Inspiration July 20, 2018
"Self-care is not indulgence."
Would you start loving yourself more if a licensed sex therapist told you it is necessary for your physical health?
We had the pleasure of nationally-recognized clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist Dr. Shannon Chavez speak at Entity’s 2018 Love Yourself Summit. Chavez had bucketloads of wisdom to bestow on the audience members on the subject of self-love. Why? Because a lack of self-love is at the center of countless mental health issues.
As an active member of the International Society for the Scientific Study of Women’s Sexual Health, Chavez has seen a lack of self-love come up in both personal issues and relationship issues.
“The biggest problem in mental health is that we have feelings about our feelings. People say, ‘I’m so upset that I’m feeling this way. I’m so frustrated that I’m angry.’ So part of mindfulness is just allowing our emotions to be.”
In Chavez’s view (as well as Entity’s), self-care affects every single one of us. Although she said the general definition was “anything you do intentionally do improve your health and well-being,” her new definition is as follows:
“Self-care is getting in touch with yourself, and it’s by doing things that aren’t forced.”
How many times have you done something that is supposed to make you feel relaxed, but you just feel weird and antsy doing it? For one woman, self-care might be taking a bath. For another, it might mean blowing off steam at the shooting range. But as a general rule of thumb, if it feels unnatural, than it’s not self-care.
Dr. Shannon Chavez was also quick to clear up any rumors floating around about the nature of self-care. She explained how it is not the same as indulgence, and it is certainly not the same as selfishness.
“So many clients ask me if they’re being selfish by prioritizing themselves, or by saying “no” to their friends or partners. But healthy selfishness is really your way of putting yourself first and feeling good about yourself.”
Chavez emphasized the importance of not just mental awareness, but awareness of our bodies. She explained how we hold so much emotion in different parts of our body, like our stomach, and we don’t often notice when they need to be cared for.
Chavez even took a moment to make all the audience members aware of their own bodies:
“Close your eyes, notice what’s happening in your body. How often do we as women actually do this? Notice your breathing, notice if your feet are aching from your shoes.”
So if Dr. Shannon Chavez tells you to take care of yourself, you better believe she knows what she’s talking about. Do it for you and the people around you: just be kind to yourself. You only get one you.
Send this to a friend