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Dear Samantha

Our resident psychiatrist discusses the possibility of overdoing the self-care thing and proposes a less loaded approach to discovering your passion.

Q: Is there such a thing as too much self-care?

During an airline safety demonstration, the flight attendant instructs you to put on your oxygen mask before assisting others if the cabin loses pressure. They tell you this for good reason. If you run out of oxygen, you will lose consciousness and won’t be able to assist anyone else. It is a life-or-death situation. But mental health is more nuanced. It does not exist in such absolute “either-or” terms. Of course, it is important to take care of yourself—to put on the proverbial oxygen mask—but it doesn’t mean you should retreat into yourself and disengage from the world around you. Here’s the thing: You can take care of yourself and be there for others at the same time.

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July 2019

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