Self-Care and Self-Consumerism: What You Have To Be Careful Of

Self-care is a popular topic that continues to grow. Self-care can happen in different forms, however, when the word self-care is tossed around a lot, it can take on different interpretations. Sometimes it’s a face mask, sometimes it's going shopping, or sometimes it's splurging on an expensive meal. Self-care can be so much more than buying something, yet it’s perfectly valid to indulge yourself. But self indulgence shouldn’t take over the entire concept of self-care. It can go beyond buying $60 face masks or following diets that influencers swear by. Capitalism is hard to avoid in today’s society, where things are broken down into a series of tempting purchases like makeup, expensive foods, and technology. “Treat yourself!” has become a capitalist enterprise, reducing self-care to buying things. Self-care has definitely evolved from a simple and less expensive definition, to the mainstream narrative that balance and wellness can have a price placed on them. Not everyone’s self-care has to look a certain way and be plastered over social media so that others can validate it. You are caring for yourself, not others. Knowing your struggles and limitations, and what you can accomplish, is something that face masks won't be able to help with.

A good mix is something to keep in mind. You can buy things that don’t involve spending money, like taking a walk outside or giving yourself a day off.  Taking a long bath, reading a book, or making a meal for yourself are just as valid. If anything, they are more proactive in the long run since you begin to establish these habits of getting up and doing things for yourself, rather than relying on a product. Products can be useful, but if an individual is able to build a routine for themself, they will be a lot better off. Choosing what’s effective in the long run is better than always choosing what’s convenient. Especially when people are struggling mentally, nurturing their psychological well-being is of the utmost importance so that it can turn into a consistent habit.

The commitment you make to yourself should be valued more than what you are using. Whether it’s calling your therapist, drinking more water, or scheduling time to get your work done, each one is great and it only needs to work for you and nobody else. In essence, self-care contextualizes looking after yourself and responding to what you physically and mentally need - not companies trying to get you to promote their products. Spending money for self-care is not to be looked down upon, it just is not encouraged all the time. 

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