The Secret to Self-Care

Yep!  That’s my foot.  And, it’s my daily reminder about brain power and self-care.

Popularized definitions of self-care are gendered.  There’s no doubt about it, right?!  U.S. society convinces women (which women?) and men (which men?) to practice self-care through consumption of gendered products and experiences designed to help us overcome burnout.  But, the only person who knows what you need and desire is you.  It starts with your thoughts about yourself, your situation, and your goals.  

Additionally, self-care isn’t optional.  It seems like it is optional when we define self-care as mani pedi outings or spa treatments because they cost money and take time that we just don’t have or want to expend.   Self-care is free when it begins in our minds.  Women often say that we don’t have time for self-care.  I’ve said that numerous times, especially when I thought that I was somehow a “bad mother” for taking time for myself.  I’ve learned through hard work on my own thinking that I first need to determine how I define “good’ and, second, that I cannot be a “good” anything until I’ve managed my mind.

Want to reclaim your thoughts, time, and passion for gender justice?  I can help!  Book a talk for your organization by e-mailing me at

The thinkers below each dealt with different structural inequalities and physical realities, yet they all emphasize the need for mental self-care.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Audre Lorde 

“We have to talk about liberating our minds as well as liberating society.”  Angela Davis

“It was the most perfect system among the one-party states, set up to internalize guilt, blame, failure, or fear, to teach you how you yourself should censor your thoughts and deeds and, at the same time, to make you feel that you had more freedom than anyone in Eastern Europe.”    Slavenka Drakulić  

“Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.”  Virginia Woolf

Scroll to Top