Self Care Should Not Be Self Harm
Monday, November 09, 2020
So, I was having a conversation with my husband recently in which he was trying to convince me to buy him some kind of "comfort" food, and I was explaining how it was essentially poison, and he says, "sometimes self care is self harm."
I think we have found the inherent problem! It's not just his problem, I see it as an utterly cultural problem, large scale, and well beyond me to even attempt to solve for anyone else, but for me, I think this is the basic idea I've finally stumbled upon recently: I stopped letting self-care be anything harmful.
No more "comfort foods" that are made out of junk, I can find a substitute with as good or better flavor, smell, look, and mouthfeel.
No more "vegging out" with mindless and addicting games, I can switch gears but let my mind stay appropriately active with crossword puzzles, coloring, reading, etc.
No more working out so hard you can't think of anything else but the pain, I run/walk every day at a slow pace, I work my body but I don't overwork my body
No more getting angry at things I cannot control, I do what I can for myself, and I practice mindfulness to be able to separate out the rest.
They call the stressors that help your body to grow hormetic stressors, and it is good to place a little bit of stress on your body to push it to get better - but if I need self care, there is already too much stress on my body, or mind, and I do not need to inadvertently make it worse. I don't take cold showers when I'm running in single degree digit weather, and I don't add sugar to my body when I'm stressed out.
I will not let my self care be self harm.