One definition of self-care is a self-directed practice of getting your health and wellness needs met including all emotional, psychological, and physiological needs. This is my simplified version of technical health care and Wikipedia definitions.
Part of self-care is the Mindset one is in while doing it. If self care feels selfish or provokes thoughts of wasting time or guilt, it won’t be very recharging. The very act of setting aside “me time” and making an effort to focus on oneself can feel like attention, love, and even worth. This is especially true if it’s a regular preventative practice. Framing is the key.
Rest. Not putting oneself under load, demand, obligation, or duress can be feeding as it reduces demand and lets any comforting background reasons to be productive help charge you up. They might be a passion to make a difference or help one’s partner or children or family.
Have you ever let stress or anxiety lead to procrastination but then felt like the rest time didn’t help?
It’s important to recognize passive coping as a form of self-care for two reasons:
1) Because sometimes you will genuinely be unable to change a fact of life. When one is experiencing severe life stress like a divorce, death, job loss, lawsuit, missing a promotion, etc., sometimes thoughts can enter a toxic cycle of rumination. When rats in experiments couldn’t action a stressor, the healthiest rats were also capable of passive coping (distraction).
2) Because awareness helps you recognize when you are depleted or trying to meet unmet needs.