Self Care Versus Self Indulgence

Highest Standards, Nationally Recognized:

self care

Self-care has become somewhat of a buzzword in the health, wellness, and recovery worlds. While it is essential, taking time for oneself is often associated with the idea of chocolate indulgence and spa days rather than the mundane moments of the everyday. The reality is, self-care can resemble both of these experiences. However, it is important to note that the majority of self-care is moment-to-moment. When put into practice with self-awareness, it involves having boundaries with ourselves and others, re-framing our relationships with everything, and re-establishing them in a healthy manner. Honoring our commitments to being healthy individuals physically, mentally, and spiritually serves every part of our lives. 

Why Self Care is Not Selfish

The very definition of “selfish” is (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; being concerned chiefly with one’s profit or pleasure. It is important to understand that self-care is not selfish. The very act of self-care is about taking care of yourself so that you can live a healthy and happy life leading to healthy and happy relationships. 

In a way, we take care of ourselves, so we can also be there for others. In reality, taking care of yourself isn’t as pretty as covers of magazines writing about self-care often like to make it seem. It isn’t glamorous. It usually takes place in the moments that challenge us, where we need to make a decision that may be difficult but will support our healthy and sober life. It is creating boundaries we didn’t know we needed. It is having difficult conversations. It is taking ourselves to bed early and waking up before the sun. It is eating the meal we know will nourish our bodies rather than the meal we may enjoy in the moment but pay for afterward. It is all of this and more. 

Why Self Indulgence Can Be Selfish

In a big way, recovery is about moving away from self-indulgence toward self-care. Self-indulgence can look like many things: imbibing in too many drugs or alcohol, overeating our favorite food, acting out on desires in an unhealthy way for ourselves or others, or spending too much money on something we don’t need. It’s important to note that we deserve to feel loved by ourselves and others, and sometimes that involves gifts, cake, or treats. However, that doesn’t have to translate into breaking boundaries with ourselves that transform into indulgent patterns. The reality is, these patterns are a slippery slope, and the fewer boundaries we have, the more likely we are to act selfishly or possibly endanger our recovery.


Engaging in self-care can seem like a tricky task when we are learning how to navigate what it means to take care of ourselves during the process of recovery. There are many challenges and confusing experiences that come with it, including knowing our boundaries and how to “treat” ourselves without falling into unhealthy patterns. As much as we need boundaries, we also need to find pleasure and joy in life. At Avalon, we know how difficult it can feel to walk the line between self-care and self-indulgence. We want you to know that you are not alone. If you or someone you love is struggling with finding a healthy balance in life, please call us today at (844) 857-5992

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