I think that there is a misconception about self-care, that it is all about indulgence, pampering sessions and long, hot bubble baths. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a bubble bath as much as the next lifestyle blogger, but that isn’t the be-all and end-all when it comes to self-care.
Let’s take a quick look at the term ‘self-care’. All it means is to take care of yourself.
That’s it – no compulsory bath bombs, no minimum time allocated to it, no deadlines – just look after yourself.
The new push towards self-care in popular culture is amazing. Books, magazines and bloggers everywhere are encouraging people to take time out of their day to have some self-care time. (Me being one of them!) However, I think that the way it is described or ‘marketed’ on the whole, can be quite alienating to some people. That sounds a bit extreme, but let me explain:
The stereotypical ‘self-care evening’ starts with a bubble bath and ends with nail polish and face masks. That doesn’t suit everyone and I don’t believe that is the self-care that everyone needs. For example, I’d imagine there are a lot of men out there who aren’t totally comfortable with this picture. A busy mum who can only carve out 20 minutes to herself might find a long relaxing evening quite inaccessible. And as someone who suffers with bouts of depression and anxiety, I know that sometimes that perfect, relaxing evening is actually too much effort. What I need is a basic level of self-care; something accessible and easy that will actually help me, rather than just fulfilling a cliche of what I think self-care should look like.
So if you’re ideal night of time to yourself is filled with Lush products and skincare, Netflix and ice cream, go ahead! But if you need to take care of yourself in a much more basic or simple kind of way, then just know that’s great too. Small acts like getting out of bed, splashing water on your face and having a bowl of porridge can be just as much acts of self-care as any hot bubble bath. (Again – I don’t hate bubble baths, it’s just the cliche image that keeps coming to mind!)
I’ll be posting next week a few ideas for simple self-care activities or tasks that can help you to look after yourself, when perhaps you are depressed, anxious, or just really short on time. In the mean time, let me know in the comments what you consider to be self-care that perhaps the mainstream magazines or vlogs just aren’t covering.
The Self-Care Sloth