Real Self-Care: Chap.1: Empty Calories


Dr. Laskhmin posits that the current social focus on Self-Care is often what she describes as Faux Self-Care. She suggests that the activities and products that we consume in the name of “self-care” are often a distraction or escape from addressing systemic problems of economic insufficiency based on gender constraints and societal norms and expectations. In my words, “Sorry you’re so exhausted, go take a bubble bath.” This kind of consumerist self-care keeps people looking outward for approval. It’s exhausting. It’s sort of boring.

Real Self-Care is an internal habit where you consider:

  • what boundaries you need to set
  • how to treat yourself with compassion
  • how to get closer to yourself
  • how to assert your power.

I dig that! It’s a lot like what we trying to do with our loved-one’s who are mired in alcohol and drug dependency. It’s an inside job.

Question: What types of Faux Self-Care have you tried?

All spa days. massages, mani-pedis, retreats, minimum days, extra bubble bath and salts, candles, and pinon incense. Beach days, hikes, gardening. Girls’ weekends, THEY’RE NOT FAUX to ME.!!

Question: When do you find yourself most likely to turn to Faux Self-Care?

When I get beat down from disappointment and despair- seeing the sad state of affairs in this crummy world – that’s when I can use a good soak. It slows me down enough to re prioritize my thoughts and next steps. It gives me time to think about my impact on other people and my intentions.

I always recommend water to my children as a good re-set device. Being in nature- it never disappoints, so there’s a degree of doing healthy things at the same time.

Real Self-Care, Chap. 4: Taking Back the Reins

Consumerist self care! That idea that “just buy this” or “just do this” and everything will be better. I’ve gotten sucked into that mentality a lot. If I just had the perfect planner, then I can get organized and my life will make sense. If I just had that exercise bike, then I can get into shape. But I’ve learned that everything I need to move forward is within. There is never a magic fix or a product or activity that will make it the right time to start something. The right time to start is now.

I once got some really bad news and just wanted to call in sick, curl up on the couch, and watch Marvel movies for the day. So I did. It felt good for a while, but then I got a headache from too much TV. Eventually, I had to face the feelings I was experiencing, and then learn to let them go.

Real Self-Care Chap. 2: Why It's Hard to Resist the Seduction

I have finally learned that my body tells me when I need self care. If I ignore the first signs of weariness and irritation, I get a headache and then have panic attacks. For me, when I feel tired and pay attention, a day of sleeping in late, reading a book and drinking chai tea, with a cat on my lap, usually restores me. I also have built in periods of time that are things that I enjoy. I play cards with a group at church on Wednesday mornings. At least once a week, I have lunch with a friend.
I agree that these are not Faux Self-Care.


But isn’t good self care something that you do for YOU? It makes you happy, relax, or just allows you to focus on something you enjoy doing. When I garden I don’t think about my job, what I need to make for dinner, or how to approach a situation outside of what I’m doing at the time. It allows my mind to relax and just focus on the here and now. In the end I have a beautiful garden. To me that is the best self care. Faux self care to me is eating a gallon of ice cream or going on a shopping spree….both feel good at the time, but can be bad for me in the long run.



Great- @Alair _ I am the same way- when I overbook myself with good-deeds-to-do I start to get crabby and cross. Not my best look and I’m learning how to not-do now. I may not catch up in my lifetime, but I’ll try.
I believe in playing cards- it’s the balsam of Gilead. It’s actually the thing that keeps my friendship developing with my partner- He and I have been playing cards- almost every night for years. I used to play bridge and even duplicate! with my mom. Now I’m practically playing Go Fish!, and it’s still fun.


Hi @jewelrydiva70- thanks for chiming in! Nice to hear from you! I agree that good self care IS something that you do for YOU- if you like it, it relaxes you- for sure. I also agree that indulging financially or calorically for pure pleasure will have a price to pay. Phooey. It’s a good check - I know when I start to want to shop online I ask myself if this is “a nice” or “a need”? I will need to add “short term” or “lasting” to some of my choices.

Honestly, when my son was actively involved in his dismal SUD days, I could hardly gauge my own needs or happiness - a bath seemed like heaven. I think we we need for “self-care” is a constantly changing action throughout our lives.

My kids don’t want kids, but I like to be around those little squeakers- so one of the reasons I teach is to get time to be with those kind of people. It gives me my “fix” and I don’t get in my kids’ heads about having children. It’s not at all a decision for me to make about their lives. Hope it makes sense.