Self-care is the health trend beloved by burnt out millennials. But comedy writer Erin Foster thinks that taking time out for yourself should be much more than getting a facial.

Beauty treatments are fun and so are yoga retreats but, when it comes to self-care, Erin Foster thinks that we shouldn’t forget about therapy. The 36-year-old comedy writer – who was the keynote speaker at the Create & Cultivate Self Care Summit in Los Angeles on July 20 – made that clear during an EXCLUSIVE interview with HollywoodLife. The daughter of acclaimed music producer David Foster explained why good old fashioned talk therapy is even more valuable in the long run than a facial.

“I think that self-care is looking at the things that are challenging to look at in yourself and trying to work on them and make your life better,” Erin told us. “Because living in denial, getting a manicure and a facial, does not make you happy. It can relax you for 45 minutes but, if you haven’t faced who you truly are and you haven’t faced the challenges and the things you have to get better at, the facial doesn’t actually help you. It might make your skin nicer, but it’s hard to relax during that hour because you’re living a lie.”

Erin, who admitted during her keynote talk that she has had therapy, added, “So, I think the most joy I get out of something – and I have an easier time actually enjoying self-care perks like yoga or a massage or whatever – is when I’m living my life in a way that I’m proud of. I think self-care is doing the things you need to do to be happy. And, for sure a facial can make you happy, but I think working on yourself and accepting certain things in your life and getting better at it and getting more comfortable with who you are, that’s sustainable happiness. A facial only lasts for a week.”

Erin is happy to talk about therapy openly because she thinks it’s something that should be part of life, just like other forms of self-care. “I think that therapy is something that should be used preventively as much as possible,” she said. “So, if you’re in a relationship you should go into therapy before you’re divorcing. Go to a therapist so you never end up wanting to get a divorce. [If] you go to therapy when there’s a small issue, then you actually learn to communicate around it and then it stops you from hating each other one day.”

Erin, who is currently happily dating entrepreneur Simon Tikhman, said, “I don’t see therapy as a failure. I see therapy as a safe place where you can talk about the things that are haunting you to someone who’s not going to judge you about them and then you can release them. And I think everyone needs that.”

Erin Foster
Erin Foster poses at the Create & Cultivate Self Care Summit in Los Angeles on July 20. (Becki Smith of Smith House Photo)

Another thing that Erin believes is great for self-care is switching off from technology and social media for some time each day, being present in the moment and taking time to enjoy life – real life. For someone who (along with her sister Sara Foster) is the Head of Creative at the dating and social networking app Bumble, this may seem counterintuitive to say. Erin is also no slouch when it comes to social media. (She has 467,000 Instagram followers to date.) Most recently she shared pics from her glam family vacation in Europe (which included a June 28 stop in London so that her dad David could wed singer Katharine McPhee). But taking those images didn’t come at the expense of enjoying the real life moments that created them.

“I think anything that is fun and a big part of your life can also be a toxic part of your life if you overuse it,” Erin said. “So, I make an effort to not be the person that is never present in my interactions. I’m not the person that every conversation I have, my arm’s up and I’m just photographing myself and videoing myself at every interaction. I really try to have real interactions in my life for myself and the people around me.”

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