Self-care is a big industry; with bloggers, vloggers, and Instagram models making self-care seem like this unattainable aesthetic thing only for people with perfect bodies and unattainable amounts of cash. But here’s a secret… if you have to buy it’s not self-care, it’s just a marketing trick.
Self-care is often doing the hard thing as opposed to the easy thing. Taking a sick day simply because you want to isn’t self-care however if you are taking the day off because a family member has died and it’s not covered because they weren’t in your immediate family that’s real self-care. If you are feeling burnt out in your current position taking a day off may be nice, but that doesn’t constitute as self-care.
Then what is self-care?
Self-care prioritizes your long-term health and wellness over immediate gains. It’s telling yourself not to have that chocolate cake because empty calories add up and you need to take your health seriously. It’s reminding yourself daily that you are a person deserving respect and that you cant say yes to everything. Self-care is waking up on days when you’d rather sleep in or not wake up at all.
If self-care is hard then why do Instagram models make it so easy with their curated feeds, custom planners, and catchy slogans? Well, they are simply looking to make a quick buck. Yes, some of the things they preach can be helpful to a degree but, name one person who benefits from a 3-5 hour morning routine or whatever dieter’s tea/ vitamin combo they are trying to sell you. The answer is always them. They are the ones who benefit financially which is how they can afford their oh-so aspirational lifestyle. Like my mom always told me don’t believe everything you see or hear.
Why are you being so critical Cindy?
The reason I’m being critical is that much of what we want to think of as self-care makes us worse off and then we need more of that supposed “self-care” to make us feel better. Whereas if we did the hard thing first then we wouldn’t have to feel bad in our future or present. Let’s do a hypothetical: Anne is constantly doing her self-care. She drinks the teas her favorite YouTuber shills (the vitamins too), she does yoga in the mornings at the crack of dawn, reads for an hour, and then works out for another hour. Sounds like Anne has a good balance huh? Well, what if I told you Anne is too exhausted from her daily routine that she is barely getting her work done each day and goes to bed at 12:50 am. That’s not living a balanced and happy life that’s burning the candle at both ends! Anne just got suckered into the lie that we are all fed. What Anne needs is a realistic sleep routine a sleep schedule that isn’t centered around her work and a new routine that makes sense to her needs.
The point I was trying to make is that no one knows what you need better than you. And if you dig deep enough you can find out what you really need and avoid the real stress and headache of the self-care industry.