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Deconstructing Self-Care Culture

By Mariam Asim

 

More often than not, we find ourselves caught up in our own busy lives that can spiral into chaos. The never-ending to-do list or constant annoyance of having an assignment due; it can sometimes be too overwhelming for many of us to handle. It’s moments like this where we need to take a second to pause, think and most importantly breathe. 

 

In today’s ‘woke’ society that shoves the notion of self-care through the media we digest, the true meaning seems to be lost in a tangible mix of self-expression and body positivity – the words being tossed around by influencers and celebrities with little meaning. However, this is precisely the point:

 

Self-care has no definition.

 

No boundaries or barriers of what it can or cannot be, no financial limits or restrictions of how it should or shouldn’t make you feel- its definition is fluid- constantly changing and adapting between each and every one of us. 

 

Needless to say, there are a few base points of what self-care really is.

 

To begin with: taking care of yourself. It’s in the name really, self-care at the core begins with self-acceptance. The notion that you will promise to value yourself for who you are and what you are-  cultivating a shower of self-worth even when you’re in the lowest moments of your life. 

 

To have grasped the concept that you don’t need the acceptance of anyone else but yourself is a truly liberating thought that removes the feelings of unworthiness, un-clogging the mind of pessimistic thoughts.  Because at the end of the day, we should be embracing ourselves for who we are; quirks, flaws and all in between.

 

Having self-worth and taking care of yourself means to extinguish outside voices dictating how you should look, dress, behave, speak, conduct yourself – the list goes on forever. Instead, channel that negative energy into focusing on the things you like about yourself & overtime watch this list bloom and flower into the acknowledgement that you are worthy, just the way you are.

 

Next is something we should already be implementing into our life, but can be difficult with the endless supply of delicious festive treats. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s to eat healthily. Binge eating and stacking up on chocolate supplies are only short term solutions to long term issues that need to be addressed. Treat your body with respect and care, feed it foods that will help it develop to be stronger and well nourished. Yes, you can still treat yourself every once in a while to a sneaky mince pie – but please – for the sake of your own mental health, your body is a temple and should be provided with the right foods that contribute to a healthy hormone balance and brainpower! 

 

Despite the push for eating foods you might not particularly enjoy or venturing out of the cosy bubble of your comfort zone, one big sector of self-care is doing what makes you happy. Whether for you that means taking dance classes for an exercise stress reliever or journaling your emotions every night before bed – do something that you can incorporate into your daily routine without fail every day,  that can serve as the peace in a storm, even on the harshest and most draining of days. 

 

Adding on from that last point, don’t waste time on people who make you have to doubt or challenge your self-worth. Surround yourself with those who radiate positive energy, thus increasing your happiness levels.  Toxic people corrode our mental health and leave us feeling everything but confidence. Remembering what we said earlier, you are good enough and anyone who makes you challenge that is not worth your time, because at the end of the day if we don’t invest time in ourselves and our wellbeing, who will

 

Essentially, the self-care industry is an outdated market that profits of financial gain rather than the satisfaction of their consumers. Global companies that promote awful self-care fads do nothing but encourage naive consumers to believe that to truly be practising self-care you must be drowning in overpriced bath bombs with face masks and weekends of relaxation. If you want to do that- sure, go ahead! But in reality, just note that you don’t need to be spending money to be loving yourself.

 

As always, if there is anything you’re going to take away from reading this, it should be that self-care at the core begins with self-acceptance. Just like you wouldn’t give your body junk food because it’s unhealthy, don’t feed it negative energy or thoughts either…

 

Self-care isn’t something that develops over time, it’s a learning curve through life that we are all travelling at different paces.

 

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