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Self Care is Even More Radical Than You think!

Anit Hora

Posted on July 26 2018

Although self care is not a new concept, it has developed its own face over the years. Its roots reside in the idea that minority groups, impoverished communities, and women had the basic human right to have the time and money required to care for their basic body autonomy. Controlling your own health emerged after the women’s and civil rights movements as a way to properly tend to their needs after years of failures of the white, patriarchal medical system. Self care was a political act against institutional, technocratic, racist, and sexist medicine. It was a declaration that not only do these groups deserve to live, but they deserve to live well.
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What we know as self care today emerged from this radical concept from the civil rights era. And interestingly enough, after the 2016 election, the term self care began growing as it increased in web searches and publications, sharing tips on how to best take care of yourself for optimal mental and physical health. This timeline moved self care from a social and political stance to a healthcare term, although there are still underlying tones of social and political welfare.
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The concept is fairly simple-- it's okay to take time to care for yourself before the rest of the world. For women in particular, this seemed like a good, but borderline uncomfortable fact to face, as most of us have lived our lives expecting to be selfless, not to be ‘too’ confident, and to bear the weight of others before we address our own needs. The bottom line is, self care is crucial, and a step to be taken to start loving yourself.
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In this stressful world of political tensions, discrimination, and misogyny, among other things, self care is a means for individuals to grasp control of their own lives. As the digital age slowly consumed us, information became abundant and readily available, and we all became hyper aware of things that are good and bad for our health, and ways to better take care of ourselves.
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Under the umbrella of all that self care means, there is self love. Self love is a bit more complex, and may require more work mentally.
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Have you ever set a goal for yourself that may have been a bit too big, so you find yourself falling short, thus bringing you into a pit of self doubt? Think about self love as such. Sometimes, self love seem so far out of reach. You work and work for it, but it just seems to loom in the distance, just out of arms reach. You may even find yourself practicing self care but still struggling with how you love yourself.
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I wish I could say there was a magical formula to wash away self deprecating thoughts or behavior in exchange for confidence and love, but I can say that you will grow and find your personal way to reach it. Set your goals as small stepping stones to reach the big picture. A small, but achievable goal for self love may simply be liking yourself.
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At the end of the day, self care is not just a trend, it’s a rich, deeply rooted concept that packs much more meaning than simply treating yourself to a spa day. It is a way for us all to tend to our health, mind, and body and fight back against systems that threaten such. Self love, similarly, is a way to empower yourself to be the best version of you.