Christine Browner is the mom of 5 kiddos, wife to an amazing man, rare disease and mental health advocate, nurse, and Program Manager at 1N5.
I kind of feel the same way about the word self-care as I’ve felt about the word pivot since the start of the pandemic. Way overused! I get the importance and significance of each yet roll my eyes each time I hear them.
In the podcast Unlocking Us, host Dr. Bréne Brown interviews author and thought leader, Dr. Shawn Ginwright. Dr. Ginwright pushes back on the term self-care. He says self-care presumes that “this is just for me”. The word self-care insinuates that individual wellness is separate from our community’s wellness. But we know this isn’t true.
Dr. Ginwright captures why I think the term self-care is getting a bad rap. Our personal wellness is inextricably intertwined with the wellness of the community from which we work, live, and play. As Dr. Ginwright so accurately reminds us, “If I’m sick, we sick. If I’m well, we well.”
So here is the question I’ve been contemplating: If my community (whether work, home, or society) isn’t well, can I be well? I think the answer is “yes”.
I know the health and wellness of my community impacts my personal health and wellness. AND I can practice self-care to protect my personal health and wellness. It’s not one or the other. It’s both. There are work, family, and societal situations that are mostly out of my control. But I do have control over how I prioritize my personal wellness. Even if just a little. For me that means giving myself permission to take time to do the things I enjoy. I love to do puzzles. I love to get outdoors- even for 10 minutes. I love to watch “Top Chef”. I love to run with my friend Kate. I love to cook dinner for my family. All of these things help keep me well(ish) even when my community isn’t well.
So yes. I get why people are tired of the term self-care. So am I. AND I see the value in protecting and practicing my personal wellness in spite of (or maybe even because of) those things I can’t control.