I overcame the mental burden in silence, but in an oppressive way, putting pressure on me the ever-present worry, guilt, and stress. But the truth is that self-care isn't enough. And it's time for us to stop telling mothers that a simple act of self-care will end the years of culture-induced overwhelm that are wearing us all out. To date, most of the strategies designed to prevent or intervene with STS have focused on personal care and the promotion of well-being, which are undoubtedly valuable.
There's no way to say exactly what counts as self-care, because each person's definition is their own and unique. While personal care comes into play in the recovery phase, R-TIP emphasizes the promotion of well-being as a relational and socially embedded activity, rather than as an individual responsibility. Most people, including me, don't understand that self-care is just bubble baths or spa days. Valerio is careful to point out that community care is not enough to resolve structural oppression on its own, and that not all forms of self-care are empty.
And while there are many examples of self-care that seem to draw a fine line between health-improving behavior and complacency, self-care doesn't have to consist of filling the calendar with luxurious experiences or activities that cost money (although that certainly can be the case). Now that I'm no longer in a situation where I can barely keep track of everything, I've learned what self-care really means (at least for me). By this definition, self-care includes everything related to staying physically healthy, including hygiene, nutrition, and seeking medical attention when needed. Drawing inspiration from the Danish art of making yourself comfortable and cozy can definitely be a way to practice self-care.
Omidian, while also concerned with personal care, also believes that community care is not possible without it. Self-care requires you to get in touch with yourself and ask yourself how you are doing and what your body is asking of you. Even though I spent time exercising, bathing, keeping a diary, and all the personal care stuff, I still felt exhausted.