Have you ever wondered why has our opinion about self-care been drastically altered throughout the past few years? What if the self-care these influencers have been feeding us this past decade is more of a façade? I want to talk to you about how influencers and self-care culture have totally ruined our beliefs about self-care, and to remind you of what self-care really means.
Expensive clothing and jewelry, face masks, bath bombs, binge-eating junk food…
Are these self-care related? Maybe the 20 influencers you’re currently following on Instagram would categorise them as such. But I would say they’re whims, or things you turn to in order to cope with feeling uncomfortable or uneasy.
We’ve gotten so used to seeing people getting their nails or hair done, going shopping, going to restaurants and treating themselves to excessively big portions of pasta and naming it “self-care” that we’ve forgotten what self-care actually means.
What is self-care in its definition?
As the Cambridge Online Dictionaries define it, self-care is: “The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.”
Most people nowadays say that for them, self-care means spending the whole weekend inside. Binge-watching series and putting face masks on are activities that are also mentioned.
Other people can barely afford keeping good hygiene, and this actually gets to the point that renewing their toothbrush is a luxury. So how could one dare to say that self-care is about the things you buy yourself or about the things you wear?
Anyway, can such things as retail therapy be named self-care?
I am just going to go ahead and slightly contradict myself now. Maybe treating yourself to expensive stuff could be named self-care in a way or another. For example, if therapy through shopping helps you stay calm and relaxed, name it self-care.
However, the main focus does not have to be on this, as it currently is. The focus should be on our sanity and health and not as much on how much we spend on self-care.
Here are some realistic and expense-less self-care activities:
Taking a bath, brushing your teeth, going to the doctor’s for a routine check, brushing your hair, cutting toxic people off, meditating, these should all be considered self-care, but especially if you barely find the motivation to get out of bed.
Normalise calling smaller things self-care, too. Normalise not having to spend any money for it to be called self-care. Essentially, it’s only about health.
Let us know what self-care means to you in the comment section down below! I’m even down for debates on this topic!