As I write this post there are 5.1 Million #selfcare Instagram posts online. Posts full of inspirational quotes; bubble baths with pretty lush bath bombs; healthy dinner plates and yoga poses galore. Self care has become a buzzword and is expected to become the wellness word of the year. The question is, what is self care and why have we become so obsessed with it? Are we genuinely learning how to look after our mental health in order to better serve ourselves and others, or are we just following another online media trend?
The mental health awareness charity Mind, describe ‘Self Care’ as techniques or general lifestyle changes that allow individuals to create steps enabling them to manage their own mental health in a positive way. These techniques differ from person to person, when I was suffering with depression I turned to my yoga practice to give me the opportunity to learn more about my thoughts and feelings and develop strategies when coping with the illness.
However, for others, self care may involve taking the time to cook a meal from scratch and enjoying it with a close friend or pouring a bath and giving themselves half an hour to read something that they enjoy or listen to an interesting podcast. What I’m getting at here is when practicing self care you have to do something which evokes feelings of love, care and joy within yourself. If you are copying #selflove acts that someone posts online, but it isn’t bring you any form of happiness or contentment then you have fallen into the trap of following a trend and not developing healthy strategies to cope with the stresses that come up in daily life.
There has also been discussion in the media lately about whether self care is making Millennials more narcissistic and too involved in themselves. The term selfish gets a bit of a bad rep in British culture. If you’re ‘selfish’ people associate you to be someone who only thinks about themselves rather than do things to benefit others. However, I believe if you are consciously carving time out of your day for yourself, in order to recharge the batteries and calm the mind you will be able to serve others in a more productive way which not only benefits you it benefits those around you too. In short, you’re probably not a narcissistic individual- well done for looking after yourself!
Self care isn’t a negative act, it’s an act of love and compassion towards yourself. I hope to teach people this in my future yoga classes and give them the opportunity to zone out from the world and channel their energy inwards to better themselves. This week I challenge you to take half an hour out of your day to do something that you love. Let me know in the comments below how it made you feel afterwards and if it allowed you to support your friends and family in a better way.
Until next time,
Lets be social!