The Deception Of Self-Indulgence

5.3 million women in the us, drink in a way that threatens their health and well-being. women are turning to alcohol to self-medicate their stress.

Self-Indulgence can become a habit of self-medicating. We may find ourselves continually seeking out something for comfort that brings no long term value or solution. Women self-medicate in many ways like food, caffeine, drugs, alcohol, shopping, television, video games or social media as examples.

This is the deception.

We think if we can escape and ignore our stress or pain, that it will just go away.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. Self-indulgence would be classified as an unhealthy coping skill. The temporary euphoria we may feel from self-indulgence, never lasts and leaves us wanting more. Self-indulgence is not healthy or beneficial. When we are overwhelmed, it’s easy to see how choosing indulgence would be appealing. We just want quick relief from the stress.

But, the truth is, self-indulgence bears no good fruit.

Think about shopping. Some women find that shopping brings happiness and temporarily makes them forget about their problems. But, once the effect wears off and they get the credit card bill, they actually created a bigger issue. It’s all about healthy responses to stress.

I knew a woman who struggled with lots of stress and unresolved pain. She would get stressed and head to the mall and shop like she had no budget. The high she got from shopping, temporarily numbed the pain she was dealing with. She would spend $300-$600 at a time on random clothes and accessories. (I know because I was the sales clerk who checked her out.) I knew that within the next few days, she would be back returning most if not all of her spending binge. The sad reality was that no matter how many times she repeated this cycle, her stress/pain never got better.

We have a mom-wine culture that is exploding. You can’t be on social media long without seeing some kind of reference to motherhood and wine.

According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 5.3 million women in the US, drink in a way that threatens their health and well-being. Women are turning to alcohol to self-medicate their stress.

So, how do you know if you are operating in self-indulgence?

A couple ways you can tell if you’ve been operating in self-indulgence is first, the choices you are making do not leave you feeling refreshed, beyond the temporary. There is no fruit of positive change and you wake up the next day with the same issue. Secondly, the choices you make are actually creating bigger issues like debt, addiction, damaging relationships, compromising your health, mental well-being or spirituality.

The dictionary defines self-indulgence as excessive or unrestrained gratification of one’s appetites, desires, or whims. Note the words unrestrained and excessive. Most things in excess and unrestrained are out of balance. Too much is not always better.

So what choice should you make to practice healthy self-care?

Compassion & Action

Remember, compassion is being aware of distress AND having a desire to alleviate it. We follow up compassion with action. Positive action that brings healing.

You can listen to the Podcast on Self-care in {REAL} Life under the tab at the top called Thriving in {REAL} Life® Podcasts. I’ve also included a free printable Self-Care Guide that you can print out and use to set some new healthy goals for self-care.

Follow us on social media @thrivinginreallife as we continue to unpack Self-Care in {REAL} Life.

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