Creative Writing · Journal · Mental Health Monday · Mental Illness · Thinking out Loud · Through the Shattered Glass

Thinking Out Loud #2 / Mental Health Monday:​ Is the term Self-Care being exploited?

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Today’s Thinking Out Loud blog post is here to extend what my ” Through the Shattered Glass” series talks about. 

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 In TTSG, I usually only discuss my personal experiences with mental health. Today on TOL, I want to start an ongoing conversation about something mental health-related, self-care.

A couple of days ago, I came across a video titled Self-Care is Kind of BS. Having the nature of curiosity inside of me, and always being interested to see how other people representing the other side of the coin view things made me click on it. I mean, how on earth is self-care considered to be bullshit?

Thankfully,  some viewers were quick to point out that he was mistakingly confusing self-care with a form of procrastination or self-indulgence. Arpi, the youtuber, did add to the description of the video how he worded his discussion poorly, mentioning that he believes in the importance of self-care if it is being used to keep healthy habits like hygiene. And mentions how often the term is misrepresented as self-indulgence. Although I don’t 100% agree with this refined explanation, it makes the message of the video clearer.

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The term self-care itself has recently been a bit exploited. It turned into a sugarcoated, guilt-free, justifiable form of “Treating yourself cause you deserve it, cause you’re worth it.” This is now a phrase used by influencers and companies to sell a lot of products, like luxurious skincare products, expensive bags, and fitness programs.

This form of self-care is becoming very normalized, which should be good when done correctly, but in this case, it is in my opinion deemed negatively because it is turning the term into a trend that is aesthetically pleasing and consumeristic. 

The origin of self-care dates back to ancient Greece. It became considered an act of making time to prioritize one’s well being during the  60s and 70s for people working in high-risk and emotionally daunting jobs. Then, it was used by minority groups who were usually mistreated by the medical care system. Today, it becomes a “trend” and an excuse that is overused and exploited by people who aren’t mentally ill and by opportunistic companies.

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Don’t get me wrong, self-care differs from one person to another.  I’m not here to say what is not allowed to be considered as a self-care act, but the way it’s used makes me wonder if people truly understand what self-care is. 

To me, it is an act of taking care of yourself when you aren’t feeling well mentally. They could be everyday things other people usually do to maintain their hygiene, like washing my face and brushing my teeth. Things that sound so mundane and systematic to others, but very difficult perform whilst my mind is stuck in a grey storm. It could also mean watching Legally Blonde, not because I am procrastinating work and watching movies is way more fun, but because I need to improve my mental state before carrying on with things that need to be done. Even pressing the play button, and trying to focus on the movie is considered to be hard.

 

Till next time,

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References

The video:

 

Other Videos discussing self-care:

 

Articles

https://dumpsterdogblog.com/real-selfcare-fake-selfcare/

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How would you define self-care? What are your thoughts on the Instagram Self-care threads? 

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10 thoughts on “Thinking Out Loud #2 / Mental Health Monday:​ Is the term Self-Care being exploited?

  1. Great post! Marketing indulgence as self care is out of control and it shouldn’t be an excuse for sheer laziness, even if doing nothing is self care at times.

    I believe it is important for everyone and varies from person to person, but is most often neglected in those who are physically or mentally ill.

    Self care for me is sleeping as well as possible, careful pacing and activity moderation to reduce fibro flares, Epsom salt baths when it’s hard to move, good hygiene despite pain or depressive stasis, comedy, and knowing when it’s time to say no. Interacting with kind and understanding friends and family helps. (Avoiding or learning to brush off invalidation and those who provide it is just as important.)

    Of course there are other methods—meditation, regular exercise to whatever level possible, eating well, etc.—that everyone could benefit from but those who need most tend to slack on.

    I’m so fortunate to have a fiancé who understands and helps maintain the things I can’t and friends (you’re one of the best 😍) who listen without judgement and counter the skewed thoughts depression and anxiety cause.

    On that note, this lady needs a shower, gentle stretching, magnesium, and a good cuddle. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much!! 💚💚

      That is true. It is often neglected by people who are physically and mentally ill, most probably because it is hard to take care of one’s well being when they are stuck in the grey, or are in so much pain.

      💚💚💚💚💚💚💚💚

      Sending virtual hugs your way!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a great post! The topic has been on my mind lately in kind of a vague way. I try to schedule in “self-care” at least once a week, where I let myself just not do anything after work, instead of constantly feeling like I need to be doing something Important all the time. For depressed folks, I think it’s important that we allow ourselves time to just be and not beat ourselves up about it. But I definitely think there’s a line between self-care and indulgence, and I hate that companies are using the trend of self-care to exploit people. For me, self-care can be as simple as just letting myself reading something that’s purely for fun, or taking a long hot bath, or watching YouTube videos. But self-care shouldn’t require spending a bunch of money on products. That’s literally not the point. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Absolutely 👏👏

      I have never tried scheduling self-care into my weekly plans. Has it been helpful? I might give it a try instead of waiting until all of the dark thoughts have accumulated and taken over my life. It is usually only then that I attempt to do something about it.

      Thanks for joining the conversation. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never have a consistent work schedule, so I usually look at the days when I work like 12-7 or something and then pencil in self-care for after work. It gives me something to look forward to, but it also keeps me from feeling like I have to come home from work and immediately be productive.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Ooh, interesting post! Totally agree with everything you’ve written here. I think that a lot of ‘wellness’ brands have jumped on the self-care train to sell stuff. Some of them are nice, and do help me from time to time – I used a lovely Lush bath bomb the other day. The rest of them are just ridiculous. (Did you hear about Goop/Gwyneth Paltrow and the jade egg stuff??)

    For me self care is usually a lot more basic. Having a shower, eating some fruit, brushing my teeth. Because that’s the stuff that goes by the wayside whenever my mental health starts to dip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know about Goop *rolls her eyes*, but I haven’t heard about the jade egg. I want to look it up out of curiosty, but maybe I shouldn’t.

      Thanks for joining the conversation, Wendy! ❤

      Like

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