‘4 Things With Amy Brown’ Talks Self-Care Under Quarantine

On this episode of Four Things With Amy Brown, our host Amy Brown talks with therapist Kathryn Defatta about four things we can do to help ourselves and others during the quarantine: manage our anxiety, stay connected with friends and family while we’re social distancing, practice self-care (which is different from self-maintenance), and maintain productivity. Kathryn first tells us it’s important to figure out how we’re actually feeling right now. Too often, she says, we’re too busy dismissing our emotions (usually by saying something like, “Well, other people have it a lot worse than I do”) rather than facing them, and instead of helping us put things into perspective, it just ensures that our feelings will erupt from us in other ways, most likely in the wrong direction. “It’s really invalidating to you,” she points out. More than that, it’s invalidating to others, because it’s essentially saying that “no one is allowed to have feelings unless they’re dying,” she says. Telling people how you feel gives them permission to feel their feelings, too. “Welcome in the idea that it’s not okay. And that it’s okay that it’s not okay.”

She also says we should distinguish what is “self-care” and what is “self-maintenance,” so we don’t start feeling like taking care of ourselves is a chore. For example, Amy considers self-care to be exercising and maintaining her skin care routine, but Kathryn asks her if she actually enjoys doing those things. If so, then great, they’re self-care. If not, they’re self-maintenance: something we know we should do to keep ourselves healthy, but aren’t necessarily enjoyable activities. It varies person to person – for example, Kathryn’s friend considers manicures self-care, but Kathryn considers it maintenance. Kathryn loves kale, so eating healthy is self-care for her, where it would feel more like maintenance for many of us. “Right now we need both,” she says. “This is one of the most high-stress times that we will ever go through in our lifetime, worldwide.” 

They also talk about staying connected by getting creative with the technology available to us, and not using the pandemic as an excuse to cancel therapy appointments or time with friends. Kathryn discusses how to effectively deal with the stress we’re under, talks about the psychology of maintaining a somewhat-normal routine, and asks us to think about things we’re grateful for that, a few weeks ago, we didn’t realize were meaningful to us – walking into the office and saying hello to a coworker, for example. Hear all these incredible tips, and much more, to help you through this pandemic, on this episode of Four Things With Amy Brown.

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