From women’s mental health specialist  and New York Times contributor Pooja Lakshmin, MD, comes a long-overdue reckoning with the contradictions of the wellness industry and a paradigm-shifting program for practicing real self-care that will empower, uplift, and maybe even start a revolution.

You may have noticed that it’s nearly impossible to go even a couple days without coming across the term self-care. A word that encompasses any number of lifestyle choices and products—from juice cleanses to yoga workshops to luxury bamboo sheets—self-care has exploded in our collective consciousness as a panacea for practically all of women’s problems. 

Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Pooja Lakshmin finds this cultural embrace of self-care incomplete at best and manipulative at worst. Fixing your troubles isn’t simple as buying a new day planner or signing up for a meditation class. These faux self-care practices keep us looking outward—comparing ourselves with others or striving for a certain type of perfection. Even worse, they exonerate an oppressive social system that has betrayed women and minorities.

Real self-care, in contrast, is an internal, self-reflective process that involves making difficult decisions in line with our values, and when we practice it, we shift our relationships, our workplaces, and even our broken systems.

In Real Self-Care, Lakshmin helps readers understand what a real practice of caring for yourself could—and does—look like. Using case studies from her practice, clinical research, and the down-to-earth style that she's become known for, Lakshmin provides a step-by-step program for real and sustainable change and solace. Packed with actionable strategies to deal with common problems, Real Self-Care is a complete roadmap for women to set boundaries and move past guilt, treat themselves with compassion, get closer to themselves, and assert their power. The result—having ownership over one’s own life— is nothing less than a personal and social revolution.
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