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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.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • 1CRAZYDOG
    YES! You are absolutely right. Self-care doesn't involve self-harm! Love it
    78 days ago
  • NANCYPAULINE
    This is so insightful. I worked with a personal trainer 7 years ago, who tried to get me to believe the exact same ideas, but I still wanted to eat and drink the foods that gave me pleasure in the short term. Yes, getting stronger and weighing less were also pleasurable. But I think it has more to do with immediacy. After all, instant gratification is a huge cultural problem in the US, as it probably is in many other places. "A bird in the hand..."
    78 days ago
  • NANCY-
    Excellent perspective. Thank you for sharing it with us.
    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    79 days ago
  • JOYNEW
    What an astute observation!

    I learned about comfort vs numbing from a Brene Brown book. To deal with stress, we likely turn to one or the other. Comfort actually helps us cope and heal. Numbing just helps us to check out and may be harmful. It's up to us to figure out what actually comforts us and to identify in what ways we numb. One smart person I know said it's ok to numb now and then -- in safe ways. (She was not saying go ahead and do drugs or any such thing!). Just, you know, if you need an hour of brain-dead TV after a stressful day, it's ok. If it becomes all you do, and you're avoiding dealing with life, that's not ok.

    Hm, I probably should've written my own blog, but there you go. emoticon
    79 days ago
  • JOHNMARTINMILES
    Awright!

    Make today the greatest day of your life
    Until tomorrow!

    Worry never robs tomorrow of its sorrow, it only saps today of its joy.
    Leo Buscaglia
    79 days ago
  • KIMCAR08
    WTG!! You've got this covered. 👌You can do this.👍 Have a blessed and motivated Monday.😊
    79 days ago
  • YMWONG22
    emoticon emoticon
    79 days ago
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