Three Types of Self-care for Catholics
Self-care is so badly explained, especially in Catholic circles.
Our secular culture tells us that self-care is mani-pedis, lush meals, expensive vacations.
Our Catholic faith tells us not to be greedy or gluttonous or neglect the poor.
Real self-care is less about self-indulgence and more about self-preservation. It’s the bare minimum of stuff we do and don’t do to keep ourselves functioning virtuously.
My experience tells me that authentic Catholic self-care manifests in three ways.
#1: Inclusive Self-care
Inclusive self-care is the stuff we do to keep ourselves living in virtue: hygiene, nourishing ourselves with food rather than numbing, regular reception of the sacraments, exercise not to punish ourselves but to live fully in the bodies God gave us.
#2: Exclusive Self-care
Exclusive self-care is the stuff we avoid in order to keep ourselves living in virtue: overindulgence, self-destructive thoughts, people who treat us badly and show no sign of repentence.
#3 Trinitarian Self-care
Trinitarian self-care is the stuff we do to cultivate nourishing relationships in our lives. God is a Trinity. God is infinite relationship. If we are made in God’s image and likeness, we can only thrive in thriving relationships. Pope Saint John Paul II put it best when he said, “Man becomes the image of God not so much in the moment of solitude as in the moment of communion.”
Which of these types of self-care is most difficult for you?
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