If you missed the previous entry go ahead and read it here.
Now in my early published work about self-care, one of the unexpected results was deep and angry push back both regarding the content of my work and how I talk about self-care. Let’s talk about some of that.
The first level of push back from that piece in particular revolved around the idea that a poor person might have a nice or expensive thing. What kicked off this critique is the photo in that piece of a Clarisonic. Full disclosure I will be using some affiliate links indicated with an asterisk. I get a few coins for clicks and purchases.
I used the photo to show my little self-care bath time moment and it became a point of contention because I was talking about poor people and oh NOES I had an expensive thing. There were the expected trolly comments and folks didn’t bother to ask how I’d come by it, if I used coupons or saved up etc and it really boiled down to the idea that no, poor person you are not allowed to have a nice thing.
This is tied deeply to the idea that self-care is only for certain people. That self-care if you are poor in this case, cannot include spending money or time. This comes from the belief that our worth as humans is based upon what we can produce. Are we making money? There is a belief that if we aren’t doing something, we ain’t shit and obviously don’t deserve to be well taken care of by ourselves or anyone else.
I do not believe that and I absolutely believe that this mindset is abuse. And we cannot move past the basics of self-care if we’re abusing ourselves and others.
NOW my friends.
Here is why I reprinted that article.
Regardless of whether you’re poor or not, starting self-care can be small. It can literally be five minutes between buses, jobs, diaper changes, etc. You yes you, whomever you are can begin this process.
Now if you’ve been taking that time I want you to think about this before we get to some deeper level work.
Self-care as something you do intentionally, as something you model for your kids, for your partners, for your community can lead you to a point where you include the non fancy hard shit.
For poor folks this can be stuff like:
- Getting your shit together to make hard phone calls.
- Sitting down to get your budget right. (We’ll talk about ways to do this as well)
- Finding resources to improve the quality of your lived life.
It can also mean, deciding to spend some time making yourself feel good in your body. Maybe that means dancing, or rolling through a nice park, maybe you need to figure out how to use your documentation strategies as we’ve been talking about, to manage your health. Maybe you need to figure out how to live in the life you have right this minute not the life you could if only something else changed.
What we’re doing here isn’t aspirational, I want us to work together to figure out how we inhabit our lives and doing it better.
I fully believe that learning these things, learning to care for ourselves as we are enables us to get into aspirational stuff.
I’ll use myself as an example.
I haven’t had great success in mental health services. I’m very anxious, very anxious and part of why I started doing work on my own self-care is that I sat down and realized I needed to figure out how to live with my anxiety and manage myself. I needed to figure out on my own, how to avoid triggers and how to care for myself during heightened anxiety without judgement.
What I started to learn was that I manage my anxiety by taking good care of myself. Shit y’all. I mean, I very literally have relied upon “surface” things like my skin and hair care to help me have a routine and have time to treat myself with love and that in turn enables me to look at myself with less judgement.
I was not taught to care for myself this way. I was not taught that building a foundation of or toolbox full of methodologies to take care of myself the way I was taught to take care of other people. I don’t want other folks to not have the resources or teaching or even someone to just say, this is for you too.
Back to push back.
I will say that at the time, the push back just annoyed and hurt me. I was so invested in the chance I had to have this stuff published, I didn’t really consider the audience at the time. I really took it to heart that my methodologies, ideas and advice was potentially harmful. I was told by comments, emails, tweeter dms etc that I was in fact doing harm.
I did a lot of soul searching and a lot of work on my approach.
And now we’re here.
I will say this about the push back:
- I do not believe that self-care should or must be a privilege.
- Nothing I say is sacrosanct or the One True Way and that is why this is beautiful.
- You do you.
- These are suggestions not rules.
- My voice and experience is in fact valuable.
Now, I have heard from some folks that they miss some of my earlier style of self-care stuff and we’ll get there too. I’m feeling pretty good about what I’m doing here and I want to continue.
A few things-
I am going to make some pages with book suggestions. They will be Amazon affiliate links because coins and yeah.
I am toying with adding a youtube channel? I dunno.
Maybe a occasional q & a?
I legit almost typed T & A……
Last thing, I’m working on doing some slow expansion. I can’t afford to go all out so I HIGHLY suggest following the blog here so you don’t miss anything.
Thanks for visiting.
AND some homework homies.
Ask yourself a few questions:
- Do I have emotional/mental/other blocks surrounding how I care for myself?
- If I called it something else would I be more comfortable?