Self-care seems like a buzzword, but it is an important concept. I think the pandemic has forced us to spend more time with ourselves, and we’ve realized that maybe we weren’t caring for ourselves as well as we should be. And of course for parents, people with demanding jobs, or people with limited resources, self-care is often something set aside.
I feel like I’ve been talking about Instagram a lot on my blog, but some of the stuff I see on there fascinates me. Maybe it’s just the algorithm, but lately I’ve seen a lot of content about self-care. Only I don’t really agree with what I see. Instagram says self-care is making protein smoothies at 6am and writing in a journal and using 14 skincare products on your face at night. I do none of that.
To me, self-care is having hobbies. It’s having a creative outlet. It’s having friends and healthy relationships. It’s learning how to be nice to yourself. It’s doing things that make you happy and not following what others think. It’s having goals. It’s experiencing everything in moderation.
I don’t like how self-care has become an aesthetic online and how it’s all about appearing a certain way (skinny, in cute activewear, and in a clean minimalist apartment). Me going to the curling club twice a week in the winter is self-care to me, but you’ll never see the Insta girlies doing something like that.
Under the aesthetic, there is some truth to what’s on Instagram. Caring for your body, getting fresh air, and being mindful, are all great things that can definitely be a part of good self-care, but just seeing it done over and over in such a rigid and commercialized way just feels gross to me. It feels inauthentic and fake.
Or am I wrong? Is waking up early and taking “hot girl walks” (a term I did not make up) and eating yogurt bowls the key to a better life? Have I been suffering this whole time and never even known?
What does self-care look like to you?