Friday, December 8, 2023

Is it Self-Care or Maintenance?

January 1, 2021 by  
Filed under Health & Wellness, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( For the record, this question popped in my head courtesy of a rant my sister decided to have.  She went on social media and saw women getting their hair, nails, and feet polished and claiming it as self-care. “That is what you are supposed to do!  That is not self-care!” She shouted.  I laughed until I thought about what she said.  Then, it made me wonder if there is a difference between those words.  Have we been claiming something as self-care that we are technically obligated to do as women?  Knowing the difference between these two phrases can make a big difference on how we live our best lives.

What is Self-Care?

The VeryWellMind website gives a very effective definition as the following: “Self-care describes a conscious act one takes in order to promote their own physical, mental emotional health.” In my opinion, self-care is a choice to make specific moves to make sure that your whole self is functioning effectively.  This is your choice to go to a spa, take a vacation, get your hair done, etc.  You choose to complete these actions to help you develop a space where you can think. Self-care is not just about looking good.  It is really about relieving your mind, body, or emotions from possible stress it has encountered living every day.


What is Self-Maintenance?

The OWYN website defined self-maintenance as actions that “…keep us alive but not necessarily healthy, and it does not show any great love or care to our minds, bodies, social or economic states or emotional well-being.”  Self-maintenance is a requirement to stay alive and exist. Take a bath.  Make your hair presentable.  Exercise. Eat food. Drink water. No matter the age, we need to do these things so we can continue to function for ourselves and others.  Self-maintenance may not always feel good, but it is necessary for living.

After looking at both terms and their definitions, I realized that each has its place in our daily lives.  However, there are some things we need to consider when doing either one.

  1.  Self-care does not have to be expensive.  Do not let Instagram and Snapchat feeds fool you into believing you have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to take care of yourself.  Self-care can be as simple as standing outside on your patio for five minutes and listening to cars pass, reading a book before bed, or cooking for family and friends.
  2. Self-maintenance is controlled by you.  Maintenance on every car does not look the same. What makes you think that maintenance for yourself is going to be like someone else?  While you may have similar actions to everyone in the world, it is not always exactly the same for everyone.  You choose when you take your bath. You choose how your hair looks. You choose when you shave your legs and underarms.

The line between these words are blurred sometimes, and that is not surprising.  Remember, you decide what care and maintenance look like to you. I love my sister dearly, and I appreciate her rant.  It made me realize that I need to define these for myself.  I need to develop a routine that helps me to do both weekly so I can maintain my body and my sanity.

Staff Writer; J. W. Bella

May also follow this talented sister online over at; JWB Writes.

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