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The Important Difference Between Self Care and Self Indulgence

     Forget YOLO, today #SelfCare is much cooler! Since the boom of social media hashtags have become a widespread pop-culture fanomiame, but people often underestimate the power hashtags have. Youth often look to these idioms as #goals for life. These days no one wants a fabulous outfit, they wanna be #fly or #onfleek. For the most part these hashtags are just simple phrases, but some have major effects on behavior. Since the rise of hashtags such as #YOLO or #TreatYourself there has been a rise in self indulgence. You want that expensive new dress? Girl, treat yo' self! You want that second piece of pie? Go for it, #YOLO! Despite the issues with the rise in self indulgence, a new hashtag has emerged recently that is even more concerning. YOLO has begun to be changed out for #SelfCare.

    The hashtag itself is not the issue, rather how it is being used. Lines between self care, treating yourself, and indulgence have become blurred. Self care is about doing things to insure you are physically and mentally healthy and have your shit sorted out to reduce stress. Treating yourself is giving yourself a treat because you have reached some sort of goal related to your self care. People often associate self care with feeling good. If you have good self care then you will feel good. Cake makes me feel good so it must count as self care, right? The answer is yes and no. Having a desert because you did a really good job of eating healthy and working out-- this treating yourself in a healthy way that can be considered part of self care because you earned it. Eating dessert because you feel like it is NOT self care or treating yourself, it is self indulgence plain and simple.

     The truth is that self care is hard and often does not feel good. Getting work done, doing your chores regularly, working out, eating healthy, getting enough sleep, all of these things are not fun to do but they are what is required to have good self care. The idea that self care means happiness and good feelings is less about instantaneous happiness and more about long term happiness and well being. Something that makes you feel good in the moment is not self care, it is indulgence. It is important that people remember that indulgence often hurts or sets back your self care. Self indulgence is esier to do than self care and the more you indluge the harder it becomes to stop. 

    I am not saying that you should never indulge yourself because that is unrealistic and indulging in a treat when you really want it is ok as long it is only so often. However, I am saying that today people use phrases such as self care as an excuse to self indulge. Remember that even if you put a hashtag on it, this indulgence is still not self care and the happiness your indulgence brings you will not be worth the price of your self care. Ultimately, the happiness and good feelings that are brought on by your indulgences will never be enough to make up for the overall content and happiness true self care would bring you. I know that it is hard, but you can not reap what you do not sow and if you don't put in the hard work of real self care you will never gain the happiness that comes with it, only the fleeting moments of forged happiness and long-term dissatisfaction that comes from indulgence.


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