I watched a video by Cat and Nat that struck home. It centered on the idea that “survival is not self-care.” Most of what we consider as “taking care of ourselves” is actually a slew of necessary activities that we’ve become grateful for being able to accomplish.
Like taking a shower or cutting our nails. This is hygiene, not self-care. Eating, sleeping, going to the bathroom. This is essential for our body to function, not self-care. Going to the grocery store, running to the bank. These are errands, not self-care.
Their little car conversation blew my mind. I realized I’ve been interpreting self-care as any time I have alone, but they claim that if you’re doing something you have to do, it isn’t actual rest for your mental health.
I think as moms, we’ve found a way to patch up our mental health with these minuscule respites, such as folding laundry while the kids are sleeping. No one’s asking for something, so it counts as a break right? I got to shave my legs in the shower without anyone hollering for help. Was that a break? I got to eat a hot meal without someone asking me for a bite. Should I feel grateful?
These activities make us feel human, but we’ve come to value them as luxuries. This got me all kinds of thinking. What state is our mental health really in if we consider it a good day when basic needs like food and hygiene are met? When do we actually get to engage in activities that solely serve us and not the needs of our families?
By Cat and Nat’s definition, there is very little that we do that is truly self-care. They finally concluded that a girls’ weekend where the husbands watch the kids was the only true way to take care of ourselves. And I can’t imagine that being a bad idea 😏.
What do you do that is truly self-care?