Self-care Is Not An Indulgence
It's a necessary discipline
The way self-care is portrayed today is completely and utterly backward. First, self-care as a concept is almost exclusively aimed at women (generally wealthy white women who can afford the goods and services that get marketed to them as self-care). The not-so-subtle suggestion is that women need to be reminded to care for themselves because, after all, they are so busy taking care of everyone else. And, the even less-subtle suggestion is, while we should be taking care of ourselves, that doesn’t absolve us from taking care of everyone else.
Which brings me to the second way that the current portrayal of self-care is backward—it’s characterized as an indulgence. This means both that the practice of self-care is something we are occasionally allowed to indulge in and that self-care should feel like an indulgence. Think expensive bath products, luxurious chocolates, spa appointments. When we spend more time talking about the self-care power of high thread count sheets than we do about getting enough sleep we’ve wandered pretty far from anything that can be remotely considered healthy for either mind or body.
Self-care is not an indulgence. Self-care is a discipline. It requires tough-mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you with whom you choose to spend your life.
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