Health care vs self care
If all we needed was a chocolate bar and a bath. . .
You guys! And I know that you are not all men, but I like saying “you guys!” sometimes 🙂
I have wanted to write this blog for SUCH a long time. It’s been on my mind.
And then, last night, something happened to remind me to do this.
I was chatting with some new acquaintances at an event here in the Ravenswood neighborhood of Chicago, and we began discussing our mutual love of cute animal videos. Specifically, if you’re interested, we discussed cross-species friendship videos (we post a lot of these on our New Day Facebook btw).
One of the women said, half joking, “Watching those videos is my self-care! I just need to watch them every day, and then I’m good!”
We all had a laugh, of course, because we all agree that it is hilarious that these videos seem to have such a big positive impact on us.
But my brain also went straight to this blog on this whole “self care” phenomenon.
If you’re feeling concerned that there’s a rant coming on, you may be right. BUT bear with me, I think this is important and that you will be glad you read this.
OK here goes. It’s a testament to the overall cultural awareness that constant smart phone usage, and the around-the-clock expectations that seem to go with that, is so detrimental to our health that “self care” has now entered the popular vernacular.
Things that used to be normal, like eating chocolate, taking a bath, or reading an article have now been elevated to the status of “self care.” And then there are also things that are rather weird, like adult coloring books and ASMR (click here if you don’t know what that is) that are now considered a helpful antidote to the excesses of stress-based overstimulation.
Believe me, I’m happy that we are recognizing how serious the threats to our health and wellbeing are at this stage of civilization. I’m also happy that we are being more mindful of how to use what little free time we have, choosing activities that are restorative for our bodies and brains.
Even the ability to pause and be mindful/bodyful enough to engage in “self care” is a function of your neurological baseline. Most of us notice that we find it more and more difficult to do the things we know help us the more entrenched we become in the stress-based functioning. And we may also notice that there can be a diminishing rate of return. Now we turn to baths and chocolate in a desperate attempt to slow down the negative effects of everything else. We are more likely to have an energy-poor relationship of this type with self care if we’re not getting the health care we need for our spine and nervous system on a consistent basis.
Getting the health care that allows your brain and body to communicate is necessary so that you can be properly energized to the point that self care can happen more easily, and in a way that is more connected and more energy rich.
I will add that it is possible to use ANY form of health or self care in a way that is energy poor, including Network Spinal. But even that ability to see ourselves– when we may be desperately consuming the care as an outside-in experience to help us “survive,” fix us, or make us feel something (or not have to feel something else), is evidence that our brains and bodies are working differently and better– we know that something else is possible.
The last point I will make about health care versus self care is that self care doesn’t include much if any vulnerability. We control it all, and no one SEES us. Therefore, the capacity for true healing, of going from energy poor-neutral “me” to a more energy rich “we” isn’t necessarily there.
When I watch a cat video on youtube, it may provide a helpful change of focus in the moment. But it doesn’t SEE me. And it certainly isn’t able to adjust my spine so that my brain and body work better. And it doesn’t allow me to experience myself as anything beyond a consumer; I don’t get to be a contribution to anyone. In case you’re wondering, I don’t get to be my own chiropractor. That doesn’t work for these reasons!
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to your comments below. Don’t forget your self care this week– but DEFINITELY don’t forget your health care. Pat yourself on the back for the great choice you are making in choosing a healthy spine and nervous system.