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Understanding the Self Care Definition vs Escapism

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It all boils down to a thing called self care. And self care is one of my favorite subjects to talk about.

If you go on Instagram right now, you'll see so many self-care memes with pictures of people at the spa and relaxing. But I want to explain to you what self-care really is.

Self-care is anything that you do for your health when you're not directly in the presence of a medical professional. That's it. It's anything that you do that's proactive for your health to nurture it, to improve your health. But there's a difference between self-care and escape activities.

Years ago, I was at a presentation and I did something that you should never do at a presentation, especially if you're a speaker. I lied to my audience. Totally lied to my audience. I Will never do it again. And here's what happened.

It was a self-care conference and there were 1500 people there. And that's a very important number to remember, 1500 people at this conference. And they were excited for me to be their keynote and at the conference. I came a day before because it was just a nice hotel, nice resort, and I was talking to different people.

So we got to my presentation and I told them from the stage a lie. I said, "Ladies and gentlemen, I have given you the Mike Veny self-care assessment, and I have the results." So these people, these poor people, all start looking around in their papers, trying to figure out what assessment did he give? Well, I didn't completely lie to them, but basically, my assessment was simple.

This was a self-care conference. The morning before my presentation, I went to the hotel gym at eight o'clock in the morning, there were three people in the gym. The night before at the bar, there were 300.

When I explained that to them, the look of embarrassment is one I will never forget on their faces. And my goal wasn't to embarrass them but was to point out something very specific—there's a difference between self-care activities and escape activities.

And if you don't know that difference, it can be a real critical issue for your own mental health. Escape activities don't really do anything except make your mental health worse often. There's nothing wrong with sitting and watching your favorite show on Netflix or binge-watching a series or playing video games. Those things are fine to do. But it's important to also include specific activities for self-care in your life. And this is what I wish I would have learned as a kid.

 

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