Why I don’t believe in “self care” (and how to make it obsolete)

Someone asked me recently what my favourite self care strategies are. It seemed like a reasonable question until I realized that I had no idea what the answer is.

I drew a complete blank. Which is weird, because I’m a mental health activist and I spend a lot of time thinking about how to take care of myself as a person with mental and physical health issues. So why would I not have some go-to self care strategies?

I thought about it for awhile and I realized that I don’t really believe in self care, at least in the way the term is widely used. The common definition of “self care”  is based on an individualist paradigm that puts too much emphasis on the self, and justifies a whole bunch of crap.

Self care vs. coping

What does the term “self care” bring to mind for you?

The term “self care” is defined by wikipedia as “any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated….In modern medicine, preventive medicine aligns most closely with self care.” Essentially, self care is the primary responsibility that each (adult) human has for their own well-being, and the action they take in order to ensure that well-being. So, deciding to get enough sleep, to eat better, or making yourself go to the doctor, are all acts of self care.

It sounds simple and obvious enough. Until you realize that many people are actually really bad it. Men, especially, be pretty terrible at taking responsibility for their own health and well-being, and women are expected to step in and do that emotional labour for them.

Coping, on the other hand, is the things you do to get through a shitty time. Healthy or not. So, drinking to drown your sorrows, buying a new colour of nail polish to lift your spirits, or spending a lot of time playing video games in order to ignore your feelings are examples of coping.

This is not to say that self care is good and coping is bad. But it’s important to make the distinction between the two. Self care is necessary, always. Coping is just about getting through your day, and it’s only necessary if you’re having a shitty time.

The co-opting of “self care”for consumerism

There’s a problem that happens when we confuse “coping” with “self care”.  Consider a person with severe depression who is just trying to survive. Maybe they have a lot of trouble eating properly. So they eat a lot of pizza, because it’s the thing that they can get easily and convince themselves to eat. That’s coping. (And again, there’s no judgement here. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do to get through your day).

Coping is, unfortunately, a part of life under capitalism. Our basic needs are not being met, and we have to do what we have to do to get through life, hoping that someday, things will be better. Eating a lot of pizza might be a good way for that person to get through their day. But nobody would argue that eating a lot of pizza is a healthy dietary choice.

Using the word coping implies a recognition that the strategy should be a temporary measure. Coping is what you do until you find a way to be healthy in a sustainable way.

The term “self care” gets thrown around all the time when what we are really talking about is coping. Sometimes this idea is disguised by using terms like “retail therapy” or a “girls day”. Advertisements use phrases like “you deserve it” to remind people (and especially women) that they’ve worked hard and could use a break.

Using the term “self care” instead of “coping” justifies the ongoing nature of it. Calling it “self care” or saying “I deserve it” makes it sound like it’s as natural and necessary to life as making dinner.

But what if it’s not necessary? What if we’ve just been duped by capitalism into believing that it is?

This doesn’t only happen in mainstream consumer culture. I’ve witnessed activists who claim to be pro-labour and pro-environment spend lots of money on dresses and unnecessary clothing made in sweatshops, all in the name of “self care”. When it’s not disposable clothing, it is expensive but unethical pieces of furniture, gadgets, and trendy decor for their homes. I’m guilty of this too.

The result of this is that we end up spending a lot of resources on unnecessary things, even as we are trying to work for a less wasteful and anti-consumerist world.

We’ve bought into the consumerism that we claim to oppose.

This economy was designed to keep us dependent on consumer culture. Raptitude has a great explanation of this, which argues that capitalism has put workers into a trap where we rely on consumption to get through the day, to get to our next work day, just so that we can consume more. Using the term “self care”, when we really mean coping by spending money or wasting time, is just a way of justifying consumerism that hides behind a narrative of health.

So what is real self care?

Obviously not all coping is unethical. Coping sometimes means crying on someone’s shoulder, or spending time with animals, or drinking warm milk. These are not inherently unhealthy or unethical things. But we should be honest about what is a temporary thing to get through your day, and what is self care.

Self care, again, is about taking responsibility for your own health and well-being. It means being aware of what choices you have and what you’re doing that’s good for you and bad for you, and doing what’s possible (within the boundaries of what’s accessible for you) to keep yourself healthy. That’s self care.

It might include coping, but it’s so much more than that.

The value of community care

But what if we can’t take care of ourselves?

The real problem is that self care is an enormous task. Nobody can take care of themselves 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It’s just not possible. We know that’s true of children and the elderly, but for adults who think of themselves as competent, it can be a difficult thing to recognize.

