Self-care and wellbeing: Healing our Relationship with Self – Livability

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Self-care and wellbeing: Healing our Relationship with Self

On October 10th in London, we’re supporting Sanctuary Ministries in a special event on the topic of self-care and wellbeing; Healing Our Relationship with Self.

Therapist, researcher, and Liturgist podcast host Hillary McBride will discuss self-care and the barriers we face in offering care and compassion to ourselves. Ahead of the event, we offer a few reflections, and some thoughts from Hillary on the topic.

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What does self care mean?

Self- care can be a problematic phrase for many of us. For those of us who feel called to serve and support others, the idea of self-care might conflict with our motivation to put others first. For others, self-care can conjure pictures of indulgence. We might even see aspects of self-care as merely an industry, from spa days to wellness retreats.

Given that church communities function through self-giving, perhaps it’s no surprise that many of us feel uncomfortable with the concept. Yet if we ask the question, ‘how do we prevent burn-out?’ There’s good reason for us to pay attention to an approach to self- care which seeks a sustainable way to live and serve.

“Many of us face barriers to caring for ourselves’ Says Hillary McBride.

‘’In our culture and faith communities, we’ve often not seen self-care modelled well, praised or rewarded, and we might even have learned that practicing self-care is bad or selfish. But when we fail to practice self-care, we create hierarchies that say, ‘You are worth loving but I am not.'”

At Livability, we believe if we want our communities to be places where everybody can take part, these also need to be healthy places where we focus on flourishing together. If our life together is always fraught, we build a culture which can erode our wellbeing. Taking steps to remedy this can be difficult, but we can start this ourselves.

So how does self-care work in practice?

“Self-care is anything you do to care for yourself with the explicit intention of being caring. You might take a bath for hygiene reasons, but if you decide to do it in a loving and caring way to attend to yourself, to direct care and love towards yourself, then the bath becomes self-care. If the bath was for hygiene, it might be more about function. If it was about self-care, the focus of the bath might be enjoying the experience and sensing and embodying the pleasure of caring for oneself.’’

The difference, it would seem, is in how we demonstrate the value we place on ourselves. Yet Hillary indicates that there is also deeper invitation, which is one of ongoing healing of negative views of self we might hold.

“Self-care stands in opposition, as prevention and healing, to self- criticism, shame, disembodiment, dissociation, and the hurts that others and life inflict on us. It is both reparative of hurt caused by personal wounding and promoting of growth and well-being.’

Healing our Relationship with Self – join us

With such rich content on offer, we can be assured of an enlightening evening. Join us on 10th October for a rare chance to hear Hillary speak in the UK.

Details: 7:30 PM – 9:30 at Westbourne Grove Church. W11 2RW

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Learn more about Hillary McBride

Sanctuary Ministries 

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