Why We Need to Celebrate “Boring” Self-Care

What comes to mind when you think about self-care? Is it laying in bed with a face mask on and streaming your favorite show on Netflix? Is it running an extra gorgeous bubble bath with candles lit? Or is it folding and putting away laundry that’s been sitting in your hamper for days? Maybe it’s replacing your bath mat?

A lot of people tend to associate self-care with luxurious things like facemasks, getting your nails done, or getting a new haircut. These things come in handy for making you feel fabulous, but I feel like there are other aspects of self-care that are being overlooked. For instance, no one ever glamorizes going to the dentist, or clipping your nails, or finally taking a shower after one big depressive episode (I’ve been there!). The truth is, there are tons of boring tasks that we need to deal with for the sake of our well being, and we should talk about that more.

It’s true that a lot of times when we feel sad or overwhelmed, even the tiniest tasks feel like too much. In college where the days are long and the work is hard, having mundane tasks like washing the dishes, washing your bedsheets, or taking out the trash waiting for you when you come home can be daunting. But accomplishing these small tasks can be incredibly rewarding, especially for those with mental health problems or chronic illnesses.


A lot of times, those who struggle with depression find it hard to perform even the most basic forms of self-care. I remember last winter when I was going through a rough time, it took me forever to work up the energy to wash my hair. I felt really gross and embarrassed, but I just couldn’t get myself to do it. I would have to detangle it, shampoo it, condition it, then dry it, it just seemed like so much work and I’d rather keep my showers quick so I could get back to bed. It was a horrible cycle, I would be too depressed to wash my hair, but having dirty hair made me feel gross and incapable of taking care of myself, which made me more depressed. But as silly as it may sound, once I washed my hair and felt how shiny and clean it was, it felt like I was in control of my life again, at least for a little bit.

(Photo Credit from Hannah Daisy on Facebook)

This struggle is recognized by an occupational therapist and mental health advocate, Hannah Daisy. She essentially created the #BoringSelfcare on Instagram by posting her illustrations that recognize the little victories that come with accomplishing mundane tasks. Her illustrations have started an online community where people can share their accomplishments with each other and support each other. This is huge for people who struggle with mental health issues who may feel stigmatized from the rest of the world, they now have a space to be proud of themselves for accomplishing “small” things like calling the doctor.


It’s so important to celebrate these small ways in which you can take care of yourself. It’s a reminder that you are capable of being responsible for yourself, and that you are strong enough to do what you need to do to thrive.


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