Self-care seems to be all anyone can talk about anymore. I’ve seen more posts online about yoga and staying hydrated than I can count.
Let me start off by saying that I think it is great to take care of yourself. Not getting enough sleep and pushing yourself beyond your breaking point is unhealthy and dangerous.
Health care has definitely taken on this ideal in recent years, promoting holistic health and emphasizing mental and spiritual needs. College campuses also emphasize self-care with mental health services through health and wellness and promoting an open attitude toward mental illness.
While I think this is a great push in the right direction and everyone should strive for overall health, the idea often becomes skewed in people’s minds.
I’ve noticed that self-care has become the answer for everything. Suddenly when you aren’t feeling the greatest, it’s always an issue of how you’re handling things.
I need to breathe, calm down, not worry so much. While the multiple hours of homework, lab competency exams and case studies might be the cause of my stress, what I really need to do is drink water and take deep breaths.
What Pinterest and fitness blogs never seem to tell you is that doing yoga or staying hydrated will not solve all your problems. Sometimes, situations just suck. While we should try to practice coping skills and think positively, sometimes you have the right to feel bad. Suggesting that self-care is the answer to everything takes the blame off of the situation and puts it on you and the way you are dealing with it.
Personal problems and stress are things people are allowed to be sad about. Pushing it off with positive anthems and small acts of self-care may be what seems right, but it can leave a person feeling worse than they did before.
Ultimately, people need to stop using self-care as a cop-out. People cannot simply be given a list of self-care measures and just be told to handle things. Sometimes the situation is just bad, and sympathy should be offered, and self-care shouldn’t be a band-aid that slapped on a much larger problem.