Capitalism, and the individualism that supports it, have made us believe that as adults we have to take care of ourselves (and maybe our romantic partners). And so in order to get through it, we cope. We buy things we don’t really need, we eat out, and we shop for shiny new things. Because that way, it feels like we’re doing it all by ourselves. We believe that by paying for stuff, it means we’re taking care of ourselves, like capitalism tells us we are supposed to.

Do we really need that though?

Eating healthy and ethically is something I think about a lot. I like to cook, and I have some specific dietary needs that I need to follow in order to have enough energy most of the time. But it’s a lot of work. Sometimes, this means I eat takeout more often that I maybe should, and I end up wasting money and buying unsustainable food (that is still good in a dietary sense) because it’s more convenient. It’s a coping mechanism.

One way to get around this, however, has been to get other people to cook for me. This is still self-care, in a way, because I’m taking responsibility for it. But I’ve delegated that responsibility for one night a week to somebody else who knows my dietary needs and has the capacity and willingness to help me out.

This is community care.

Of course, when I started doing this, it seemed odd. Why do I, an “independent“, mostly healthy woman with a good job and a house, need friends to come cook for me on a regular basis? Isn’t that something usually reserved for sick people or family?

Why does it seem weirder than ordering takeout?

Because instead of relying on my wages/capitalism to make dinner when I can’t, I’m relying on my community.

Community care means that we do things for the people around us. My friends come over and make dinner for me, but it’s not a one-way street. I handmade some cosmetics for the same friends, and let them have lots from my garden harvest last summer.  We don’t keep score – we just take care of each other when we can and when it’s needed.

It sounds so simple, but here’s the big secret: community care can make our unsustainable coping mechanisms obsolete. If we can build a culture of community care, where people’s needs are met through each other, coping becomes unnecessary. We can cut down on waste. We can make our communities sustainable.

I am not saying that we shouldn’t take care of ourselves. We all have to take responsibility for our own health. But asking for help is a really essential component of (real) self care that is too often overlooked. And we need to be willing to step in and help others in a tangible way, too.

We can, and must, rely less on our wages and on capitalism, and more on each other.

An article was recently circulating on social media about the importance of friendships when you’re single (and especially a single woman) in a world built for couples.

This issue can be expanded beyond singleness to the problem of the nuclear family/traditional monogamy. We are taught that we are only responsible for those in our unit – so if we need more help than they can give us, the only socially acceptable option is to pay for it.

We don’t need capitalism to survive. We can build the alternative.

It starts with prioritizing the well-being of the people around you. Offering to help. Making things instead of buying them, and giving away what you can. When you’re having a shitty time, ask for help before you decide to spend money. And if you’re not having a shitty time, offer to help others when you can.

Being able to rely on each other is the single biggest thing we can do to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression in our lives. But it won’t work unless we are all willing to think about what we can do for each other. Not just for our closest friends, but for everyone around us. Community care means making the community’s well-being our first priority.

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53 Responses to Why I don’t believe in “self care” (and how to make it obsolete)

  1. writetolive says:

    Thank you for articulating this so well. I also really enjoyed your post about barriers to accessing mental health care. I have experienced many of those barriers as well and find great comfort in the way you articulated the barriers so clearly. It is not an easy path to navigate. Hoping your navigation is getting easier.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. ritlingit says:

    It’s easy saying that community care is healthy and beneficial but what happens when you are in a toxic community? Having choices doesn’t necessarily mean you have wholesome options. And after years of dealing with poor services it is irresponsible to assume that one can just change and make a healthy choice even if one has an option to choose it.
    The area I live in is considered affluent yet mental health services are few and far between and of all the ones I’ve sampled are not just poor but damaging. To invite someone into my life is to take an unwanted chance that someone will judge my lifestyle and deem me unworthy of help. I have done this before and nearly had my children taken away from me. The services that I can get are only obtainable by car and are in another part of the state I reside in. Over the years of growing up in this area and raising my children I have been conditioned to not trust anyone offering “help” because usually they are ignorant, short sighted and are working a job with little empathy to support their work. In fact today I was part of a focus group discussing the options for people with mental illnesses in the lower part of our state so that the local hospitals can include the information in their annual reports.
    I hesitate to generalize but I’d not be surprised if there are many people in my situation because of the availability of quality mental health services in their area too. Sometimes the best one can do is self care and cope. If one has any extra energy seeking education such as WRAP, IPS, WHAM, Mindfulness, Meditation and other self care tools, self care can help switch more coping skills to self help skills. It might be nicer to have a community of peers but that option is not at hand. I do what I can with what I have. People are different in their needs. Assuming one way of meeting needs is the only way is chancy.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Thank you, so much. I am looking at going freelance, as my health improves (I have a chronic illness that means I will probably never be well/functional/resilient enough to work for an employer), and I have been struggling with business development stuff around money as a goal. Money is energy, people in the New Age end of the business world say. That one is easy enough to dismiss. The one I’ve had more trouble with articulating why it doesn’t sit comfortably with me is the idea that money is fuel, that gives us the ability to do important things, like have our survival needs and deepest desires met. I think it’s the underlying assumption (perhaps in my head rather than in the head of the person making the statement) that money is the *only* fuel. You have articulated so clearly why it is not. Money isn’t the only way to have our survival needs and deepest desires met, nor is it always (or even often) the best way.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Deb says:

