How Your Self-care Could Be Doing More Harm Than Good

On social media, there are two kinds of people, the people who say “sleep is for the weak”, who wake up at 4 am and are working non-stop 7 days a week. The other kind are the people who preach self-care in the form of daily bubble baths, face masks, and dropping everything to relax. In reality, both can be problematic as they’re unsustainable and so, it’s important to have a good balance between the two. The idea of self-care has flooded Pinterest and Instagram with beautiful, aesthetically pleasing photos that make people want to join in. There isn’t necessarily harm in this, but it’s gotten to the point where people think this kind of self-care will solve all their problems when it can actually do more harm than good… So that’s why we want to discuss a better way to approach your self-care routine.   

We’ll be discussing:

  • What Self-care Is
  • When It Isn’t Helpful
  • When It Is Helpful



  • Face Masks
  • Bubble Baths
  • A Netflix Binge
  • “Drop Everything And Just Relax”



Self-care is commonly associated with people taking time for themselves when they may be feeling overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, etc. To do things to calm them down and make them feel better. The World Health Organization defines self-care as “the ability of individuals, families and communities to promote health, prevent disease, maintain health, and to cope with illness and disability with or without the support of a healthcare provider” which essentially means taking care of your overall self to ensure you are healthy. Pretty simple, make sure your body doesn’t get unwell, whether physically, mentally, emotionally, and so on. So… what kinds of ‘self-care’ aren’t entirely beneficial? Let’s find out!



Not all ‘self-care’ is actually taking care of yourself and this all depends on other factors surrounding the situation, so take everything with a grain of salt. A lot of the time the kinds of self-care you see on Instagram and Pinterest boards are more to look aesthetic and can often cause more stress in the long run. So let’s get into certain popular self-care activities that you shouldn’t rely on for your mental and physical health.   



All of these activities do count as self-care it’s just they are often encouraged to be done at the wrong time and that’s what makes them unproductive meaning you can’t make the most of their benefits. Of course, everything is up to you and if things work for you then do them!   



Face masks are a go-to when it comes to aesthetic self-care social media content and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with popping on a face mask and taking care of your skin. But if you’re someone that doesn’t have a regular skincare routine then doing a facemask every blue moon may not be as effective as you think it may be. When it comes to skincare, consistency is key and therefore it’s important to have a regular morning and evening routine so that your skin is able to be at its healthiest. While taking care of your skin is very important, and does count as self-care, doing a face mask whenever you feel overwhelmed at work may make you feel slightly better right at that moment but may not have big long-term benefits. 



Similar to face masks, bubble baths are the epitome of pretty self-care. This means that the same idea applies here, taking care of the cleanliness of your body does count as self-care and should be done to make yourself feel good and fresh. However, it doesn’t mean that if you’re having a bad day at work you should cancel all your meetings, and clear your calendar for the rest of the day to run yourself a bath. As lovely as that sounds, it shouldn’t be something that you rely on when dealing with something stressing you out. Having said this, if you have all the time in the world then by all means wind down and de-stress with a bath, some candles, and calming music. It’s all about whether something is appropriate at that time. 



More often than not, a Netflix binge isn’t the answer. I’m a massive binger myself and can watch seasons in a day but it’s not always the best idea. If you’ve got better things to be doing then it’s probably better to be getting on with that instead. But, if you’ve got loads of free time and not many responsibilities to complete in the near future then by all means let the t.v run until you get the infamous question from Netflix asking “are you still watching [insert your latest binge-worthy show]. Again, it’s all about the right time to do these things, often they are glorified as self-care but can easily be as destructive to your future self. 



This is very similar to the Netflix moment, and should only be done if you are really too overwhelmed, anxious, stressed, etc. to handle a situation. But if that is the case it’s important to figure out what triggered these feelings and how to prevent it from happening again in the future. Self-care is all about bettering yourself and keeping yourself healthy so it’s doing things that can help you in the long term. 



As previously stated, the activities mentioned previously can still be a part of your self-care routine if they do the job of making you feel better and more relaxed, but as long as they’re done at the right time. However, there are some other kinds of self-care that may seem obvious/ maybe even boring… But can be the better option and some are even the foundations of self-care. 



As annoying as it sounds, sometimes just doing the work you’re stressed out about is the best self-care you could give yourself. The sooner you get it done the sooner you can relax and forget about it! If you’ve got a deadline in the next couple of days and are feeling overwhelmed, sitting down to watch 2 seasons of your new fav show, or having a long bubble bath may make you feel better in the moment… But now you’ve got even less time to get the work done and may be feeling even more overwhelmed than before you had your ‘self-care pamper session’.



Food is an important part of self-care for absolutely everyone! It’s essential to eat a balanced diet that you enjoy and that is yummy. Making sure that you’re fueling your body is self-care at its most basic level, as is drinking enough water to keep you hydrated at all times. These are basic human needs and most definitely count as self-care. If you’re not giving yourself a healthy sustainable diet and neglecting your body from water then you won’t be at your best self. That’s why if you like to cook, then maybe when you’re having a bad day, treat yourself to some great ingredients and cook yourself a lovely meal. You could even get your groove on at the same time! Dancing and cooking is a great combo. Or even listen to a podcast, or an audiobook, whatever works for you!  



Exercise is another form of self-care that should be done on a regular basis. By constantly moving your body, you’re benefiting yourself tremendously. Even if you only go for a daily walk, this movement is so good for you. Getting your heart pumping and the oxygen circulating. There are so many types of exercise so it’s all about finding what works for you. Not only is exercise good for your physical health, but also your mental health! You can use this time to clear your mind and just be present with yourself. 



The whole idea of self-care, whether it’s the WHO’s definition, or what’s been popular on social media, is that it’s about being the healthiest and best version of yourself. It’s important that you are constantly working on yourself so that you can be the best YOU. Whether that may be going to therapy, exercising frequently, having a regular skincare routine, or cooking a yummy meal every night. Whether you’re doing some, or all of these, as long as you’re working and taking care of yourself then you are taking part in self-care. It can look different for everyone, so try not to let social media dictate what you must do and find out for yourself what works for you. We’re all on the journey to become self-care queens! 

There you have it! Some insight into the world of self-care. We here at CANDESCENT are always there for every step of your business and (now self-care!) journey. If you want to know about how to improve your work-life balance as a business owner, then you’ll want to read this other article we have! Feel free to browse our blog where we’ve got lots of content about productivity, marketing for your small business, and even more about wellness.

As always if you have any questions or want to know more about anything then feel free to contact us here or reach out to us on any of our social media platforms including our Instagram @WeAreCandescent  

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