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What is Self Care?

-Ally Nelson, LCSW


Have you had these thoughts before?

  • “If I take care of my needs first I’m being selfish”

  • “I don’t have time to take care of myself”

  • “I don’t even know what I need!”

If so, you are definitely not alone! I’ve heard these statements hundreds of times in my work as a therapist. Cultural norms, family expectations, fears, etc. can all affect how we view self care and influence how we practice it. So let’s break down what self care really is.


What is Self Care?


Self care is the “right and responsibility to take care of your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing”. Did you get that? It's more than just taking a bath or getting your nails done.

It’s a RIGHT and a RESPONSIBILITY.


Self care is a Right

Self care is not something that has to be earned. Because you exist you deserve to take care of yourself. You deserve to meet your needs. You don’t need to complete your to-do list before you can take a nap! Plus, you might get your to-do list done so much faster if you take the nap first. Self care is your right.




Self care is a Responsibility



Here’s the deal. If I don’t take care of myself, I don’t have any reserves to take care of you.

Don’t get me wrong, I can still take care of

others while I’m running on empty but it creates resentment in relationships. We start to feel mad at others for having needs!


Imagine you’re on an airplane while the flight attendants are going through the safety instructions. Without fail, they’ll say “if an oxygen mask drops down, be sure to put yours on before helping the people next to you”. They say this because if you don’t put your oxygen mask on, you could pass out. And... we’re not much help to anyone if we’re passed out.


You are the only one that knows what you need. Put your oxygen mask on first. When your bucket is full and you’re feeling good, think of all the ways you can help others!


So often client’s will say to me “taking care of myself is selfish”. But I argue the opposite. It’s selfish NOT to take care of yourself.


Your needs matter.


“Don't forget to drink water and get some sunlight

because you're basically a house plant

with more complicated emotions.”

— Unknown



Struggling to practice self care? Set up a FREE 30 minute consultation with any therapist on our staff or schedule an intake appointment to get treatment started.


We're excited to help you meet your needs!


Click HERE to read our therapist's bios!


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