Advice by Kaela: What Self-Care Really Means
By Kaela Scott
I feel really excited by this month’s theme. Self-care is such a popular topic these days which is fantastic and I am excited to add in my two cents. To be honest, I have spent some time lately researching self-care because I have been interested in the changes that are starting to come about regarding how people are defining it. For a long time, I really believed that self-care was all about bubble baths, nice cups of tea and a solid nap on the weekend. While I still believe that those are forms of self-care, I have started to realize how self-care is actually about so much more than that. As the word implies, it is about caring for yourself. When we think of that, often what we really need to do is analyze the ways we haven’t been caring for ourselves and correct those habits. For those in the eating disorder world, the list of self-neglect is usually long. While for many slowing down to appreciate a nice cup of tea is a huge win, I do think we need to sometimes push into the forms of self-care that can be quite challenging.
For example, one of the areas that I think has self-care written all over it is our Yes’s and our No’s. Take a moment and even reflect back on the past day. How many things did you say Yes to when really you wanted to say no? How many No’s did you deliver to yourself or others when underneath you know that saying yes would have actually moved you closer to things you really want in your life? In life, but especially in recovery, our yes’s and no’s really need to matter. In other words, our self-care needs to include how we are going to start really genuinely acting in our own best interest. What would it be like to say yes to someone offering to help? How would it be to set a boundary with the loved one that keeps trying to push their agenda on you? How would it feel to actually see your recovery goal through even though it’s really hard? What would it be like to respect your actual needs and not the needs of your disorder?
These, in my mind, are all forms of self-care. They don’t sound as pretty or as relaxing as the cup of tea, but I would argue their payoff is greater. I want to be clear that a cup of tea is a beautiful way to connect with yourself and an excellent form of self-care, but I also feel we need to go deeper and see self-care as an intentional act of really bettering our relationship with ourselves and our life. So take some time this month and start looking at your self-care routine. What are the things you believe you really need to do to care for yourself so you can be as happy and as free as you want to be? Make a plan to maybe say a few more yes’s and a few more no’s this month and then see how it feels. If you need support, reach out, we are always here to help!
Kaela Scott is a Registered Clinical Counsellor who specializes in Eating Disorders. She runs her own private practice and works with the Looking Glass Foundation in both their summer camp and their Hand In Hand Program. She has been passionate about working with eating disorders since freeing herself from her own struggle and realizing what it is like to be happy and well. When she isn’t working, you can find Kaela either cozying up with a cup of tea and her friends or up in the mountains going for a hike.