An Explainer: Self-Care


Self-care is not a new idea, but the popularity of the concept has grown recently.

According to Google Trends, after the 2016 election, Google searches for “self-care” reached a five-year high.

Self-care has ties to the feminist movement. In 1988, Audre Lorde in her book “A Burst of Light” said, “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.”

On the internet, self-care techniques are seen in a series of articles and videos about at-home face masks, meditation and ways to improve self-esteem.

The online trend has especially taken off with millennials. 

According to a 2015 study by the American Psychological Association, “More than half of millennials surveyed selected cost of help as a challenge facing millennials with a mental health diagnosis.”

Self-care is a movement that is both affordable and fun to do. And these practices can work.  

In a study done by the University of Essex on self-care practices, participants said that “Speaking with a professional and [doing] self-care activities, helped them maintain positive mental health, manage symptoms, avoid relapse and promote recovery.”

Jade McNair Elliott, who has been in private practice since 2011, is a clinical social worker and therapist in Macon who teaches self-care to her clients.

She focuses on “emotional self-care” which includes “self-compassion and mindfulness.”

“It is important to be mindful not just physically but mentally. We should be mindful of how we treat others and ourselves,” Elliot said.

There is merit in taking mental health into consideration in a world that is filled with constant stress and uncertainty. A little face cream and some deep meditation can make a world of difference.