How To Tell The Difference Between Real and Faux Self-Care

I spent a long introspective day in January with The One Thing Core Values Deck. It was one of the best exercises I have ever done.

It took a very long time, and I had to put to the side cards that said Generosity and Integrity —things that I really and truly value. 

But in the end, I know in my heart that these four are my deepest Core Values —at least at this stage of my life. 

Here are my four:





This week I read a wonderful book called Real Self-Care: A Transformative Program for Redefining Wellness by Pooja Lakshmin MD. She makes a distinction between what she calls faux self-care and real self-care

Faux self-care is a way to give yourself a breather or a well-deserved break from your stressful life. A spa day, a mani-pedi, a massage, or a bubble bath are examples of faux self-care. They’re little treats.

Real self-care, on the other hand, is based on your core values. It’s when you make time to address deep needs. 

Real self-care might be saying no to making cupcakes for your child’s Halloween Party because you are simply over-extended at work and don’t want to overload yourself anymore.

It might be insisting on alone time in the morning to write in your journal, knit, read, or take a solitary walk.

To practice real self-care, you have to know what you really need. And to know what you really need, you must know what you value. 

Before I became aware that Home was one of my core values, I looked at the time I spent cleaning and organizing my house as a chore, as time away from more important things 

Now, I see the time spent doing housework as completely aligned with my love of home. Housework for me is taking care of myself. As is decorating and little shopping trips to Home Goods for pretty throw pillows! 

Cooking nutritious meals, getting enough sleep, meditating, and doing yoga, are the real self-care practices aligned with my core value of Health.

Writing a thousand words daily, committing to a weekly blog post, and learning video editing skills meet my self-care needs for Mastery.

Keeping my friendships healthy and tending to my yoga tribe is how I care for myself and meet my needs for connection and community

This book Real Self-Care is a gem. I highly recommend it. Pair it with The One Thing Core Values deck; I think it will be a real eye-opener.

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