When Did ‘Self-care’ Become Such a Bad Word

Nicole Dauz

July 2021

As someone who advocates for self-care and wishes that everyone gets to experience moments of daily joy…..I do find it frustrating to see click-bait headlines slamming self-care and making it seem like a bad thing.

My question is whether people are missing the point? I like to call it a red herring. When people choose to make fun of self-care, mock the term and even those who practice it.

I like to dive deep. I tell people not to talk to me about why they don’t like the term self-care …..and invite them to unpack why they don’t believe that they’re worthy of taking time for themselves.

When people spend energy on focusing on the word, are they in fact hiding from the responsibility of their own wellbeing?

Self-care is how we show ourselves that we love ourselves. Self-care is the action. The end-state is for each person to feel moments of joy and more control in their lives.

Is that such a bad thing? As you know, I practice self-care daily because I need this time to reset and remind myself that I am responsible for all of my choices in life.

Yes, I’m a caregiver and it’s challenging, but being a caregiver is not who I am.

I am Nicole. Being a mother to my son and a caregiver to my daughter are roles which I honour.

I know that taking time to find inner peace and joy through self-care activities allows me to show up as a better person in all of my roles in life.

Trust me, at the beginning of my caregiver journey, I found all of the excuses of why I didn’t have time, was too exhausted and couldn’t justify being so selfish when my family needed me.

Little did I know that these excuses were leading me down a scary path of stress and overwhelm. I was ignoring the signs that my body was sending me. I was robbing my kids of a happy and patient mother.

The wake-up call was when I had a full-blown panic attack at work and had to be taken by ambulance to the local hospital because I was having problems breathing and it hurt every time I took a shallow breath. I can tell you that it’s a scary feeling for your chest to hurt when you breathe.

That my friends is why I take my self-care very seriously now. The doctors assured me that I was fine and in good health. That was the day when I realized that there are no doctors who specialize in supporting parents of children with disabilities. 

I knew that I was the only one responsible for my wellbeing. And my son and daughter needed me to be healthy.

I hope that by sharing my story, that I can inspire you to start making time for yourself. You are worthy!

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