The term self-care is usually understood as wellness practices, such as taking breaks, doing yoga, engaging in meditation, drinking green juice, using face masks, and taking bubble baths. 

Self-care is not just face masks and bubble baths

What is it?
The term self-care is usually understood as wellness practices, such as taking breaks, doing yoga, engaging in meditation, drinking green juice, using face masks, and taking bubble baths. These practices can be important, so continue to do them if they are helpful, but there still might be some other, deeper kind of work that needs to be done in order to really take care of one’s self.

An individual might want to engage in self-care because they are depleted, stressed, unfulfilled, burnt out; the list goes on. The struggles and stressors might have been around for some time. These struggles and stressors might be connected to major areas of a person’s life such as family, friends, work, school, or personal health. Because of these struggles and stressors, the individual tries a general wellness practice as self-care in hopes that it will assist with these large struggles and stressors. One of two outcomes could happen: 1) The strategy works in the short-term, and the individual returns to their distress as soon as the strategy is completed, or 2) It doesn’t work at all.

General Wellness versus Long-Term Healing
Sometimes, individuals use general wellness practices in hopes that they will lead to long-term healing. You can do all the yoga and meditation, or drink all the green juice and kale in the world, but there still might be some deep work that needs to be done. Wellness practices are important, but lasting change comes from deep self-exploration and understanding.
Effective self-care involves taking care of your emotional and mental health. There could be different types of concerns that bring up the need for self-care. These concerns could stem from deep pain, memories, suffering, loss, unhappiness, etc.

How can therapy help?
Therapy is self-care. It’s a specific time slot dedicated to you, where you get to explore, unearth, process, and work through what you are struggling with. Therapists provide a nonjudgmental space for you to discuss your experience and how it’s impacted you. We also help you along your journey to self-discovery, so that you can connect with yourself on a deeper level and in a way that is authentic and helpful.

Don’t wait to get the help you need. If you would like to take the next step towards finding a therapist, contact Ethera to get matched with a provider.

About the Author: Robyn Tamanaha is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, writer, and podcaster. She has a private practice in Orange County, CA and is the host of the podcast Books Between Sessions.