    How to find the people to rely on? That question is fore most on my agenda , as I have realized my family and friends have either passed away..moved a good distant or decided that they prefer not to have you in their lives. As I sat in my small smoke filled apartment for 5 months alone, I became scared..isolated to the point of not persuing aquaintances to maybe strike up more of a friendship..but if they have been aquaintances for many years.. doubtful a friendship will arise. Groups seem to be cliques..I cook for myself but go to the point of doing nothing..self help because I am so lonely and feel inadequate and empty. This is an excellent article and would be interested in hearing more about the connections.

    Liked by 6 people

    • Toni says:

      This my question as well. Where are those people to rely on? They are elusive to me.

      Liked by 7 people

      • Liz Kessler says:

        I’m sorry you don’t have people you can rely on. It’s one of the biggest problems with our society that people don’t want to help out – we have become so individualist that people don’t see that as an important value.

        Here on the prairies, we only have to go back a few generations to find people that new thay helping others was essential to their own survival. It pains me that we have lost that.

        Know that it is not your fault if you fins that you can’t dind people around you who are respectful and reliable.

        Liked by 8 people

  5. Ezra says:

    Thank you! You take the issue so far into the roots and so far into the flowers.

    Liked by 5 people

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  7. Catherine says:

    When it comes to mental health, the community care should be obsolete as well. In most cases, community care is just the medical profession pandering and keeping patients with emotional and mental illnesses and conditions at bay. Thanks to the lobbyists and the greed of the medical insurance companies, health care in America has been flushed down the toilet. Obama TRIED to make an affordable healthcare program work, but the greedy republicans and the lobbyists they sleep with put a stop to any phase of affordable.
    Mental health is a serious issue. If any of us suffers from emotional issues (I suffer from severe anxiety and depression) we CANNOT self-care because we are unable to. I need to stop now because I’m becoming incredibly anxious.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. PatriseArts says:

    wow, this is spot on. Our culture has conditioned us to a form of independence that feeds isolation, substituting consumer solutions. You’re identifying an important element that helps me tie some ideas together.

    I’ve long held this stubborn ‘romanticism’ about a bygone era of rural life where extended families and communites were interdependent in foodways and healthcare, and tried to recreate this in my extended family-of-friends as a queer single eccentric. Sometimes it works beautifully. In recent years it has been imploding when serious age-related health and money issues come to bear.

    It is clarifying (and heartrending) as well to read comments like Deb’s about how and where to find such community. I didnt realize for years I had some facilty with creating these connections – upon my mother’s death a friend noted I had her gift of bringing people together.

    That’s good, I surely need it. For today my mental illness and low earning mean many old friendships are strained or broken, and others are gone due to age and illness.

    Seeing the larger consumer pattern helps me forgive, as well as combat, the divisive pattern at work.

    thank you! patrisearts.com

    Liked by 4 people

  9. Hi, Fab blog! Great piece of writing. I have just set up mine, but still in the very early stages and no where near anything of your league! Just making efforts to link in with fellow bloggers to improve our followers and get the word out there for us both. I would appreciate you having a peek at my blog, as I have just published my first post. Feel free to like, comment, follow or just take a peek. Thank you🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  10. Nadine Alexis Bolkhovitinov says:

    Building community, one step at a time. You have written a thought-provoking and eloquent article.

    Liked by 4 people

  11. SY Gibson says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Asking for help is difficult for me, but I’ve gotten better at it over the years. It is truly an act of self-love on our part to realize that we need help and to ask for it.

