Yes, I believe in the importance of self-care. I will encourage it for everyone. It helps. But it can only help so much. Until this becomes a society that equally cares about everyone and actively seeks to offer care for everyone, self-care can only go so far. We need to recognize that and spend as much time promoting that as we do self-care.
Honestly, we put a birdfeeder in our yard a few years ago, and I will occasionally go out and watch some of the birds as they come to the feeder. It is relaxing. Having a few moments of relaxation in my day is good for my mental health. Maybe you can’t get a feeder and keep it stocked, but maybe there’s a park or lake nearby where you can hear and see the birds.
Give it a shot. See what happens.
See, it’s easy to tell people who live pretty comfortable lives what a difference some time in nature can make for their anxiety or other issues. People living in poverty or dealing with racism every day might not get the same benefit from an afternoon hike. We don’t know what impact it would have, because we’ve mainly only been testing in relatively wealthy countries with relatively wealthy subjects.
We should be considering all of the societal and environmental obstacles that exist for people when it comes to mental health challenges. I suspect it’s only very recently that we’ve begun to do that, so any of our typical “advice” about self-care might not be appropriate until we’ve done more.
This post isn’t necessarily about abuse survivors, but I think it applies. Healing from abuse is similar, there are good days and then there are not so good days. Both are OK. We bombard ourselves with a litany of questions: Why the heck am I sooo tired? What’s wrong with me? Why does this always…