There's a Fine Line Between Self Love and Self Sabotage... Don't Cross It

Posts on Instagram about self-love tend to paint a super pretty picture of what it actually is. I'm not saying those things aren't self-love, they absolutely are. The bubble baths, the facemasks, the glass of wine, curling up with a good book and ignoring the news... these things are great. They're all things I do myself, and they do relax me. It gives me some time to not think about everything that stresses me out in life.

But it's important that we realize just how easy it is to cross the invisible line from self-love into self-sabotage. You may not even realize you've crossed it until someone points it out. I know because it's happened to me before.  You may not even realize there is a line. But it's there, and it isn't going anywhere. It's up to you to realize when you're about to step over it and then back up. 

Ignoring the news for a weekend vs. Ignorance 

The news cycle these days is... it's horrific. There's really no other way to put it. I used to get news alerts on my phone every morning, but I turned those off months ago. Nobody wants to start their day with an alert about another shooting or something Trump tweeted at 3:00 in the morning. I also tend to not read news stories on the weekends. Not because I don't care, though. It's actually the opposite. I care so much about what's happening in the world, and the constant cycle of bad news wears me down. Every weekend, I give myself time to hit refresh so that I'm ready to process whatever happens on Monday. That's something I do for myself. And the line from that self-love to the unintentional sabotage is not far away. I've seen people ignore the news for months on end. Please don't do that. If you need longer than a weekend, take it. But don't abuse it. You don't want to be the person who is absolutely ignorant about what's going on in the world. That won't help you. If anything, it'll make you seem indifferent to things that very well may have a direct impact on your life. 

Getting out of a toxic relationship vs. conflict resolution skills

We've all had bad relationships, either with a family member, a friend or a partner. When a relationship turns south, we tend to run. And that's totally fine. There is no reason to stick with a relationship that's toxic to you. I'm not talking about a fight with your boyfriend or a disagreement with your mom. I mean the truly toxic things––verbal abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse. Taking care of yourself, loving yourself and making sure you don't lose yourself, while in a relationship is so important. But, again, the line is still there, lurking. Say your best friend doesn't agree with you on something trivial. If you take that disagreement and call it toxic and drop that friend, are you really accomplishing anything? Probably not anything good. Or what if you and a coworker don't get along? Do you quit to get away from them? I hope not. If you find yourself blaming things like disagreements and clash of personalities "toxic," take a step back. Walking away from these things will get those people out of your life temporarily, but it's also going to mean your ability to work with people you don't like will dwindle. Your conflict resolution skills will go out the window. Don't do that to yourself. 

Social media friends vs. constant comparisons

Social media is a double-edged sword. I've made some of my best friends through Twitter––people I never would have met otherwise. But it's also really easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to everyone else on social media. Instagram is probably the worst for this. I do it, and I'm sure you have, too. Without even noticing, I began to compare my life and myself to other people based strictly on what their Instagram feed looked like. I would forget that an Instagram feed is a highlight reel. It's the stuff they want us to see––the music festivals, the vacations, the coffee shop dates. They don't show us the days where getting out of bed feels impossible. This doesn't mean you should delete your Instagram or unfollow all of those fitness accounts you follow. Use them as motivation, but don't make them your standard. If you start to feel yourself slipping and comparing your life to theirs, remind yourself that you're only seeing the good days. Photo courtesy of Josh Rose

Self-care is essential in today's world. Everything is overwhelming, things are scary, and sometimes we just need to hide. That's fine! I have days where I ignore everything and don't leave my bedroom. Just remember not to cross that line from self-care to self-sabotage.