimportant, but it's essential to make sure you can stay focused on your goals and you're able to accomplish all of the tasks you have in sight. Stop sabotaging your own success and start taking care of your mind and body.


Self-Care Sundays wants your questions! DM @pinkthingsmag or @ineswritesthings with whatever questions you might have or advice you might need. We're here for you!