Extreme caregivers and emotional labourers –professionals in the human and social services industries, but also wives, mothers, adult daughters, that’s to say nearly always women– should take better care of themselves. It’s a platitude all too regularly ignored.
In a society striated by leylines of power where certain tasks are deemed subaltern, and as corollary certain socio-cultural groups subaltern, this is even more pressing, more vital, more radical. Self care then becomes a subversive duty.
As Audre Lorde, African American lesbian writer-avocate and cancer victim once reminded us:
Caring for myself is not self indulgence, it is self preservation and that is an act of political warfare.