When Self Care Feels More Like Work

I started reflecting on self-care a few days ago as I was laying on the exam table at a physical therapy office. My PT pushed on extremely tender trigger points on my back. While some may not categorize medical appointments as self-care, I do. As I see it, I am taking a positive step in my health. Even though I was grimacing in pain, I knew it was self-care.

Strange as it may sound, good self-care is often less like a bubble bath and more like someone firmly pressing down on our life and heart for the purpose of healing.

This is the kind of self-care that I sometimes avoid, and know that I am not alone. I love time to myself — naps, pedicures, all the “fun” self-care activities. Don’t get me wrong, these definitely have a place in a life of balance and add joy to our weeks. However, I have noticed that it is the less comfortable self-care activities from which I tend to see long-term fruit. I believe that counseling easily falls into this category. The work I do with clients, although providing relief, can also be emotionally painful. It takes a lot of energy to face your shame, secrets, and struggles, let alone to bare them to another person.

With that in mind, I’d like to offer some next steps:

  • I would encourage reflection and vision-casting for hard self-care. How far have you come in your healing journey? Where would you like to be in several months? Questions like these can increase your motivation to persevere.
  • I would also suggest incorporating activities, hobbies, or other self-care that do feel fun. We all need to blow off steam, laugh, and take a deep breath. Community can be very encouraging for these situations. Our friends and family can be our cheerleaders to continue exercise, physical therapy, counseling, etc.
  • Finally, if you are walking through a season when your self-care feels more difficult than fun, I want to encourage you to keep pressing on.

The work you are doing is healing, and healing is hard.

Written by: Melanie Ross

Originally published at https://growcounseling.com on March 11, 2022.




Atlanta, GA | Become more resilient, learn to develop better coping skills, and begin to find meaning and joy!

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Enjoying All The Noise And Every Little Step

Anorexia nervosa and the self: The science behind an eating disorder

How To Be Okay

I wanted to jump off the buildings, overdose on drugs and run out onto the highway— Anu Verma

Stop The Storms Inside You

Discontinuation Syndrome

Mental Health Disparities in Latinx Youth

The Dead Do Not Hear

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
GROW Counseling

GROW Counseling

Atlanta, GA | Become more resilient, learn to develop better coping skills, and begin to find meaning and joy!

More from Medium

Emotional Traveler

What does depression feels like ?

Self Love Saturday #5 (4/30/2022)

How To Forgive Yourself And Others?