    Liked by 6 people

  12. Funny how it is so difficult for us to ask for help when we need it. I for one am incredibly grateful for my circle of “mum friends” that I managed to find locally when I had my first child. We look out for each other, we share our resources, and we all feel so much happier knowing that our children have a group of adults they know they can rely on as they grow older. I also know people who feel isolated, and I know that we travel a long, challenging path to full self acceptance of our needs. I remain hopeful that we will achieve this utopia gradually, one by one, if only for a brief time…

    Liked by 5 people

  13. I have never connected the dots the way you just did. You did an amazing job of making me think in a completely different way. Thank you!

    Liked by 6 people

  14. This is quite good! I honestly never thought of it like this before but it really does make so much sense. When we go deeper and really think about some of this stuff its amazing how different reality is from what we were always taught to believe.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. So funny that I came across this today on my reader after I just posted a blog entry all about self-care. I was probably working more with the consumerist version of self-care (my blog after all is about straddling and balancing the superficial with the deep), but it also blended with coping. Very thought provoking post here! I love the idea of community care. Community is HUGELY important to me. I’m blessed to have an amazing extended community who has been valuable during my healing process. I’m not good at self-promoting but I’d love you to check out my blog and get feedback from you since it seems we vibe in a lot of ways. It’s brand new and nobody reads it yet because I’m too scared to share it. But I’m sharing one person at a time!!!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Wonderful article. My husband and I have had discussions about similar things, thinking more of what has become a view of entitlement. People around us are so desperate to hang on to things they think they need for “self-care” and then are stressed because those things were so expensive and are now gone. In reality those things could be completely cut out of their budget, or changed for something less expensive. Our culture really has turned us into a country of consumers. We work to make money we can spend now. Not saving up for future investments.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Liz Kessler says:

      Thanks for engaging. I think it’s really important to stay away from blaming individuals for the decisions they make when they are stuck taking care of themselves. The problem is not them- the problem is the system that really makes it incredibly difficult. What we need is to prioritize community.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. jiisand says:

    Strange. I enjoy being independent. I have a few friends but I don’t need them to cook for me or do my chores. I am not being critical since different people have different ways to live. An omelet with a few onions mixed in plus a chopped green pepper and maybe a small can of sardines takes about five minutes to whip up and a bit over a minute in the microwave or 15 minutes in a covered frying pan. And there are lots of dishes like that. For me its like getting dressed or showering – just a basic part of living.

    I do have a friend who I can consult when Windows 10 drives me nuts but that’s just a telephone call or a quick email. But then, I have lived most of my life alone so it’s a personal way of life. I don’t claim everybody should be like me.

    Liked by 5 people

  18. You expressed this idea so elegantly, and it is one that is extremely important. Thank you for painting the picture, as it’s one that is very hard to see unaided. I wonder how to encourage community care on a larger scale. I think it’s so hard to ask for things and to rely on others because of the culture of consumerism (an ugly thing which you described so beautifully). It’s expected of you to buy what you need–not to turn around and ask your neighbor.
    I also predict resistance from those who are firmly attached to their material lifestyle. They would be offended by the idea that they are “coping” and not “caring.” “A mani-pedi isn’t what you really need or want,” you’ll say. “But I worked hard and I deserved it. Don’t you dare tell me how to live my life!” will be the response. At least, this is probably how it would go down in America.

    Liked by 7 people

  19. It’s obvious that anything that starts out a good idea on the face of it, can be hijacked by consumerism. This has been the case with “going green” (the array of products is astounding), feminism (e.g. Always ads), body positivity (e.g. Dove ads).

    I think the better approach is to see everything in a broader context. I am a caregiver and a parent and without regular self-care (not just coping – I agree there is a big difference), I would not be able to share produce with neighbors or have other children over while their parents run errands , etc. You’re right in that community should counter this promotion of caring for oneself as an isolated process. Being part of a community or making family wherever you happen to be is an important aspect of self-care, even for an introvert like me. Very thought-provoking post. Thank you.

    Liked by 4 people

  20. CassieW says:

    Absolutely. Self-care is masked as a justification for coping behaviors to be normalized and regular. If coping is necessary all the time, positive or negative methods, that’s not healthy. Something is off with self-care.

