When self-care is not the answer…

Ugggh. It’s really annoying when self-care gets thrown around as the only solution to clearly fixable problem.Okay, so this is mostly just a rant, but Im sure I’m not the only one who has felt this way. So here goes.

Self-care is amazing and super important. I preach this stuff for a living. I’d even go as far as to say that it’s a vital part of dealing with most everything in life. However, it’s never really a solution to a problem- it’s a coping skill for a problem. It’s a slippery slope when we start saying, “Oh sorry this is really messed up. Just go do some self-care, that will fix it.”

Will self-care really fix it?

Will self-care itself provide any real change in a situation? Now, I’m not talking about emotional changes- self-care can and will help you learn how to process and effectively deal with an issue. But it’s not going to necessarily change the status of the issue.

In essence, self-care has become a punk way to opt out of dealing with the actual issue. Its basically equivalent to the whole “thoughts and prayers” thing. It’s great that you’re thinking of me and I appreciate your prayers, but I would still like for this problem to go away.

I came to this resolution as I was constantly feeling very angry any time that self-care was offered as a solution to a problem. “You’re telling me that your way of dealing with your part in this issue is for me to take care of myself?” It just didn’t settle very well with me.

Self-care is not gonna fix my damn toilet!

It’s not going to make problems go away and it’s not going to actively address the issues. Self-care will help you let go of things you can’t control, but it won’t control it for you.

Its a very strange to feel super passionate about self-care while also being extremely annoyed when it is prescribed as the only solution to a very real problem. Self-care isn’t the “answer” to everything. Resolving a problem requires an action. Feeling more comfortable inside of a problem isn’t a substitute for a solution. Imagine if your toilet was leaking and you called a plumber and they said “oh okay, you should just practice some self-care.”

But do you want to know the biggest irony of all? Self-care is exactly what I need to help calm myself down about the fact that self-care won’t fix my problems. So when I start to feel obsessively annoyed at being given the answer of “self-care”… The only real answer is to take care of myself.

I hope this makes sense to someone out there. I’m just in a crappy mood and don’t like it when people hide problems behind the curtain of self-care. But at the end of the day, it’s all we have. Self-care is the only solution to the fact that theres not other solution. If nothing is going to get resolved, then all that we can do is practice self-care to help accept the things that we can’t change.

1 comment

  1. Out of curiosity, who is it who tends to throw these lines at you, “You just need to practice self-care”? Other therapists? Or friends?

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