self-care vs self-comfort

Do you ever have something come up in your life over and over again and you think – God (or universe if you have a problem with God šŸ˜‰ this is really something you want me to learn. I’ve had some religious truths do this to me lately but I want to share something lighter today.

Earlier this week I read a blog post that really stuck with meĀ Treating Yourself is Not the Answer. The whole post was really good but the line that stuck out was this “But by not being able to mask the pain or the problems, I had to challenge myself, learn and grow from the experiences. And perhaps the greatest lesson I am still learning is thatĀ when things get tough, I need to take care of myself.”. By not being able to mask the pain or the problems we have to grow. We have to learn. We can’t just numb ourselves away from feeling the things we need to feel. Probably something most people learn way earlier than I do but a good reminder nonetheless.

Then I listened to theĀ Sorta Awesome PodcastĀ last night (trying to sit still and rest to ward of mastitis, dang plugged ducts). In the beginning of the podcast they talk about self-comfort versus self-care. When we think of self-comfort we often think of “treat yourself” and we think of indulgence. Eating the cookie and drinking the wine and buying something because we deserve it. Self-care they argued is actually thinking through what your body needs at the moment and in the future. Engagement and long-term nourishment. Exercising because you’ll feel good after. Eating a salad because you like the way it makes your body feel instead of eating a ton of sugar.

I think in our world we are so quick to turn to self-comfort. Mask the feelings. Make the bad stuff go away. Buy something new to make myself feel good. Have a drink (or two or three) to forget about my anxiety and problems. But if we dig deeper and think about what we really need, what will really sustain us then the answer might be different.

The same blog from above posted a list today calledĀ Twenty Free Ways to Treat YourselfĀ and I think it’s good. I think it would be helpful for me to make a list and keep it somewhere to look at when I want to indulge but really need to think of self-comfort instead.

What would be on your list?


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