Although I’ve always intuitively known that ‘self-care’ is important, I’ve never really been comfortable with how the topic is approached, and never really knew why. It was just a feeling that I had, that somehow, something was ‘off’ or missing.
Over the last few years my practice and my teaching has become more focussed on the idea of ‘safety’, both in therapy, and more generally in our lives. As my interest and knowledge in neuroscience has grown, so too is my belief that safety is a fundamental in self -care.
I came across a blog post recently, by Brianna Wiest, which challenged the more traditional approaches to self-care, and although it didn’t relate to safety per se, the ideas expressed intrigued me. She made the comment “self-care should not be something we resort to because we are so absolutely exhausted that we need some reprieve from our own relentless internal pressure”. (Wiest, B. Nov 2017)
She also stated that “true self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from”. (Wiest, B. Nov 2017) A lot of her comments resonated with me at a deep level. I realised what my discomfort had been. It was the idea that self-care consisted of something that we indulged in to escape our lives, rather than creating a life that we didn’t need to escape from.
So, how does this tie into safety? Our sens