When selfcare became a trend it was mainly directed at those who had a problem taking care of their bodies and mental well-being. Because of this, most guides included drinking water, taking baths and doing some very basic beauty routine. Seems fair enough, right?
The origins of selfcare
As far as I could see the first selfcare guides were done by depressed people for depressed people. Just quick life hacks to help them manage their life with this crappy illness. And then everyone started picking this up.
This was fine. People learned to take care of their mental and physical aspects and it created a really good community. People came together to share how they overcame certain negative habits or how they managed certain stressful situations. Pretty cool.
And then it turned into something really weird.
I was browsing Pinterest a couple of days ago and it kept throwing selfcare guides at me. Like constantly. I didn’t mind, I sometimes like these little things because they remind me to drink and stretch a little.
But nowadays it’s getting worse and worse.
In today’s terms selfcare means pampering the hell out of yourself with bath bombs, expensive scented candles, face masks and everything that is associated with beauty products. The pin I saw included make up, exercise and nail painting. I thought the algorithm was just off, but nope. It’s just how it is right now. Influencers are constantly promoting this lifestyle because it’s what seems to be trending right now and they have no regard as to how this actually affects others.
Another thing is constantly being happy. Smiling, finding funny videos and going out with friends. If I’m having a depressive episode the last thing I want to do is force myself to be positive and happy. Screw that. It takes away the remainder of my mental energy and it drains me.
Taking care of yourself right now means only your physical self with very little regard to all other parts, which is… Not what it should be about. At all.
Why I think we should step back from this BS
The original purpose of caring for yourself was to relieve stress, mental pressure and to generally make life easier. You need to be in check with every part of your being so that you can properly take care of it all. Only doing physical stuff won’t help if the problem is originating from within.
Listen to your body and not these weird people who tell you to take a bath to relieve your depression. There are better guides out there that focus on every part that needs care and they can give you ideas on what to do. But in the end you will know what you need to do if you take the time to think about it.
If we keep listening to these guides and following them in the hopes that we will feel better we might just do more damage than good. Which is obviously not the point.
Some other selfcare methods to try
So, if I have convinced you to stay away from these weird guides and practices, I should at the very least give you some other ideas on what to do.
I personally think that everyone should start with meditation. It helps you settle emotions and feelings, so you know where you are mentally. Eventually it will also help you realize what your body and mind needs, so that you can help yourself without any guides or my tips.
After that you can go on to your hobbies, arts, whatever it is that you actually have energy for. Maybe in the end all you will be able to do is going outside and sitting down, drinking in the sunshine (if there is any).
Self soothing shouldn’t be dictated by what others say. Find your own way to cope.