    Liked by 5 people

  21. Good piece bringing an important idea to the fore. I understand the points made by people who find it hard to find friendships and reliable people in their lives,it really is challenging and can be pretty depressing at times. People can be shallow and self absorbed more often than they are kind and altruistic. Making the link with the materialistic, capitalist culture we’ve absorbed does make sense.
    Sometimes we need a big prod I guess. Initiatives like Time Banks are probably one of the closest things to what you are talking about when you write about Community care. We have a (still fledgling) one where I am and it is a good thing. It is taking many years for people to get involved fully though, and of course some people are put off by the ‘time for time’ aspect, fearing it may lead to obligations they can’t or don’t really want to fulfill. But the intention behind it is to give people an incentive to build community ties, and it rejects capitalism completely as everyone does everything for free.
    Mental health issues seem to meet with stigma wherever you are, despite the face that there is no difference the health of body and mind, the two are linked not separate. Emotional connections are so important to the health of our minds. I’m glad the writer makes the link between the idea that we are encouraged to care for ourselves and our nearest and dearest, but are reticent or maybe afraid to ask for (hope for?) support and care from others. Friends are too often in reality more like acquaintances and impose unspoken limits on time and what they are willing to do for someone they don’t consider in the group they want to/ are obligated to care for.
    Then again, even care of family members is something many people prefer to buy than do themselves, and don’t even suggest you could ask a friend, neighbour, etc to help. It isn’t their problem and anyway, that is what professional are for, isn’t it? Child minders, care workers, etc.
    Government policy prefers that women pay someone else to care for their child so they can work- it always seems an odd logic to me.
    Anyway, I’m rambling…thanks for giving us food for thought.

    Liked by 6 people

  22. kyanabrindle says:

    I totally agree that community care is essential. Individualism and the myth that we should all be doing everything ourselves is killing us. In my years as a therapist, most of what I’ve seen folks with mental health issues struggle with is isolation and being made to feel ashamed of needing help and support from other people. I think we all struggle with that sometimes whether we have mental health issues or not, and the ugly end of the individualism spectrum can actually contribute to folks developing depression and anxiety symptoms. I agree that there is a lack of knowledge and understanding about what self-care really means, and the term is often used to justify some kind of checking out. Thanks for writing about this.

    Liked by 5 people

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  25. mirrorgirl says:

    A brilliant post. I also think that letting others taking care of us, and being there for others in return, is the best way to ‘cope’ or take care of ourselves.

    Liked by 7 people

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  28. April says:

    Wow, this is so true. Our society needs to stop pushing individualism so much. I have PTSD from severe child abuse and I’ve always felt alone. My abusers isolated me and took everything from me. The first time I told someone about my childhood, they looked at me and called me a liar! Granted, she was in 5th grade, but it still hurt. The reactions I got from then on were “just get over it.” I felt so alone, depressed and overwhelmed. I can’t do this alone. People who have been through trauma can heal…IF they have support from people around them. I started my blog recently because I slipped into DEEP depression and anxiety. I wanted to die. Several special people sent me kind messages and gave me support. That has helped me more than any medicine or therapy I have had. I don’t feel as crazy or empty anymore. I feel loved. And that is what will heal me from my trauma.

    Liked by 5 people

  29. lindsy says:

    I really enjoyed how you pointed some of the “self-care” techniques we employ aren’t really that and the distinction between coping and self-care, recognizing that there are times that are just too much to bear alone. And that’s normal. I think before the term “self-care” got popular (or at least by the time I started hearing about it in school), we were young and had more time for ourselves (hopefully with family meeting those daily needs: food, shelter, love) without thinking anything about it or needing a term for recognizing what we needed to feel better (again, conciously or unconciously)- to focus on interests, to zone out, to be creative, to be active, etc. It wasn’t self-care, it was something you just intuitively knew that made you feel good and you had the time for it.

    To read the comments and see that people do not have community care (I’m thinking of this like you, more in the sense of an actual community – be it your friends, family, your neighbors, your co-workers, etc. whoever those people are) as something that’s available for them to reach out to ask for help and ask how do you find a community that is supportive? That’s a big question. It takes time to cultivate new things. Maybe we can begin by sharing this post with those we’d like to begin having a deeper relationship with – and keep the conversations going.

    Liked by 5 people

  30. Very well written! Your message reached the audience and that’s the best part!

    Liked by 4 people

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  32. xyzbezmiegasarunas says:

    Reblogged this on xyzbezmiegasarunas.

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  33. macibaby12 says:

    That look good

    Liked by 3 people

  34. Yes! THIS! Thank you for expressing the need for community support so well. When my husband and I were struggling with our depression and other life events, we could not have the support of my parents. Having people in your community who can’t help or view mental health negatively is even more damaging. We were fortunate to have wonderful friends and coworkers who helped us through it all (along with therapists and medication and our puppy). To the poster who has no support in their community, I would recommend seeking help with a therapist and online communities: facebook, meetups, blogs like this one. These will help you connect with people both locally and globally who are struggling like you and you can help prop each other up. Best of luck to all who are going through hard times! *hugs*

    Liked by 4 people

  35. geedandy says:

    Good post! Although I would like to point out something.

