I think we forget that self-care is a privilege. A mentor at school (shout out to the wonderful staff at Emory’s Office of Health Promotion!) brought up this idea and it has really stuck with me. So what does it mean to call self-care a privilege? It is a privilege for many reasons. The common idea of self-care includes a pint of ice cream, dark chocolate, bubble baths, Netflix binges, and taking “time off.” But what if you can’t take time off? What if you can’t…
- afford Netflix
- hire a babysitter
- take a night off work
- escape the anxiety of financial strain, stigma, or struggle
This make self-care a privilege, and it is a privilege we tend to flaunt without a second thought. I know I am guilty of this….
While “self-care is not selfish” is one of my favorite mantras, a more accessible concept, in my opinion, is self-compassion. Self-compassion, as conceptualized by Dr. Kristin Neff, is treating yourself as you would treat a good friend–with kindness, sympathy, and forgiveness. Everyone is capable and has the resources to practice self-compassion.
While I have taken self-care for granted, I will begin to think more deeply about how I encourage self-care practices. I am so grateful that I have the means to indulge in a whole pint of ice cream, take a night off, or take a special, highly priced yoga class to relax every once in a while.
Sometimes I struggle to practice self-care because I am the more anxious type and struggle to turn my mind off. I have found that this blog is a source of self-care for me; it has a tangible product of posts that go up, but it gives me an outlet for my (endless) thoughts and creativity.
Once again, having a blog requires the time (and money if you want a independently hosted site), which requires a certain level of privilege. While self-care has its use and its place, self-compassion is a concept and practice that I feel more confident in promoting.
Have you ever thought of self care as a privilege in this way? Do you struggle with self-care?