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  • Writer's pictureEllen

Is #self-care becoming a toxic trend?

Why is everyone talking about self-care?

When you open up any social media platform nowadays you will see #self-care plastered all over the place. It is amazing that we have moved into an era where people understand the importance of looking after themselves. But do you understand what self-care actually is? And when does it become toxic?

Trust me, I am the first person to promote positive self-care and I know the impact it can have on the level of joy and harmony you have in your life. I just feel that it is important for people to realise when self-care needs to be having a soak in the bath, treating yourself to an indulgent meal or having a facial and when it needs to be getting your hustle on, holding yourself to account or getting yourself out of your comfort zone (for the positive impact it will have).

How much will it cost me?

Whilst self-care should be seen as an investment in yourself, it does not need to cost a thing. We now see adverts using #self-care as a way to sell products. You only have to open up social media to see the next advert, for candles, beauty products or even clothing, selling you a hack for self-care. It's a clever trick but we need to have our eyes open to the fact that having a variety or "self-care" products is not going to solve all our problems. In fact, it could create a new financial problem in a time that many are struggling in a cost-of-living crisis. The good news is that you do not need to break the bank balance to practise self-care and, in fact, the best forms of self-care are often free. Nobody should ever feel that taking care of themselves is out of reach due to their financial situation.

What is self-care?

Self-care is anything you can do for

yourself to promote mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. This could be as small as a 5-minute break from something you are struggling with or a longer activity such as a yoga or exercise class. If you are suffering with a particular physical or mental illness, self-care could be doing small things to meet your basic needs such as making yourself a nutritious meal or having a shower.

In short, self-care is relative to your current situation and needs. The main point to note though, is to meet yourself in the moment. It is about noticing what you need in the moment and acting on this in order to improve or maintain your wellbeing.

Another important point is that what works for one person, does not always work for you. Building self-awareness around self-care and what makes you feel good is important for being able to give yourself what you need.

Personally, I have tried a wide variety of self-care activities and there were definitely some that

I can leave in the ‘tried but not for me’ pile. However, having tried different activities, I now know the things that do help me to feel better and what is right in each moment.

If I am struggling to process my emotions, I journal. If I am feeling anxious or overwhelmed, I go for a walk in nature. At other times, I may take my book to a coffee shop and escape for an hour or so. These activities are personal to me and I have spent time discovering what I need in different moments to support my wellbeing. So, my advice to anyone starting out in their journey of self-care is, try lots of different activities and take time to notice what makes you feel good.

What self-care is not?

Self-care can become unhelpful/toxic when a person is using #self-care as an excuse for avoiding things that may actually be helpful or when they label unhealthy/unhelpful activities as self-care. It takes self-awareness to notice when you are actually avoiding tasks that are important for you to complete. Using #self-care as a label for doing something that is actually holding you back is called self-sabotage and this is when using the label of self-care becomes a toxic behaviour.

I am not saying that you need to complete your to-do list before you do any self-care. What I am saying is that if you are starting to notice that you are regularly avoiding something that needs to be done in order to move forward in an area of your life, then maybe you are holding yourself back and using the label of self-care as an excuse. In this situation, you may need to ask yourself what and why you are avoiding and may even need to re-evaluate your goals.

20 Ways to practise self-care for FREE:

  • Meditate

  • Journal

  • Walk in nature

  • Use breathing techniques

  • Listen to music that makes you feel good

  • Speak to or spend time with a loved one

  • Read a book

  • Be creative – draw, paint, craft something

  • Take a nap

  • Watch your favourite TV show

  • Watch the sunrise or sunset

  • Start a gratitude journal

  • Take a bath

  • Tidy your space

  • Go to the gym

  • Stretch/Yoga

  • Walk barefoot around the garden

  • Unplug from social media

  • Do a jigsaw puzzle

  • Drink an herbal tea

If you starting your self-care journey or struggling with using activities as an excuse to achieve your goals, contact me for a FREE discovery call. We can discuss how I can support you in both achieving your goals and improving your self-care and wellbeing.


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