    In contrast to your country (where independence is encouraged), our country encourages and greatly emphasizes the value of taking care of family and community. Regardless if you’re independent or dependent to them, community-care acts, such as taking care of your siblings, old parents or someone else’s (because they took care of you when you were younger) is applauded. Nobility at its finest. The concept is, “we’d rather starve or not take care of ourselves as long as we take care of them. Someone will take of me later on, anyway. Perhaps the children that I am taking care of now.”

    This culture is a killer, especially in my case as I’ve experienced it first hand. And it’s not uncommon. It’s naturally the flow of life here.

    Which brings me to the point how self-care is equally important to caring for the community. I was told by my therapist that I won’t be able to take care of my family (especially that I am an expectant mother) if I can’t take care of myself. I then decided to drop my “obligations” and “responsibilities” that I have for my parents and siblings. Which is so difficult, because I get judged wrongly for doing something culturally incorrect.

    I think that the measurement of value between self-care and community-care depends on culture. I agree that we do need others to help ourselves be healthy. But the question is, to what extent do we ask or provide help?

    I’m hoping to read more of your posts. You offer really good discourse on mental health.

    Liked by 4 people

  36. The loss of community contributes to loneliness, poor health, exacerbations of mental illness, and certainly to the shallow experience of consumerism. We buy to fill the void of what we don’t have in our hearts and souls. Nice blog.

    Liked by 5 people

  37. Ivy Willow says:

    Wow! I’ve never thought about this! This was an incredibly intriguing article, thank you so much for writing it! I’ve got a lot to think about now ^.^ I hope you have an absolutely beautiful day sunshine!

    Liked by 3 people

  38. melomel says:

    A great example of community care can be found at Dancing Rabbit ecovillage. I encourage anyone reading this to look them up. They are doing great things and showing others how to do it.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. tamaraguin92 says:

    WOW! I experienced so many different emotions reading through this post! I went from irritated to relieved so fast! I’m so thankful I read through your entire post!! I’m a huge fan of self-care, but I fully believe in community care! Every Sunday my family gets together to do breakfast before church! I love it because my grandparents help out with my boys, my mom cooks and then after we eat my fiance and I clean! We all share the jobs instead of one person doing everything! Thank you for sharing! I’m looking forward to reading more posts from you!

    Liked by 3 people

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  41. Well said. You’ve given us something to think about. Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

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  44. This was a post I enjoyed reading as this is something which I have never considered in these terms. I am of the opinion (having had several discussions with my better half) that self-care is becoming more important as a lot people now have better understanding of how to take care of themselves, for example having an idea of what makes a healthy meal. Personally, I was someone that looked to my fiancee for guidance of how to keep healthy (community care) but I started getting fit and now this is something we enjoy doing together (self-care)! Thank you for sharing Liz, I will keep an eye out for other posts from you!

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  45. Pingback: Why I don’t believe in “self care” (and how to make it obsolete) | Dogwood Daydreams

  46. ezbethie says:

    Keen insights. You express this well. Having experienced times in my life where bare bones coping was all I was capable of, as well as periods of time when I experienced community, I believe self-care & community care to overlap. When I’m mentally capable of self-care, I’m able to ask for the help I need, be it someone to cook one night a week, a companion for a doctor’s visit or to go out and catch a new band. Also able to make good choices when it comes to diet, exercise, what things I put into my body/space/environment. If ‘community care’ was something we all participated in, coping would be much easier when going through tough times. Thanks for your insightful post.

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  47. Pingback: Why I don’t believe in “self care” (and how to make it obsolete) | the little pink book

  48. Sounds to me that you think that the term ‘self-care’ should be better defined. You listed reasons and personal ways you use self-care and why it is important. The title is misleading. I am 100% in favor of self-care, I work with people who have illnesses (cancer, mental illnesses) and self-care is a top key priority. Coping comes in many shapes and forms and ‘just coping’ or ‘getting by’ is not self-care. Media and company often advertise ‘do this and you will feel better, buy this and you will be popular’ You are right about society misleading people on how to manage their well-being. People need to understand and practise self-care daily, independently and defiantly reaching out to others. You need to take care of you in order to be the best you for yourself and others.

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