It’s a Sunday morning and I’ve just tossed aside my phone with a kind of heaviness in my heart.
It’s HASHTAG SELFCARE SUNDAY and I hate it.
Pictures of baby-faced models with their caffeine and hemp infused face masks lying in luxurious baths full of yaks’ milk with their impossibly long legs kicking over the side in a whimsical fashion proclaiming the importance of looking after ourselves – because that’s what the world needs.
Another fucking bubble bath promoted by someone who is pushing the discount code…
Every week I see #selfcaresunday tagged liberally across filtered pictures of (predominantly) women’s lives and although I have nothing against a good old pamper, I draw issue with the trend.
Self-care isn’t something we should be resorting to because we’re so fucking knackered from our ‘normal’ lives.
Sneaking a glass of wine in the bath in an attempt to get away from real life or ‘treating’ ourselves to a goddamn haircut seems to me a very sad state of affairs.
Again, let me say that I have nothing against looking after myself or getting my nails done (have you ever seen me without my nails done?) but the insinuation that doing those ‘pamper’ activities constitutes self-care is dangerous and here’s why.
WARNING. HERE’S WHERE I THROW THE PUNCHES (all done with love and voiced from personal experience).
Self-care is about facing our problems instead of finding elegant ways to distract ourselves from them. It’s about having the balls to have that difficult conversation, or asserting our boundaries with a work colleague.
Self-care is about learning to say no kindly with an inner certainty that our worth is not dependent on the opinion of another. It’s about making the choice to see less of that toxic friend who revels in gossip and the misfortune of others.
Self-care is about speaking kindly to ourselves and to others and coming from love even when it’s easier to hate. It’s about developing a practice of self-worth so we can stop looking externally for validation that we’re okay.
Self-care isn’t about pushing yourself to have a 6 pack or starving yourself to deserve a cheat day. It has nothing to do with being glam or flicking through magazines on a Sunday when you’re frazzled out of your brain every other day of the week.
Self-care isn’t about going to the nail bar to get away from your husband or partner or housemate. It has nothing to do with having an easy life or being surrounded by luxury and shit you don’t need.
Self-care isn’t about being manipulated by consumerism (yaks milk bubble bath anyone? Use my discount code!) It has nothing to do with trying to be like someone else because secretly deep down you’d rather be a gen z influencer than your beautiful, normal fucked up self.
Self-care is about learning and exercising a healthy disciple with yourself to get the fuck up and sort your shit out. It’s about making daily sustainable changes in lifestyle, diet and exercise to regain control to your own mental health instead of smashing back tequila shots as medicine.
Self-care is about feeling into the harder emotions of being human instead of suppressing them with food or drama or blame. It’s about growing the fuck up and parenting yourself to look your failures straight in the eye and learn from them.
Self-care is summoning the courage to change your shitty job or even take a second job to pay off the debt you’ve been ignoring. It’s putting down the role of victim and taking mother-fucking responsibility for your life, your results and your actions.
Self-care is often hard, and rarely glamorous.
It’s making the tougher choices when an easier cop out is on the table.
Self-care is often confronting and even humbling.
It strips the ego and returns you to yourself.
Self-care isn’t easy. And it doesn’t look any prettier with a filter on it.
We can’t promote it as a quick fix cure or the latest trend.
Maybe if we could we’d have less need to sit in tepid baths of yak’s milk on a Sunday in the hope that we too might be fooled into believing we’re #livingourbestlife
Thank you very much for reading,
Love, Em x
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