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Self-Care: What is it really?

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

People speak about self-care a lot these days, but many clients seem confused about what this actually is and what it looks like. It's not so much about taking a bubble bath or having a spa day, as it is about self-compassion and gentleness toward oneself. Self-care is about taking the time to "be with" one's pain in meditative contemplation, and learning how to survive it. You may imagine a person sitting in silence and stillness to confront the fears or anxieties that have been haunting them for years. This kind of self-reflection brings clarity and deeper connection with one’s emotional world. Making more space and time to acknowledge one’s inner life is a powerful demonstration that self-knowledge is a priority. A client referred to this process as "cleansing out our wounds" and living through it--by confronting emotions and then letting them pass. Feeling the depth of one's emotions and being able to surrender to certain situations is not the same thing as giving up. It's more about giving yourself up to what you deeply feel. Unprocessed affect can manifest as many things--depression, anxiety, attachment issues, overthinking, or blaming. Self-care leads to the awareness that we can access an innate sense of safety, comfort and boundless joy that is within us. When we learn how to access our own joy and peace, we begin to feel whole, safe, and complete--these are the juicy fruits of self-care.

If you want to feel, think, and act differently in your life or relationships, first identify the source of any fears and recognize that the solution to their transcendence lies within you. It may take time to transcend a deeply engrained emotional pattern, but the time you invest will be well worth the changes that follow. Self-care can renew the mind with time and practice. The need for self-care is universal— because we all need healing as part of our human evolution.

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