June 9, 2020

HPI Self-care Workshop

By Blanca Callejas, postdoctoral fellow (McKay Lab, UCalgary)

Do you know what self-care involves? In this Self-care workshop facilitated by Lee Thomas, MSW on June 9th, 2020, we learned that self-care is not only eating healthy or using certain products self-care goes beyond that we can see.

In this context, Lee Thomas taught workshop participants from the HPI group that it is totally acceptable to do activities like listening to music, watching a movie or just eating a chocolate bar, if we do it for fun or pleasure. However, if we do the same activities in order to escape from our overwhelming reality, this is a numbing behaviour we should avoid!

Self-care is a practice that we must do regularly, such as trying to experience activities that we enjoy or will have a good impact on our lives in the long term. Self-care can even be doing unpleasant things that in the future you will appreciate. This implies being part of your own team. As mentioned by Brianna Wiest, “True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don't need to regularly escape from.”

Unfortunately, sometimes the practice of self-care comes with feelings of anxiety and guilt, due to the idea that the time we spend on ourselves could be used for other things, which is not necessarily true. But how can we control those negatives feelings when we practice self-care? Well, Lee Thomas suggested that we should identify those bad feelings and don’t let them take the driver seat. We should prioritize time for ourselves, because, in the end, self-care is building a life from which you do not need to regularly escape.

Remember, self-care and being on your own team also requires believing in yourself.

Let’s practice self-care!