Self-care. Different perspectives

When asking people how they take care of their mental health, I have received responses that critically assess the prevailing societal stereotypes about self-care, such as associating self-care with “smoothie drinking” and strictly distinguishing it from their everyday activities. Likewise, people have pointed out to me that their daily life with mental health difficulties does not involve care, but rather healthcare management or, more simply, living. People’s stories quite clearly demonstrate that there are specific ideas about what it means to take care of oneself, and not all activities related to mental health management are associated with care. As this separation seemed interesting to me, I decided to prepare information about how self-care is viewed from various theoretical perspectives. This information is prepared in an Instagram post, as well as in the images below.


  • Foucault, Michel. 1997. “Tehchnologies of the Self.” In Ethics: Subjectivity and Truth. Vol 1 of The Essential Works of Michel Foucault, 1954-1984, edited by Paul Rabinow, 223–51. New York: New Press. ;
  • Giddens, Anthony. 1991. Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age. Stanford, Calif: Stanford University Press. ;
  • Gordon, Loa. 2018. “Perceptions and Experiences of Self-Care Among Students with Mental Health Struggles.” Master’s thesis, Guelph, Ontario, Canada: The University of Guelph. ;
  • Hooks, Bell. 1993. Sisters of the Yam: Black Women and Self-Recovery. Boston, MA: South End Press. ;
  • Kurki, Sannamari. 2020. “‘You Can’t Pour from an Empty Cup. Take Care of Yourself First.’ Constructing the Self in Online Self-Care Discourse.” Master’s thesis, Helsinki, Finland: University of Helsinki. ;
  • Nash, Jennifer C. 2013. “Practicing Love: Black Feminism, Love-Politics, and Post-Intersectionality.” Meridians 11 (2): 1–24.
  • Rose, Nikolas S. 1999. Governing the Soul: The Shaping of the Private Self. 2nd ed. London: Free association books.
  • Rosenbaum, Susanna, and Ruti Talmor. 2022. “Self‐Care.” Feminist Anthropology 3 (2): 362–72. ;