FlippED is an ED Original style wherein two bloggers come together to share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject.
Nowadays, many of us are quite engaged in a trend called ‘self-care’ but what is self-care actually? And are we doing it right? In a nutshell, self-care is an activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, physical and emotional health.
Practising self-care ensures improved mental stability and less anxiety. Anyways, how are we supposed to give affection to our loved ones if we are not taking care of ourselves in the first place?
The ‘self-care movement’ has taken the public by storm. However, not everyone believes that this practice can result in all good but no harm. Interestingly, the practice of self-care has divided the masses into two halves. One half says it’s a way of living a balanced life and the other half says it’s just a viral toxic trend.
Let us see what our bloggers have to say about the much-followed trend of self-care.
Blogger Diksha’s View
Self-care is a process to love yourselves and know your needs and then doing what is good for you. However, it sometimes gets converted into a selfish act where we start prioritizing ourselves over anything/anyone else.
Self-care simply means giving ourselves the same grace, affection and care that we all deserve. However, many of us misinterpret the true meaning of ‘Self-Care’. As a result, we practise it with our own assumptions and this is where the toxicity starts from.
Here’s why I feel self-care can be toxic and has the potential to harm instead of heal.
It may take a while to understand what the trend is all about and how to do it. And when you finally understand and look for the method or process, you will be flooded with numerous tips to practise self-care and achieve the apex of wellness.
This would only increase your burden to filter out genuine and bogus information.
The overwhelming number of recommendations, tips, tricks, and ideas can be helpful but chances are also that you may get tricked by them.
Problems like an unhealthy sleep schedule, health issues, skin problems, and mood swings can pull you towards self-care but these issues can get doubled if you walk the wrong route due to asymmetric information.
In these times, when everybody is busier than ever, devoting a considerable amount of time to self-care might not sound like a good idea. And, as I mentioned earlier, there is too much asymmetric information, and finding authentic information can lead to higher stress and anxiety.
Even if you scroll several inspirational posts, read self-help blogs, or listen to positive podcasts, there is no guarantee that they are certainly going to help you get the serenity you want.
It Can Suppress Your Internal Voice
Once you start self-care, backing out gets difficult. You would most probably start maintaining records like “have you walked a sufficient number of steps? Have you had only detox tea and diet coke, and are you having at-home spa sessions?”
At a point of time, all this would feel like an obligation, not self-care. You won’t enjoy the days where you choose not to bathe, have a coke with a burger, or lie back on your sofa binge-watching a show. However, this is also a form of self-care for some people!
When you truly understand the meaning of self-care and do not follow the trend blindly, that’s when it turns into self-love with no toxicity at all.
Blogger Roshni’s Views
Self-care is doing activities and forming habits that are beneficial for our mental, physical and emotional health. Clinical psychologist Agnes Wainman defined self-care as “something that refuels us, rather than takes from us.”
Self-care involves taking care of our body and mind through mindfulness, exercise, a healthy diet and occasionally pampering yourself. It is not limited to putting on face masks or using expensive moisturizers and creams and calling it a day.
Self-care encourages people towards self-improvement without indulging in the culture of constantly needing to be productive to feel happy or content. Self-care is especially important in lockdown as the feeling of the world collapsing into itself is stressful enough without the race of having to be (or at least seeming to be) the most productive person around.
According to a survey conducted by the Indian Psychiatry Society, cases of mental illness have risen by 20% in India in lockdown. In such situations it is important to practice self-care, taking out a part of your day to practise habits that are good for you in the long run.
Here’s why I feel that self-care is beneficial for us all:
Radical Act Of Saying That ‘I Matter’
Ancient Greeks believed that taking care of one’s self was imperative for people before they set out to change the world. Self-care became a political act when American writer and feminist Audre Lorde talked of self-care in terms of politics.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare,” Lorde wrote.
While the political connotation of self-care has largely vanished from the public consciousness, we must be reminded that self-care, with its myriad activities meant to provide a sense of calm, began and flourished in feminist circles as a way to preserve oneself in a world that was set on suppressing one’s voice and opinions.
Improves Mental And Physical Health
Self-care can be practised by undertaking simple activities that require very little time commitment.
Exercising, even if it is just a walk around the park, eating well, even if it is simply reducing your junk food intake, practising mindfulness for small chunks of time throughout your day, and most importantly getting a good night’s sleep are things that can be done to sustain your mental, emotional and physical health in the long run.
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), mindfulness has been empirically proven to reduce stress, boost memory, and provides greater cognitive flexibility. While mindfulness has admittedly become a billion-dollar industry, practising it on your own using nothing but YouTube or a free app can also do wonders.
Self-Care Makes You More Productive
“People that look after themselves do have better cognitive ability. They do have better focus and they do have better concentration. They tend to actually produce more,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Russell Thackeray.
Practising self-care improves focus, concentration, and cognitive abilities. It also provides you relief from stress and anxiety thus giving you time to invest your energy wisely, helping you become more productive.
The most cited criticism of practising self-care is that it is ‘selfish’. Engaging in self-care involves understanding your own state of being and recognizing others’ vulnerabilities, thus it makes you more empathetic.
Image Credits: Google Images
Find the blogger: @dikks09
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