Self-care is a popular practice that is often meant to be a positive way to deal with health and mental health issues. While it should be beneficial, self care can be harmful if it is treated as a cure-all solution or pursued without intention or a realistic regard for the results. Overspending, eating indiscriminately, not exercising and ignoring reality are some examples of bad self-care that can lead to negative outcomes in the form of emotional, financial, mental, or physical consequences. There is also a general misconception about self-care revolving around treats and pampering Self-care is not a willful denial of reality and true self-care is about doing the necessary work to take care of yourself even if it's not fun or what you want to do.

@hoolie_r Compound that with a gen0cide on our dime and yeah. I don’t blame you for not being able to get anything done. #covidisnotover #covid #covidcautious #covidawareness #covidconscious #wearamask #pandemic ♬ original sound - Julie 🍉

I'm someone who once ignored reality in the name of self care and had to deal with the detrimental effects. Having numerous health issues (vertigo, tinnitus, not being able to move my arm, etc.) in the past, I knew I had to make changes. This meant being honest with myself and confronting my shortcomings and priorities so I could grow. I was doing pretty well but then the pandemic happened (and it's still happening) and I slid back into some bad habits. After dealing with a shoulder impingement,  I made changes again including adopting a strict home workout program and prioritizing a nutrient dense diet.  Admittedly this is not fun and requires work and discipline but it has paid off in the form of being physically fit and major improvements to my energy levels and mood. And best of all I don't have to be in constant pain management mode anymore.

The other component of the self-care routine I developed in 2020 is acknowledging and accepting the reality of the pandemic, educating myself on the very real dangers of COVID-19 and taking the necessary protective measures to prevent illness which is something my husband and I still continue to do. The sight of morgue trucks outside the hospital back in 2020 by where we live was incredibly disturbing and something not easily forgotten and now we're now currently in the biggest COVID wave since then with over 2 million cases a day and the leader of the World Health Organization declaring that it is still a pandemic

This has not been easy because it requires an unrelenting commitment, a willingness to be different and being able to stand up to societal pressure. While some people would say that we have missed out on so much, we've gained an understanding that there is more to life than eating out, going to concerts and traveling. We have lost friends because of this but who needs friends that willingly abandon reason, critical thinking, compassion, and the need to stay informed because they need to go to brunch. We've made new friends and we still go out and have fun and travel. We just do it with risk mitigations and wearing KN95 masks. One good thing about this pandemic is that it helped us learn about our values and how to stay true to them. And even though we might be in the minority, we're not alone.

Sure we would love move on from COVID like most people have by ignoring the pandemic as it continues to kill and disable. Many are able to do this because it hasn't harmed or killed anyone close to them or because this is what is convenient for them. Most people are just uninformed or misinformed. Self care for us means adapting to a new normal to navigate an airborne virus even if it's difficult and different from what everyone else is doing. We may have to continue to contend with mocking, gaslighting and people saying that we live in fear but that's okay because it's better than the risk of exposing ourselves to an airborne virus with the potential to damage the immune system, blood vessels, organs, brain. As my husband says, none of the people who denigrate you for wearing a mask will care if you become sick or die. It would be great to live like it's 2019 again but I have a chronic health condition and the debilitating illness that once left me bedridden and not able to function sure shares many of the same symptoms of Long COVID. I never want to be impaired like that again and someone has a problem with that, it says more about them than me because I'm not asking anyone to live like me. We haven't been sick since 2020 and it's not something I miss. I'm talking about this because so many people are sick right now. Health is something we should never take for granted and if you are fortunate enough to be healthy, know that this can change in an instant so take care of yourself and cherish it. Ignoring the truth won't do anything to change it and in some cases actually be harmful.

Image: Chalkboard Mag


R's Rue said...

Thank you friend.

Hena Tayeb said...

Well said. It is important to do what feel right for you and other should respect that.

Mica said...

that is a great quote about self care! I hope that you and your husband continue to stay covid-free! If I had my way I'd never get sick again, but unfortunately, with the kids in school, there's always going to be something that slips through as much as we try to prevent ourselves getting sick. Life as a parent of young kids I guess!

Jackie Harrison said...

This post is a must so many people think we are free from Covid I call them ignorant. They all think it is just a flu when this year alone the hospital where I live NC and NJ were pack with people who had the flu, the reason I know this is that I have friends and Family work in the hospital. Everyone should take precautions to prevent in spreading and for their own health if they don't have a sickness this sure could give them a permanent one it cause issues with their organs. I personally have crohn's so I prevent at all cause going to places where there is a crowd. I shop in the market or farmer market first thing in the morning and for other necessities I shop online. I make reservations for a private room with my friends and family but we do not go out to eat all the time they look forward to my recipes or anything new to them is like being in a restaurant lol. I admire that you and your husband are taking all measures of prevention There is nothing wrong with that. I wish you all the best and keep it up do what you think is best for you and yours.

Rebeca Muñoz López said...

I agree with you, personal care is important but it must be done consciously, the pandemic has left its ravages, the world is definitely not the same after covid19, we must take care of ourselves and be cautious. Happy New Year 2024

R's Rue said...

Happy healthy Friday. I still have your card. It brings me so much joy. Love you friend.

iamperlita said...

Thank you for this informative and important message. It's so easy to assume we are in the clear when we don't pay attention to how many people are being affected. Have a great weekend!
PerlaGiselle |

R's Rue said...

Blessings to you my beautiful friend who gives so much