In the past week I have napped an average of two hours per day, impulsively bought three sweaters that I cannot afford, practically inhaled Twizzlers and an entire sleeve of Oreos, and watched five of the raunchiest past episodes of The Bachelor, all while telling myself, “It’s called self care.”
Hindsight is 20/20 of course, and looking back I think my actions were probably the complete opposite of self care. In the moment, however, I was so encapsulated in my stress from prelim season that I allowed myself to do practically anything just because I have this extremely vague mantra to “affirm” my desires. And it doesn’t seem like I am alone in my quest for an excuse to treat myself. It seems as though social media’s mainstream idea of self care just feeds into a cycle of bad habits, and undermines the necessity of actually taking care of ourselves and our bodies, straying away from what the term was actually meant to accomplish. The term “self-care” originated as a medical concept, as a way for doctors to tell patients to treat themselves and lead healthy lifestyles.