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Episode 27: Self-Care, Self-Comfort, and Self-Indulgence

Description: This week, Dr. Boogren explains the really important difference between some very similar labels.

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Transcription: Hi, and welcome to Self-Care for Educators. I'm your host, Tina Boogren, and this is season four and episode 27. This week's invitation is to gather some clarity around the following phrases: self-care, self-comfort, and self-indulgence. We need all three of them. And yet, I sometimes hear people kind of interchange these words, and use them, or phrases, I should say, and use them as synonyms. And, for me, they're really not synonyms. They're, they're related, but they're not the same. And, once we kind of understand the distinction between the three of them, we can utilize them to help support ourselves.

So, I'm actually, I'm going to start with self-indulgence. So, self-indulgence is the good stuff, right?

The, oof, the stuff that kind of feels like, I don't know the word. It just feels indulgent, right? This is when we say, you know what, dinner tonight. Is this big, fat piece of birthday cake. You know what else is indulgent? Signing up to get that massage. Right? Going to get the manicure or the pedicure, pedicure. Buying ourselves flowers. Right? This is the, this is the Parks and Rec treat yourself. Right? And, we need this. But, here's the deal. That self-indulgence, if we do that too often, it actually makes us feel worse. So, the self-indulgent actions that we take really are kind of few and far between. And then, that helps us really, really, really enjoy them when we do say yes.

Now, let's move on to self-comfort. So, self-comfort also vitally important. And, this is when we really kind of care for ourselves. For me, I think a lot about my own self-comfort, like in the evening at the end of a long workday, what do I need to do to comfort myself that doesn't feel totally indulgent, but that feels comforting. So, this could be taking, taking a nice bath. This could even be reading a book is my self-comfort, right? It could be watching a TV show. It could be ... Oh, geez, calling a friend, right? That self-comfort things we do to to care for ourselves, it kind of feel like a hug.

And then, there's self-care. Now, this is the one that I think is easily confused with the other two.

We sometimes say, call things that we do for self in the name of self-comfort or self-indulgent. We sometimes call those things self-care. But, to me, there's a big distinction. Self-care, those are the actions that we take to really care for ourselves that oftentimes do not feel like self comfort or indulgence. So, to me, this is the drink, the stupid water, right? It's not comforting for me to do it. It does not feel like an indulgence, but to move me towards my goals and my intentions, I need to drink the stupid water. This is also self-care is, you know, going to bed, you know, self-comfort could be watching the TV show. Self-indulgent could be watching the entire series and binging it in one night and self care is saying, you know what, as much as I don't want to, what I need to do is turn off the TV and go to bed. Self-care is making sure that we, you know, eat a vegetable. Self-comfort, right, is when we allow ourselves to have a treat. And, self-indulgence is when we kind of go face first into the treat.

And again, a time and a place for all of them, but they're distinctly different. And, I think if we kind of keep track and do a self audit of the moves that we make. Maybe take one day and just kind of track how many things are you doing in the name of self-care? How many things are you doing in the name of self-comfort? And, how many things are you doing in the name of self-indulgence? And, if that feels like too much, you can kind of put self-comfort and self-indulgence into the same category. And, sometimes there's an overlap, you know, it's not distinct bright lines in between each of these. But, when we think about self-care, self-care is actually oftentimes making the choice or the decision to do the thing that we don't want to do, but it's in our best interest, right? It's acting as a parent to ourselves, right? Treating ourselves like a toddler or a child and making that decision. the decision that's actually going to help us in the longterm.

We don't want to do it. We throw a little temper tantrum in the, in the immediate time, but knowing that in the long-term, it's actually going to help us move towards our goals. That is self-care. You know, sometimes people just know that the work that I do is related to self-care and they get excited to talk to me. And then, they tell me how much they love self-care and explain to me all the things they do that actually I would include as self-comfort or self-indulgence. And, I always have to say I'm all for those things sometimes, but that is actually not the work that I do. Self-care is, again, making those choices and decisions that really help to support our goals, that help to meet our stated intentions for ourselves, that help us show up for our students and our colleagues and our families in really powerful and important ways, and it's being the grownup, the parent to ourselves to sometimes make that hard decision and that hard choice.

So, this week I want you to just kind of contemplate and come up with your own kind of definition or descriptions of those three phrases or terms self care, self-comfort, self-indulgence, and kind of do a self audit. How are we doing on those? Once you do the self audit, can you make some connections to how it's making you feel? You know, are you, are you, did you get a little too self-indulgent one day and then you didn't feel so great the next day? Were you really, really irritated because you had to engage in a lot of self-care but the next day you actually felt much better? And, when we start to recognize that, get conscious of it, name it to tame it, pause, all of these skills that we've been working on, there's a real power in that. That's what I want you to play around with this week. I'm going to join you and do the same thing.

As always, thank you so much, Brooke. We're so grateful for you. Thank you, Marzano Resources and Solution Tree for this job I get to do. And, thank you to you, my bad-ass Self-Care Squad. May you have a lot of self-care, may you have a little bit of self-comfort, and may you have a little bit of self-indulgence as well this week. Make it a great week, you guys. I'm cheering so hard for you.

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