Today’s Thinking Out Loud blog post is here to extend what my ” Through the Shattered Glass” series talks about.
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.
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.
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,
Other Videos discussing self-care:
How would you define self-care? What are your thoughts on the Instagram Self-care threads?