So I’ve been doing a thing on Twitter off and on over the past few years, moreso lately, that I’ve been referring to as #GoodFriday. Decided to do it one Good Friday, when I commented that all Fridays should be good. Then started wondering what that would be, and decreed that Good Friday was dedicated to cultivating an awareness around and a practice of self care.
When self care comes up, often folks will imagine spa trips, chocolate, shopping, and all kinds of “spoiling” yourself. And to be honest, some of that has its place. But I tend to think of self care as anything that would make your future self go “Aw, yeah!” and celebrate your past self. So things like doing laundry, getting up and going to work to make sure the lights stay on, getting yourself fed, basic things around functionality qualify.
In training to be a mental health first responder, we conducted an exercise around disability weights, ranking a list of conditions in order from what we thought was least catastrophic to most catastrophic. So gingivitis, while not good, doesn’t have the same sort of impact on someone’s life as asthma. Quadriplegia has tremendous impact, but not as catastrophic as untreated schizophrenia. The thing that stood out when rearranging these conditions was that the ones that got moved towards the more catastrophic end of the scale were ones that impacted a person’s ability to determine and administer self care. A person with quadriplegia is going to be able to determine what their needs are, and can direct others or get assistance in making that happen for them. A person with untreated schizophrenia may not be able to tell what their needs are in the first place, let alone figure out some way to get those needs met. My major takeaway from the exercise was that the ability to determine and administer self care is a major part of quality of life.
Good Friday is my way to help people start to think of self care less as an indulgence, and more as an important way to manage their quality of life.
So what’s one thing you’re going to do to be good to yourself this Friday?