Self-care or community care - a moral dilemma?

We live in the age of the individual and part of this has been a massive promotion of self-care.

“Look after yourself”, “Treat yourself” and “Take time out for you” are common phrases bandied around, often justifying spending time, money or both on yourself.

Self-care is not a bad thing. Escaping the stresses of work and family life to indulge yourself now and then can be hugely restorative and positive. An exercise class, a massage or a candle-lit bubble bath with essential oils can be just the small things we need to keep us on an even keel, enabling us to tackle afresh life’s everyday challenges.

Why do we often feel so guilty though? Maybe it’s because self-care, whilst helpfully regenerative in moderation, should not come at the expense of community care which is surely about building a more equitable society and healthier people?

We are sociable beings and helping others, volunteering, joining a local group can aid our own individual well-being as well as giving back to others. Socialising through a village litter pick for example achieves so many things – fresh air, chat, eco activity, exercise and possible a well-earned butty at the end?!

You can also practice community care in digital spaces, supporting family, friends and causes.

The point is, community care is not just about you but about others too. Moreover, many people who need help are not in a position to employ any self-care which is where the community support network comes in.

Like most things in life, we feel it’s about balance. Be kind to yourself, kind to others and kind to the environment.

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