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We need a better way to refer to "Self-care"

Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

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Self-care is a general term to refer to any activity a person might do to nurture, replenishe, de-stress, improve health, improve mood... more.

I'm a little bothered by the term "self-care" because I feel it supports a notion that a person's mental health is their problem. In fact, mental health is better thought of as being affected by interlocking systems, such as family, romantic partners, friends, community and society. A diagnosis explains mental health symptoms. But the impact of these systems we're a part of dramatically affects our thoughts, mood, behavior and self-worth.

I'm not suggesting that taking care of ourselves is a bad thing. I'd just like a better term that can sort of help people understand and appreciate the complexity of supporting and improving mental health. It takes a caring community as well as caring for oneself.

Got any ideas for a better term? 🤷‍♂️ 🙂
 
A

AlrightOkay

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I like the words community and nurture
 
GTP

GTP

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Self-Maintenance perhaps? Although it does sound mechanical.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

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Perhaps one term can't encircle an individual plus all the systems in which they're included. Self-care and something else. Community-care? Collective-care? Cooperative-care? Needs to be some term that explicitly says how mental or emotional health care can't be done properly in isolation.
 
S

Snowman12

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but what if a person lives alone and rarely gets to see anyone? They might still look after themselves in a physical way ie making sure they are clean and their house is clean and they are eating healthily,not drinking too much or taking part in any harmful activities.

They are achieving self care but if it it is also based on community, contact with others and other people caring that you are well then they have failed?

It's like happiness if you depend solely on other people to be happy then you are never going to be truly happy in yourself once others let you down (and they invariably will at some point in your life!).

also if using it to specifically refer to the 'mental health community' and whether they are looking after themselves, then don't forget alot of us are in this situation (ie have this illness etc) because of what other people have done to us and how they made us feel.

I have spent my life (and I'm now in my 50's so thats probably over half of it already!) having to be 'someone else' (via having other alters) when others are around me. It's taken me most of my life to accept who 'me' is...simply because of a lifetime of bullying, getting rejected by other kids and constantly feeling that my 'I' wasn't 'good enough' to be considered 'normal', even by those who were supposed to love me.

That doesn't mean that I don't look after my home or not get a shower or neglect pets because those things were never the cause of my distress. I just don't trust others to accept 'the whole package that is me'.
 
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JeanPierre

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I don't feel the term self-care refers to mental health only?
I consider it what it is....caring for oneself.
Why do we need special terms for every little thing?
This trend is weird to me. No offense ✌
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

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They are achieving self care but if it it is also based on community, contact with others and other people caring that you are well then they have failed?
Not failed. Finding a community (like this one) where I can be not merely tolerated but accepted or even liked is what I mean when I'm speaking of community-care.

It's like happiness if you depend solely on other people to be happy then you are never going to be truly happy in yourself once others let you down (and they invariably will at some point in your life!).
Quite true. People disappoint. I disappoint other people. I can't depend solely on others or solely on myself to feel fulfilled, I can't live a life of either-or.

don't forget alot of us are in this situation (ie have this illness etc) because of what other people have done to us and how they made us feel.
That's an important point and thanks for making it. For example maybe if some people in my biological family were strong and honest enough to seek help or jerks in my early childhood received therapy, I might need less of it or any at all! I don't know.

In my communities, with regard to me living with a mental illness,
I hope for tolerance.
I look for acceptance.
I embrace and hold fast to love and understanding.

I live and struggle with mental illness in the open when I'm strong enough to be visible and vulnerable--and when I'm not, I depend on my found friends and family to help me. To me, that's the essential principle of community-care.

Learning to be safe means I avoid communities and individuals that arent safe for me to be me.

This means not talking about mental illness with people who have the emotional capacity of a thimble and the emotional vocabulary of a toddler.

Like the most of us, I gained knowledge and insight often in painful ways. And now that I'm in my 50s, I feel it was worthwhile to learn that my emotional wellbeing is in part my own responsibility and it depends on the systems I'm a part of (family, friends, community, society). They can help and they can make things worse.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

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I don't feel the term self-care refers to mental health only?
I consider it what it is....caring for oneself.
I agree with you.

I think people aren't always aware of how to take care of themselves--what we really want or need, not what we envy. I think what we need (beyond the essentials of living) requires that we be in touch with our feelings and truly understanding what they're trying to tell us. That does entail having Self-awareness, some emotional vocabulary, and asking can I take care of this need or will I depend on others to help me fulfill it?
 
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Snowman12

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People in general don't seem to have as much old fashioned common sense. The govt seems to want a nation that can't think for itself and follows leaders blindly and so there are rules for everything. Anything that happens you must 'seek out a professional' and get any and all treatment/medications to be returned to 'normal' - whatever that is!

