Self-Care: A Radical Concept

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Ducks Sunning ThemselvesAfter the election in 2016, many of my friends and colleagues seem to be struggling with a bout of depression and a sense of hopelessness.  I am grateful for the mostly positive and conscious circle of people I have in my life but the turn of events seemed to have all but crushed their spirits.  I could relate to the feeling of hopelessness and had a strong desire to keep going and advocate for a change and I quickly discovered how resilient those around me were as well.

Self-care became the cornerstone for many of our lives.  The need to do things on a regular basis that soothed our weary souls became a priority rather than a guilty pleasure…a necessity, if you will.

Self-care is not a new concept.  It has been around for many years.  It was originally encouraged as a way to treat yourself medically for a healthier life beginning in the 1960s and then also looked at as a way to deal with stress brought on by high-stress jobs…primarily ones where you are caring for others.  The concept if you don’t care for yourself, you’ll have nothing to give anyone else was born.

During the civil rights and women’s movement, self-care became a way of gaining control over one’s self when they didn’t feel their needs were being taken care of by the society they lived in.  A more holistic approach and personal responsibility became more and more prevalent.

Sometimes self-care is viewed as a selfish desire…a need that isn’t really a need at all but an indulgence.  I disagree.  We must take care of ourselves.  Self-care, done right, lights a fire in our soul that cannot be distinguished. We have a responsibility to step into this space.  First, we must work on ourselves and then we have a responsibility, a moral obligation, to be a part in the healing of others…the healing of the world.