No matter how indulgent or fancy the term may sound, self-care is crucial for our physical, emotional and mental well-being. But recently, the self-care trend has revamped itself in an era of Instagram-ability.
While revamping usually makes things better, this time around the whole point of the exercise lost itself in commercialization. With multinational companies cashing in on the "Instagram-ability" of self - care, people lost sight of what it means.
What Is Self-Care?
While self-care has been around for centuries, it has only recently been picked up by stars such as Solange and consumerized into self-care kits. Ancient Greeks saw it as a way to make people more honest citizens who were more likely to care for others.
Self - care, psychologically speaking, simply means giving importance to your health - both mental and physical. Taking breaks, eating healthy, socializing, and relaxing are all just a small part of it. On a larger spectrum, self-care accompanies self - love and self -acceptance.
Caring for yourself and giving yourself time has been equated with selfishness far too often, and while there are a few things that do fall in that category, caring for yourself is hardly selfish.
It just means taking the time to look after the body and mind that facilitates your existence. Selfishness has nothing to do with it. This idea of selfishness is one thing that the new idea of "self - care" has successfully removed from our minds.
How Did Caring For Yourself Become A Trend?
We know that self-care is important because, just like other living things, we need to take care of ourselves before we can care for others. Its purpose doesn’t come from simply feeling better at the moment, but in helping to normalize self-healing. Self-care is an important tool that teaches us what long-term self-focused healing can look like.
One study showed that the displacement of its reality may have all sprouted out of the Internet. It found that students reported using the Web to identify self-care strategies, alternative therapies and other information related to nutrition and fitness.
If you do a quick Google search for the word, you'll find hundreds of articles about self-care, occasionally accompanied with lists of advice such as "go to a fitness class" or "buy a new candle" or "start journaling." So it comes as no surprise that there is a $10 billion self-care industry.
Brands have picked up on the fact that caring for yourself involves a lot of "show and tell" on social media. For example, using sheet masks, or scented candles or even branded journals - everything can be commercialized. The "trendiness" of self-care has made it expensive to actually care for yourself.
Why Has The Commercialization Made It A Bad Habit?
While caring for yourself is obviously important, it is also easy to see how the commercialization has affected the entire process negatively.
Eating healthy, meditating, journaling, and relaxing were some of the easiest ways to love yourself, but now the narrative has changed entirely. Youtube, for example, with all the beauty gurus has made it competitive and rather expensive.
Self-care routines, as they are called now, with extensive use of cleansers, bath oils, essences, candles, face masks, and a thousand other products - with the added idea of "aesthetic" pleasing - has made the process direly expensive.
So now, if one does want to practice self-love, they usually end up spending a lot on products that aren't even required in the first place. Another aspect of the commercialization is getting spas, massages, manicures or hair treatments - again, fun but not at all necessary.
But these elements are now equated with the idea of care so much that they have become a part of its ethos. Real self care, if we can call it that is simply doing what makes you feel accepted, loved, or cared for - to yourself. There's no aspect of the "other", that's the whole point.
But, thanks to companies waiting to cash in on the latest trends, self - care has now become a taxing, expensive task.