You’ve Been Looking at Self-Care All Wrong, This is What Self-Care Is

By: Jana Shorabagy

In health care, self care is any necessary function to maintain our mental, emotional, and physical health that is self-initiated.

Due to capitalism this is what people think when they read the word self care:

-bubble baths

-face masks

-getting your nails done

-working out

-getting your hair done

-having a spa day

Today’s self care originates from the medical concept itself. Doctors discuss it as a way for patients to treat themselves and exercise healthy habits, most frequently under a professionals guidance.

The radical idea also comes from the civil rights era, women were expected to care for their families ,their friends, and all their loved ones before they were allowed to do so for themselves and as years flew by, the idea of caring for yourself first became more prominent in society and especially with millennials.

You already know it all from Instagram to Pinterest; all the social media platforms have you thinking they got all the self care tips down, but they don’t. They’ve only got 1/4 of the idea down, the part that’s benefiting them, the part that makes you pay to make yourself feel “better”

“If you’re selling self-care, doesn’t it benefit you to have a consumer who is living in a permanent state of anxiety and unwellness?” — Victoria Buchanan

They make you feel bad and then claim to have the solution by selling bath bombs, face masks, candles, and more.

The question is who’s benefiting? You?

Because no this isn’t good for you, it only temporarily makes you feel better but we all know that self care is long term not a short term journey to your well being: in mind, in body, and in heart.

The real thing: Steer clear from anxiety, stress or any sort of negativity, expand your friend group for a better support system, keep in touch with loved ones, and take a break when needed in order for your mental state to be intact. As for your emotional condition: you need to love yourself and those around you. You need to stay away from all the drama, and negativity in your life. Moreover, physical health requires eating well, staying in good shape, getting enough sleep, and maybe sometimes physical attention from a professional.

Check your dictionaries for the definition of self care because the last time I checked it was about more than bubble baths and face masks, you want self care? Well maybe try this:

-slow down;you have all the time you need

-stop procrastinating

-prioritize

-ease

-rest

-attend to YOUR personal comfort

-stay away from drama and negativity

-be kind to yourself and to others

-love yourself and those around you

-say exactly what you need

-enjoy the little things

-stop stressing

My definition of self care?

Self care

/sɛlfˈkɛː/

Noun

Doing whatever the fuck puts YOUR mind, body, and heart at ease.

BUT this is not where it ends, and it’s okay to not be able to do what is above. Self care can never be defined, for “self” is entirely different for each person. What I’m trying to say is, self care is a lot more than taking care of your skin and relaxing temporarily, sometimes it is quitting a toxic relationship, others it is calling someone you miss, and even, going out for some voluntary charity work. Whatever makes you feel good about yourself, you do that, you do you, and always remember, healing is not linear, neither is self care (or anything really).

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