Today, I want to talk about one of trendiest topics out there right now. It’s all over social media and it’s in all of our personal conversations, it’s the topic of self-care. There are so many different ideas and opinions going around on what self-care is (and isn’t), none of which are necessarily wrong. But more than anything, is leaving a lot of unanswered questions and confusion about what each person should be doing for self-care. And honestly, this is a really tricky topic to talk about because self-care isn’t universal.
Now, at its rudimentary level self-care is the capability of which a person is able to navigate their life. But add on the complexities of who we are and what we know, self-care then turns into the capability of which a person is able to navigate their life given the needs they have at the moment alongside the resources that are made available to them. This is why self-care is unable to be universal. Your different identities, oppressions, and experiences all play an important part in what type of self-care you may need.
So then…how does one begin to decide what kind of self-care they need to practice?
Self-care breaks down into two extended branches: 1) Self-Comfort and 2) Self-Management. Both branches must intertwine and play off of one another in order for one to be successful in balancing their self-care. But sometimes, one is needed more than the other given our needs and available resources. The branch of self-comfort is most often what people imagine when they think of self-care; it encompasses sensory, pleasure, spiritual activity, and even social engagement. In application, it looks like bubble baths, eating a favorite dessert, attending a house of worship (or therapy!), or cuddling with your pets. The branch of self-management however, includes mental mastery, physical activity, and emotional acceptance. It’s the part of self-care that often gets the bad rap as it looks like eating healthy, exercising, making a monthly budget, or doing that dreaded homework.
I don’t have a magical answer for how to figure out what kind of self-care you need. But what I can leave you with is this - you have the power to choose which self-care you need and want, and what will work for you. Self-care is meant to empower you and empower your life. The only type of self-care that takes that away is the self-care you didn’t want or need in the first place.
Until Next Time,
Lena McCain, MA | Founder & Psychotherapist
About Lena McCain, MA
Lena McCain is our Founder here at Interfaith Bridge Counseling. She holds a Masters in Clinical Mental Health: Mindfulness-based Transpersonal Counseling Psychology from Naropa University and is an LPC candidate. Her drive and passions lie in the realm of Interfaith Relations and Youth Collaboration, which she brings to Interfaith Bridge Counseling with over 12 years of experience and with an emphasis on one’s discovery of self, spirituality, and multicultural diversity. Lena’s expertise in spirituality and the therapeutic world acts as a reminder to our community, teens, and young adults that they are not alone in their experience of life.