'Free speech' it seems is only free if it agrees with the elite and powerful!

In the end the only ones that will survive are those who learnt the only ones they can depend on is themselves!

There has been some programs on TV lately highlighting the fact that the world is changing faster than people can adapt. Mostly it was referring to climate change and countries where communities (schools and hospitals too not just individual houses) have been wiped out by floods, bush fires, more earthquakes and stuff happening. But there are also scientific reports that covid is not the worse that will come,there are other more deadly viruses that will hit the world and food and resources will be harder to come by.

We have created a monster that is running out of control! What's that got to do with self-care? ..who is going to be left to help the survivors? do you think charities will survive? Will only the rich get doctors and medical help if we are running out of supplies, staff and hospitals? Will the internet still work for you to get online and get much needed support from your online community?

My point being If you know you can survive alone if you had to, you are more likely to survive any future wars, climate catastrophe's etc than someone dependant on others to survive.
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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Perhaps one term can't encircle an individual plus all the systems in which they're included. Self-care and something else. Community-care? Collective-care? Cooperative-care? Needs to be some term that explicitly says how mental or emotional health care can't be done properly in isolation.
In our society the emphasis is placed on the individual and most things are set up with individuality and the individual in mind. As a result many to most of us are on our own in making sure we practice good self care. We have ultimate responsibility for ourselves and whether or not we our physical and psychological wellness is being maintained adequately is up to us. So I do think the term self care is appropriate. In addition there may be a care team or community of care providers but it’s less common that people have access to this. Ultimately whether or not an individual with mental health issues has good mental health maintenance comes down to their own efforts which can include engaging with community or care teams for care.
 
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JeanPierre

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I agree with you.

I think people aren't always aware of how to take care of themselves--what we really want or need, not what we envy. I think what we need (beyond the essentials of living) requires that we be in touch with our feelings and truly understanding what they're trying to tell us. That does entail having Self-awareness, some emotional vocabulary, and asking can I take care of this need or will I depend on others to help me fulfill it?
I'm sorry but it's not all that hard.
It's obvious when someone can or can't take care of oneself.
Unless I'm missing your point?
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

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Unless I'm missing your point?
My point is that human beings have needs beyond the basic ones for survival or subsitence. And I wasn't very clear about what I'm referring to. Some examples:
Having contact and connection with other human beings and/or animals (pets).
Being heard, seen. Our lives and our pain to some extent validated. But also our strengths and abilities.
To be taken care of, especially when we're not feeling well.
Touch--the physical sensation.
Compassion, kindness, caring.

All of these require other people. I think it's widely known that humans are social creatures from birth and to varying degrees, we require some contact with others that is fulfilling and healthy. Human beings have emotions and we seek other humans to help us co-regulate, an instinct learned at birth.

I'm not suggesting that an individual can't care for themselves and I do believe self-driven care is a necessity. My recovery from mental illness isn't owned by my health care team it's mine. And their help is and was essential.

I'm suggesting that in many cultures including American, I don't think we strongly emphasize or recognize the importance of systems that either contribute to our care or detract from it.
Other cultures that place a higher emphasis on collective care and less emphasis on individualism are better positioned to meet the needs that I listed above.

We can find people who help us fulfill those needs even in an individualist culture, it just may take more effort. This support community serves many of the needs i listed.

If we're born into a high-individualist culture it can difficult to imagine what it might be like to have a community that both looks out for us and needs us to look out for them. I dont know. I guess they depends on where you live and what sort of contact you have had with cultures different than you're own.
 
Bizzarebitrary

Bizzarebitrary

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My point being If you know you can survive alone if you had to, you are more likely to survive any future wars, climate catastrophe's etc than someone dependant on others to survive.
Can you give an example of what you mean by knowing you can survive alone (if you had to) in war or natural disaster?

When I think about those catastrophic events, my understanding of history (my own family's survival and stories of others) is that people pull together to survive.
 
J

JeanPierre

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Can you give an example of what you mean by knowing you can survive alone (if you had to) in war or natural disaster?

When I think about those catastrophic events, my understanding of history (my own family's survival and stories of others) is that people pull together to survive.
She said, correctly, if you know you can survive alone you are more able to survive a natural disaster.

Good luck dear.
People like you imaging your govt / charities are just waiting to take care of you, (in the way you are hoping) is foreign to me.
Self care is essential. Nobody wants a grown infant to care for.
You can buy that kind of care but it's never free in any country or culture. ✌
 
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JeanPierre

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I'm so sorry. I just noticed this is not the debating thread.
Just ignore my posts.
 

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