We live in a culture that rewards quantity over quality, urgency over thoughtfulness, productivity over rest. As a result, we learn to ignore our needs and become blunted to receiving the signals of the body that are trying to let us know when we need to stop, eat, rest, recover, and restore. It’s not normal to be “on” all the time. We need time and space to rest, integrate, and replenish.

The body pays the price over time, often quietly, often outside of our awareness, until something big happens like a health issue or burnout. It often isn’t until we are so burnt out that we can no longer function or that we feel so disconnected from ourselves that we begin to realize we can’t keep doing things as we’ve always done. This is often what brings people to come see me for therapy. They realize there’s got to be another way.

Taking time for self-care is a radical act, because it is both the antidote to stress, and so hard to do in a society that discourages self-care.

Self-care has to become a priority. And it is not a DIY job. It’s done in community, in connection, in relationship, with like-minded people who are willing to try something different, something that works better for their minds and bodies. It can start with something as simple as remembering to breathe, and something more challenging, like learning how to say “no” more often.