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Description: Have you read anything about Positive Psychology? It is a relatively new sub-discipline within Psychology that is based on the idea that Psychology can do more that focus in on the ways in which things can go wrong for us in terms of things like mental illness. Research in Positive Psychology looks at what sorts of things contribute to us doing or feeling better, good or even great. Have you heard about Laurie Santos? She is a professor at Yale who conducts research in the Happiness Lab and teaches a course called the Science of Wellbeing that had been taken by more than ¼ of the students at Yale. OK, so enough warm-up questions. What is Self-Care, what does it involve, and if we do a lot of it, are we being selfish? There is no doubt that we need to take care of ourselves these (pandemic) days so how should we be going about it? Read the article linked below to get some thoughts on the matter from Laurie Santos herself.

Source: Laurie Santos Says Self-Care Doesn’t Have to Be Selfish, Hope Reese, The New York Times.

Date: October 7, 2020

Photo Credit:  Image by John Hain from Pixabay

Article Link:

Did the suggestions offered make sense? Did the suggestion that showing gratitude or doing nice things for others can be a part of self-care? The growth of focus on personal wellbeing and accomplishment in recent decades has led to a falling of focus on the social connections and interactions that do more than reflect who we are but are, rather parts of who we are. We feel better when our actions make other feel better or when they bolster our connections and relationships. Also, keep RAIN in mind. When you experience negative emotions, recognize them, Accept them, investigate them, and nurture yourself.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. What sorts of things does Positive Psychology have to suggest about self-care these days??
  2. How might helping others make us feel better?
  3. What are some of the ways we can work at more clearly seeing and building our social/relation selves?

References (Read Further):

Laurie Santos’ Happiness Labs Podcasts Link

Rao, N., & Kemper, K. J. (2017). Online training in specific meditation practices improves gratitude, well-being, self-compassion, and confidence in providing compassionate care among health professionals. Journal of evidence-based complementary & alternative medicine, 22(2), 237-241. Link

O’Leary, K., & Dockray, S. (2015). The effects of two novel gratitude and mindfulness interventions on well-being. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 21(4), 243-245. Link

Godfrey, C. M., Harrison, M. B., Lysaght, R., Lamb, M., Graham, I. D., & Oakley, P. (2011). Care of self–care by other–care of other: The meaning of self‐care from research, practice, policy and industry perspectives. International Journal of Evidence‐Based Healthcare, 9(1), 3-24. Link

Bippus, A. M., & Young, S. L. (2005). Owning your emotions: Reactions to expressions of self-versus other-attributed positive and negative emotions. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 33(1), 26-45. Link

Graham, S. M., Huang, J. Y., Clark, M. S., & Helgeson, V. S. (2008). The positives of negative emotions: Willingness to express negative emotions promotes relationships. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(3), 394-406. Link