Self-care vs. Caring for Myself

Words matter, often more than we realize. Take the wildly popular term: self-care What does it conjure up? When I hear it I think of: Bubble baths, massage, pedicures, glass of champagne with the girls? Does it evoke any sort of resistance for you like it does me? Thoughts like, that feels impossible in the midst of this shit storm happening in the world. Who has time for “self-care?”  It seems “selfish.” Selfish for me is where my brain says ok, “we are SO done here. I was raised to believe that prioritizing myself was selfish. Any word with “self” attached was not a good word. And it wasn’t my mom’s fault. It was what she learned. So, for me, the term “self-care” evokes a cringing response and then an inner rant: “Why do we have to call out taking care of ourselves as women when men do it in a way that seems guilt-free?” Don’t get me wrong:  I staunchly believe that we ALL should all prioritize caring for ourselves. So, I call it “caring for myself” because then I get to count all of the ways I find joy, which, in turn, nurture my heart, body, and mind:  Going to see my grandkids evokes the child in me; the curious, playful explorer of possibility Creating healthy meals that make my body burst with energy Writing 3 pages of handwritten work each morning, “morning pages” to clear my head Singing and making up ridiculous lyrics that make me laugh Talking/texting with friends Crocheting a blanket for a soon to be born baby Doing a “tapping” meditation that reduces anxiety and opens possibility Reading books that challenge my biases and help me learn how I can be a better human. You see: caring for myself includes all kinds of activities, some directly turned toward me, and others that involve the beauty of relationships and growth. What do you think about this distinction?  Which word combo helps you nurture and nourish yourself more?

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