I love a good self care moment with a mimosa in hand, don’t get me wrong.
Tuck me into a cozy cafe on a Saturday morning with a glass of sparkles and a dash of vitamin C in my hand and I’m in a (very) happy place.
But what I won’t do, what my champagne-warmed brain stops short at, is sharing this blissed-out moment on social media with the humble brag hashtag #SELFCARE.
Being an almost 40 year old woman who has evolved in this media onslaught designed to make females of the world feel lesser, I appreciate the need for introspection, kindness and a little bit of selfishness on our part.
We as women have been taught to quietly occupy last place and to hate everything about ourselves while we do so.
Whilst at the same time, companies compel us to believe that we’re worth it…if only we’d spend our hard earned dollars buying their products so they could help us fix what’s invariably wrong with us.
We deserve health, happiness, wellness – all of it!
It’s true, we deserve it all! The health, the wellness, the spa day and the hair appointment.
But I’m seeing a #trend.
The Social Media Society throws around the hashtag so much that it’s diluted #selfcare into nothing more than an overused catchphrase.
I struggle with this on the daily and walk around feeling like a bad feminist as I wear the cynical self-care cape.
Instagram and the likes have slowly been pleasing our eyeballs with flat-lays of gorgeous journals, smoothies, crystals and yoga mats that we cannot #selfcare without.
Insta-influencers lithely try to sell us the notion that a perfectly smooth quartz in the most idyllic millennial pink and greenest of green juices is what stands between us and self-care nirvana.
So how can the generations who don’t know of life before social media be expected to understand what real self care is?
There used to be a time before…
Before social media became our constant companion it was all about learning that we couldn’t be all things to all people. That we can say yes to things we wanted and no to things we didn’t. That we can determine what self care is to us, whether that be a bath or a sappy movie or a long car trip to the beach.
Now, unfortunately, the trend of promoting self-care has become more meaningless than ever.
As businesses grow their reach and capability to enter out lives through our phones, they have invariably begun to shape our thinking about what is beautiful, what is inspiring and what is, apparently, #selfcare.
If we felt warm and safe, would we need to propagate self care to such a degree where it’s a thing?
If an Influencer didn’t tell me what the secret to the I-want-what-you-have lifestyle, would I do things that make me happy on my own terms instead of terms others have created for me?
Do we even know what makes us happy anymore, without being influenced to feel it?
What is Self Care to me?
So, dear readers, without a hashtag in sight, here’s how I will define my own self care:
- Eating more plants and less animals (because I actually want to).
- Sunday road trips to far-away brunches with my husband.
- Reading a book that pushes me to see the world differently and then reading another book that is purely drivel and loving both.
- Listening to my cancer doctors because they have my best interests at heart.
- Saying NO.
- Slathering on inexpensive but legit skincare products before bed because ADULTING.
- Using sunscreen that is good for me and our coral reefs every damn day.
- Nourishing my spirit through exercise and fresh air.
- And wine, always wine.
And you know what? It won’t always be pretty. It definitely won’t always be filtered or even insta-worthy. But my worth isn’t defined by Instagram.
My worth is defined by how I feel. And my soul will be soothed in enjoying the things in life that make me infinitely happy.
Tell me, dear reader – what defines your self care routine?
And remember to enjoy each breath today…