I wasn’t going to write about self-care today, but I saw this ad that really kinda irked me. It’s for a random cookie company and the print ad is just a lovely white background and a picture of the cookie and the ad copy says: Ahhh, self-care! That’s it, nothing else. And tiny in the corner is the cookie company name and logo. I love that we as a society are talking about self-care and how self-care isn’t selfish and that it is definitely needed, but marketing companies have now latched on to that idea and turned it into a money making scheme.
Starbucks is not the only way
And this bugs me because self-care and the conversations around the subject are mostly aimed at women – we don’t know how to say NO, we take on too much, we don’t ask for help (this is an over generalization – I know that not everyone has this problem) – and now we’re buying told that buying the cookies, buying the lattes, buying the weighted blankets are self-care. Trust me, time at Starbucks to drink a grande white chocolate mocha while I read a book is totally self-care for me, but it’s not the only way!
I’m not trying to discount the need for fuzzy socks, good coffee, and products to help us feel more like ourselves. Not at all – but self-care is also learning to say NO to things you truly do not want to do OR knowing you are tired and taking a nap OR talking to a friend or therapist about some deep-seated issues or just the fact that your husband or partner pissed you off. Those are self-care items too.
Treadmill Vs Napping
Self-care is so individualized for each person, each month, each day, each moment. My self-care routine and your self-care routine should look different. You might like pole dance exercise classes and I might like dancing to YouTube videos. You might like running on a treadmill while I like lighting candles and doing spell work. You might like napping, I might like singing. It should look different. And your Monday is definitely going to look different than your Friday – and that’s okay!
Each person needs to figure out what their self-care routine is going to look like or need to look like and it changes based on the day, time, stressor, or mood. I’m not quite sure if I have a point or any suggestions, other than to say don’t let ads sway you. If you don’t let ads tell you what type of laundry detergent to by, then don’t let them sway you into what self-care IS and NEEDS to be to be determined “real” self-care.
Listen, if you like a particular kind of cookie or treat and taking that time each day with a cup of coffee or tea then yes, that most definitely is self-care – buy the cookies, have the pretty plates and cups! But if you think that’s all that self-care is – just buying things and being a consumer, then maybe we need to re-think what self-care is.
Everybody needs TIME
Self-care isn’t selfish – I believe everybody (and I do mean everybody -women, men, and children) needs time to just be, to refill their cup, to do the things that make them happy – EVERYBODY needs that. We are told, as a society, that taking time like that is bad, that it’s lazy, that you shouldn’t need that….but then that same society is pushing buying things as self-care as the only acceptable way. I’m here to tell you – NO…buy the things that make you happy, but real self-care should be YOURS and yours alone.
I believe that as long as you communicate your needs to others and make sure the people in your life are on board and that everyone gets the time they need, then whatever you do for that self-care is fine (you know, barring it’s not hurting anyone else). It’s healthy to take that time away from providing for others and just provide for yourself. Read the book, watch the TV show, have the latte, buy the cookies and blankets and fuzzy socks – but make sure it’s what YOU want, not what you think society wants.
What are you going to do today for self-care? Tell us in the comments below. Me? I took a walk and actually dictated this blog post and now I’m going to have a lovely cup of French Vanilla coffee and watch an episode of a TV show I just started on Netflix before diving into work. I hope you have an amazing day!