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LightAngel's Musings

  • Writer's pictureElisha LightAngel

Self-Care VS After-Care

A picture of a woman drinking tea and reading a book with a photo frame around it and a caption reading "my self-care moment".

We call it self-care but most of the time we are actually practicing aftercare. What do I mean by that? Self-care is proactive and preventative, while after-care is reactive and focused on recovery.

Self-care refers to the activities and practices individuals engage in to maintain their physical, mental, and emotional well-being to help avoid feeling tired, burned out, and sick. Self-care includes activities such as exercising, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, managing stress, practicing mindfulness and meditation, engaging in hobbies and interests, and spending time with loved ones. These activities are designed to help individuals maintain their physical, mental, and emotional health, prevent illness and injury, and improve their overall quality of life. These are thing things we do to set our future selves up for success.

Aftercare can sometimes be the same activities and practices prompted as a response to feeling tired, burned out, or sick. Aftercare is when we realize something is wrong and are faced with no other option but to do something about it. In the medical world, aftercare refers to the support and treatment individuals receive after medical or therapeutic treatment. Aftercare can include acts of self-care but is almost always a result of not having proper self-care in the first place.

Our bodies require nutrition, rest, and time to get in touch with our inner selves. Our minds require downtime, creativity time, and co