African woman smiling and walking outdoors in park

What Does Self Care Really Mean?

This blog was written in partnership with Cameron Lacy from Intuit Healing

When we live inside a world filled with external pressures, we can easily succumb to fads promising solutions to life’s challenges. From diet culture to virtual assistants, yoga practices to astrology and meditation - all touted as remedies for life’s challenges. However, they do not hold the power to fix the unpredictable nature of life itself and it’s vital to discern what truly nurtures us.

Life unfolds with unpredictability - loss, transitions, and moments where we don’t recognize ourselves. These are experiences meant to be lived. But in order to keep our feet rooted in the earth, and our hope soaring towards our abundance we need tools to help us cope. Yoga, therapy, body work, energy work, meditation, nutrition, astrology, tarot…serve as mirrors that help us see, accept, and better ourselves when used to support rather than solve. 

Self care, as Audre Lorded noted, is an act of self preservation. It’s not merely about doing something but recognizing and fulfilling our genuine needs. Self care is an internal decision-making process that comes from you. Meaning, it is not something that is prescribed by someone else but rather a sense of knowing what it is that you need and an ability to give that to yourself in a given moment. It’s about honoring yourself, your needs, and understanding that you are worthy of being cared for by you.

The essence of self care is to help yourself through this life. To become internally and externally resourced enough that you become the mountain in your world. When culture adds capitalism inside of this it can turn into a harmful place encouraging low self worth and internal abandonment. I implore you to not give up, yet instead become discerning in establishing your community and network of trusted advisors. Read between the lines of what people and spaces offer. If they offer client centered care or mindfulness practices that is a good sign they are here to help you, because they believe you ultimately can help yourself the most.  If they only promise joy, love, light, abundance from the get go with minimal work… I think you should investigate more as nice as those promises sound.

Building a supportive community is essential in this journey yet we live in a society where self sufficiency is often glorified. We need to have everything, be everything, make it all work. But in reality we need to help each other find our own paths. We have to learn, we must take time, and accept. We must care for ourselves enough to know when we need to take a pause, even if it is just a breath outside. Only then can we truly see ourselves and make space for everything, and everyone we want and need in this present life. 

The power of self care lies within us. Knowing and believing we are worthy of self care is transformative. While indulging in fancy candles, foot creams, and massages can be healing, so too can a quiet moment with your body and breath- an opportunity to connect with your inner parts and give them (you!) all of the love, compassion, and care they deserve. 

So ask yourself: Do I need help making time? Should I start a hobby for creativity and community? Would therapy provide tools to heal my inner parts? Do I need to acknowledge the pain and secrets my body holds? Do I need a brief moment alone? Remember, this journey of self care is for you and you are so worthy of being cared for by you!