Self care can be seen as the practice of acknowledging, understanding, and meeting our own needs so that we are secure and relaxed enough to feel good, and function well. To experience wellbeing.
Kind of like being a parent to your needs.
In 1953 pediatrician and psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott proposed the idea of ‘good enough’ parenting. This, he saw, was a parent who can provide the adequate care and circumstances that allow a child’s healthy development..
What might we learn from Winnicott’s idea of ‘good enough’ for the practice of self care?
Winnicott’s ‘good enough’ recognises the need to provide adequate care, but also, to mitigate perfectionism. He actually saw imperfection - within reason - as essential to the process of growth, and perfectionism a hindrance. It’s very easy for us all to fall into the black hole of feeling that nothing we do is enough. Working with the concept of ‘good enough’ can help cultivate balance and care in the expectations we set for ourselves.
Finding you own sense of ‘good enough’
Am I doing well enough? It could be work, relationships, how much you exercise, your social life, your diet etc etc etc. If we are in the black hole of ‘not enough’, we can often then find ourselves, consciously or unconsciously, reaching towards the outside world for validation. Simply by making space to truly ask yourself what youfeel is good enoughfor you, you can begin to develop your own barometer, measured against a more conscious understanding of your own particular needs. Regularly making space to reflect on thiscan enable a healthy shift in the way that you ‘parent’ yourself. Giving yourself what you need for your own continued wellbeing, growth, and development in the world.
Written by Natasha Broomfield, BAZ Facilitator and Creative Arts Therapist
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