We keep hearing about the virtues of self-care. But what exactly is it?
Psych Central most most aligns with N&K’s definition: something you do merely for yourself in a healthy manner, deliberate, and with personal meaning*. You may be relieved after finishing your to-do list, but this wasn’t done merely for yourself. You are happy you did the laundry that’s been piling up for weeks, but did you do it just for the personal joy?
Why self care?
We’d counter this with ‘why not?’ We spend all day running around, multi tasking, doing what’s expected or asked of us.
Why shouldn’t we do something that’s just for ourselves?
How often do I need to do this?
We believe self care should be done daily.
It could be taking 5 minutes to enjoy the unexpected afternoon sun. Doing a facemask with your kid. Having an espresso and cookie (or nookie) with your partner. Practicing your burlesque moves. Singing in the shower. Making your colleagues laugh with a silly joke. Complimenting a stranger**. Taking your pups out for a long hike.
Nals likes to get up early so she has time to enjoy her coffee in the quiet of the morning. Kells likes to take naps on her days off. We like to catch up when we’re both working in the same part of town.
Yeah but isn’t self care selfish?
Absolutely not! As long as it is healthy, done with awareness and has personal meaning. Our old pal Mirriam Webster’s definition. Sure, self care is focused on oneself.
But self care’s focus is not on self-advantage and not with disregard for others.
What’s the Oxford Comma Got to do with it?*
Nothing directly. But self care and The Oxford Comma elicits similar reactions: debates, strong opinions, and misperceptions.
If you do use either or both, do it consistently and with honest intention.
Comment below with how you do self care. Please keep comments PG-13, respectful and on-topic.
*yep here’s your Oxford comma, folks. Self care consists of 3 separate points: healthy, deliberate and meaningful. Without that last comma, ‘healthy manner’ means that choking down veggies is self care because it is deliberate and meaningful. Add the comma, and you can see that though eating veg is healthy, it may not be with deliberation or personal meaning. Oxford comma, broken down here https://www.grammarly.com/blog/what-is-the-oxford-comma-and-why-do-people-care-so-much-about-it/
** Avoid creepiness.