Today I decided to try a little video chat to quickly share some nagging thoughts on the intersection of self-care and healthy reparenting.

Western culture has a way of marketing and commodifying our most basic survival skills, leading us to believe we’re deficient and therefore in need of a product or service that can clearly be linked to a catchphrase or hashtag. Hashtag mani-pedi. Hashtag scented candles. Hashtag spa day. Hashtag highlights. Hashtag self-care. If we aren’t doing one of those fancy things we’re likely to disqualify what we are doing every day to care for ourselves, like brushing our teeth, putting away the laundry and setting boundaries with the big, loud, bossy world.

Believing we’re not doing enough is the surest way to keep us stuck in a fruitless cycle of trying too hard, procrastinating and eventually giving up. We compare ourselves to the images, messages and people we see who tend to dominate dominant culture. What if we simply stopped buying what they’re selling and became the authorities of our own lives? What if we paired trauma-informed understanding with the 1, 2, 3’s of be-ing?

Hopefully, after watching my video you’ll have a whole new perspective on what it means to take care of you. Wild guess: you’re already doing enough.

Happy Sunday xo

17 thoughts on “Redefining Self-Care

  1. I appreciate this! I hated cooking for a long time, even I love cooking. It was the cleanup mostly. But I came up with a decent solution. I can throw a chunk of meat on the stove or in the microwave and veggies in the steamer, sometimes adding some nuts or piece of fruit makes a quick and relatively healthy meal with minimum cleanup. My dad is a bachelor now, too, after mom went into assisted living. Our apartments are on the verge of being sloppy. Right now, they are decent. But I challenged him that we each make our homes beautiful and host each other to a meal and football. Fun huh? My sister wants in! After the contest I’m going to try cooking again. I’ve been thinking about it for some time now. I do alright with some Asian and Midwestern Tex-Mex. I’ve also picked up some Italian stuff. I have two jobs, writing, playing in bands, and helping my parents as mom’s mind fades. I’m bragging right now, because I never thought I could do so much and enjoy it. But I do need to take better care of myself. Thanks!

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  2. Aren’t you just the most beautiful person inside and out. I mean seriously what a whole package you are 🙂 We certainly need more people like you in the world 🙂 Routines are such an essential part aren’t they. Not having the comfort of my “routine” lately due to my circumstances has shown me how much I relied on it to give me a sense of “normal” whatever that is. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t responsible for doing it all for myself. You were worthless if you couldn’t do all that was to be done. I feel I developed a sense of one day some day it will be my turn for someone to take care of me. But seems that is still my job haha 🙂 I guess I throw a fit every now and then just more internal because well I am not 3 and it’s not acceptable or appropriate 🙂 🙂 I had someone ask me if I was OCD about things, and thought oh my goodness another label hahaha 🙂 I need these things to feel “normal” It makes me feel good. Why would I not do the things that are “OCD” to others that make me feel good than label it as something that is wrong? I love you my dear friend, and I am so happy thatI am not the only one who has something else to tell you but can’t remember 🙂

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    • 😂 I love you too Mags, at least I can’t forget that! I’m so sorry your routine is thrown off; it’s the very first thing we try to establish for newborns because we know it’s what makes us feel safe, secure and connected. That need never goes away which is why rituals are built into everything from our faith to family traditions; we always want to know someone saved us our seat at the table.
      Labels, ugh. Might have to be my next video chat. The labels of the mental health and medical world are very shaming and fail to tell the whole story. Let’s peel them off and replace them with something more helpful, like markers of resilience and compassionate explanations.
      As for wanting someone to take care of us, I hear you and can’t help but wonder about the difference here between men and women. My brothers were for sure nurtured and raised differently from my sisters and I. Are women ever cared for in those same ways? I don’t know offhand but I do know my top love language is acts of service. When my husband empties the dishwasher I do backflips and cartoon hearts float out of my eyes.
      Thanks for all your kind words. 😊 in addition to organizing my thoughts and junk drawers, I’m also practicing accepting compliments. ❤️

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      • Well, you deserve those compliments. 🙂 Safe, secure, connected, is that a real thing 🙂 I feel my seat at the table was burned and thrown out long ago. Mentally of course, I forgive and move on but really, does any one get what it does to a person to be forgotten, tossed out, or just plain left to fend for themselves because ” you are strong, you’ve got this, and by the way can you help me?” I didn’t even feel offended by the OCD comment, I just explained, no I just have a routine. A way of doing things that take care of all that I am responsible for. Who doled out the responsibilities and decided they were mine, I don’t know. But somewhere along the way that’s what happened, so if not me then who? I also don’t know if it is male/female thing since my sister was provided for but I was “capable” of taking care of myself. Although, with all that is going on with my house I have seen a pattern of I am always helping the man, and yet when it is time for “my job” I am left to my own devices to do it by myself. This was the last time I lost my temper, as I pointed this fact out. Then felt guilty for even pointing it out. 🙂

        No thanks needed for me telling the truth. I would not waste my time even writing it about you if it were not true. You are worthy my friend. You are worthy 🙂

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      • Sounds like you were handed the roles of hero child and scapegoat. Bummer. It doesn’t feel good and as I’m walking my ow healing path, I’m not sure we ever ‘get over’ how we were loved; whether it was too much, not enough or somewhere in between. Instead, I think our understanding and acceptance evolves and that changes pain (or crisis) into opportunities, gifts, lessons? We start to believe the compliments of virtual strangers ;), the thoughts we have about ourselves, the god winks and think ‘hmm, maybe I’m not so bad after all’ Then we start to live our lives as a person deserving of love, designer labels as opposed to dismissive ones. Oh snap! Haha.
        They can dole out the responsibilities but we can set limits and say, whoa Bub, that’s yours not mine. You deal with it. Or like my sister did back in the day, divide the room with a line of duct tape. (Ironically, her side was messier. She’s a neat freak now.)
        Until utopian harmony is achieved I fully support the occasional temper tantrum. It’s a great release. 😁

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  3. I believe after or during each experienced trauma we have to relearn or unlearn parts of ourselves. When my mom transitioned I was terrified…all over again.
    I agree that preparation and structure are required. Gateway insights, my Friend. Love the videos. Continue. ♥️

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