I am totally for self care. As someone living with depression, anxiety, IBS and endometriosis I have to take care of myself. Lately though I feel like a lot of bloggers and companies have used the word to sell you things. It's been thrust into our face after months (and possibly years) of living in a culture where being tired and busy is worn by everyone as a badge of honor. Oh, you only get six hours sleep? Darling Maggie Thatcher got through on 4. Oh you work 50 hours a week? Well I work 60, run a blog, compete in triathlons AND I am a michelin starred chef. Not just amongst bloggers although thats where I mainly see it, its happening all around us in real life too. Soceity seems to have taken the message that women can have anything and chenged it into women SHOULD HAVE EVERYTHING. You know we are expected to hold down full time jobs, keep a house looking like its been pulled straight out of good housekeeping and look like a catwalk model while doing it.
When I type "Self Care" into youtube there is 12,300,000 results. Most of them suggest things like the latest lush bath bomb, writing in your expensive journal and burning a jo malone candle. I am not saying there is anything wrong with these things if you enjoy them, but actually they are selling you a lifestyle. I feel like as a 27 year old woman I can see that my life wouldn't magically change by owning these things, but 15 years ago things would have been totally different. I remember thinking once upon a time that I would be so much cooler at school if I could afford a Jane Norman bag (I got one for christmas, and I still didn't fit in!)
A lot of these videos also talk about clearing a day in your scheduele each week/month. Well not everyone can do that. I am very lucky that I get to chose my own shifts at work but there are plenty of people out there that work full time and have secondary commitments such as caring for relatives or children. I honestly think that these videos can do the opposite of what they are promoting. If you are a working person on say 15k (like I am) and you are constantly comparing yourself to a full time youtuber who a. has a lot more disposable income and b. is sent these £40 candles to review you are going to make yourself feel a lot worse.
What I am trying to say here is that self care is something we should all be doing, but it doesn't necessarily involve spending money. If you enjoy having a bath (like I do personally) with lush products, oils and a huge glass of expensive wine then do it. Just don't be fooled into thinking that these people aren't being paid huge sums of money to sell you something in the name of your mental health. I generally worry about the number of teenage girls growing up in this culture. I have talked before about how I feel like the lines between having anxiety and feeling anxious have been blurred and I really feel like we are going down the same route with this.
Over on Shoestring Chic I am going to be focusing a lot more on saving money and one of the bloggers I have really admired is this one from Cait Flanders. She talks about how we get into debt for our mental health and I feel like the self care trend will be pushing people down the same route. When I have been at the lowest points with my depression I know I have spent money I should have been saving on days out, beauty products, meals out, all to try and perk myself up and it just doesnt work. I wasn't doing it consciously and it is not until after the event in retrospect that I can rationally see this.
Also self care is such a personal thing. I know that going for a long walk is helfpul for me when I am feeling like hiding away, however if my IBS is also in a flare the anxiety that would be cause by not knowing where the nearest toilet is would far outweigh the benefits. I also enjoy writing my feelings down but I can do this, for free, online and don't need a specific expenisve journal to do so.
What are your views on the latest trend for Self Care?