There is a lot going on in the world today. We are now two months into the shelter-in-place orders as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. With many of us reeling from the effects of being cooped up indoors, the tension and stress is palpable in our everyday lives. Piled on top of all that stress, we are now watching people across the country reacting to the death of George Floyd, a man who was killed while being arrested by four Minneapolis police officers, just this past Memorial Day.
When stress is at a peak, making time for self-care and play is more crucial than ever. Unfortunately, for a lot of people, self-care is something not easily accessible.
Self-care requires a person’s time, ability, means and access to resources. All of these factors make self-care a privilege. When people talk about self-care, they talk about eating healthy foods, exercising, seeing a therapist, leaving work at work and allocating time for personal fun. Those actions are great, but many people don’t have the ability or means to do that.
All the single parents out there working two, three, or even four part-time jobs just to barely make ends meet. They don’t have the time or the financial ability to care for themselves in that way. They are worried about paying rent, buying groceries, and keeping their children clothed. Many people live in communities where they don’t allow their children to play outside, because of rampant gun violence. Keeping their children safe takes priority over anything else.
The intention of this article isn’t about making those who can practice self-care feel guilty for their privilege. Rather, it is to encourage people to be mindful of their privilege. So, if you are able to take care of yourself, whether by eating fresh organic foods or going for an evening walk, take those actions for your own self-care and be thankful for your ability to enjoy them.
Express gratitude the next time you do yoga or are able to afford those art supplies for your new hobby. Also, always remember to be mindful of your privilege when you recommend others to practice self-care. It may not be as easy for them as it is for you!
Christine Holmberg, LMFT