Self-care is an essential part of maintaining our mental health and wellbeing, but it can be easy to overdo it. In an era where people are busier than ever, self-care can consume more of our limited time, leading to increased stress and anxious feelings. Unfortunately, some influencers have glamorized self-care to the point where it can be detrimental to our mental health. When done correctly, self-care can be transformative.
It can help manage stress, lower the risk of illness, and increase energy levels. But there is also a lot of self-care content that directly addresses anxiety and depression, the first and second most common types of mental illness. People of color and women have used self-care to regain control over their health from a health system that did not meet their needs or respect their bodies. However, there is a danger in taking self-care too far.
It can lead to avoiding responsibilities or damaging our self-image. There are also many overrated beauty products marketed as personal care products that can exacerbate self-image issues and worsen mental well-being, especially if you have anxiety or depression. The glamorization of long working hours has also led to an increase in self-care practices. But this can be counterintuitive as it can lead to burnout from the strenuous effort towards perfect productivity.
Additionally, sharing self-care tips and memes can become a way to avoid talking about real depression, anxiety, and other difficulties. Of course, not everyone who practices self-care or seeks personal care tools has a mental health condition. But it is important to remember that self-care should not be used as a substitute for professional help if you are struggling with your mental health. Learn more about NIMH's commitment to accelerating the pace of scientific progress and transforming mental health care. At the end of the day, it is important to take care of yourself, even if that means skipping all the bells and whistles and not stressing yourself out.
Listen to your instincts and don't let influencers dictate your life.