By Olivia Evans
From canceling plans to spontaneous vacations, from a thick book of 100 practical tips to a beloved Instagram account– every definition of self care is different. Every year or so, a new “full proof” trend seems to make it onto the scene.
Buy this, then you’ll feel like you finally have your sh*t together. Drink this, it’ll make you feel seventeen again. Do this, it’ll make everything better. Self care has become such an easy route for scams and even excuses for ourselves.
In order to properly achieve and execute self care, we must be aware of what it really is. Self care is something we do in order to take care of our mental, physical, or emotional health.
It is not overindulging or selfish. It’s practical, a breath of fresh air. It isn’t fad diets or thoughtless purchases.
So what self care is real? And how much of it is actually helpful? How great are the self care tactics that are trending now? Let’s do a deep dive.
CBD: The Hype is Real
A few days ago, we celebrated “national CBD day” something that surely hadn’t been a thing before this year. It’s no lie that CBD has gained a mass spike in popularity in the last few months.
With CBD stores popping up left and right and more people advocating for this route of self care, you have to wonder what the hype is for, and if it’s even worth the hype.
It must be something, since its being added to everything from bath bombs to coffee– even Refinery29 highlighted the best ways to intake the substance.
Is it really that beneficial? It truly depends. Like most self care trends, it varies from person to person. CBD oil can relieve muscle pain, reduce acne, and reduce anxiety. Like anything, it is a process of trial and error.
There are several advocates for CBD, including incluencer Kristen, better known as @cannabananaa on Instagram. She prefers to smoke her take of CBD and uses it as a way to destress after a long day of work.
Diets are probably the most fast changing and unreliable trend for self care. Is a vegan diet beneficial? All those juice cleanses? The latest is intermittent fasting.
In case you’re lost: Intermittent fasting is the idea of scheduling your meals to include longer periods of not eating. Typically, you skip breakfast, then eat lunch in the early afternoon, dinner in the late evening, and don’t eat again until lunch the next day. It isn’t technically a diet because it doesn’t change what you eat– just the pattern in which you eat.
James Clear, creator of the Habits Academy , swears by intermittent fasting. For people trying to change their lifestyle, it is much easier than any diet.
It is also a lot safer. A lot of fad diets promote unhealthy habits and while on the surface fasting sounds somewhat dangerous– it truly isn’t. It’s simply a more efficient way of consuming calories, and not really a fad at all.
Intermittent fasting has scientific backing behind it, unlike a lot of other popular dieting strategies. Because this type of fasting cuts out eating at night, a risky behavior– known to cause obesity and diabetes, it is actually not only effective, but a healthier way to eat.
Additionally, the hours in which you are supposed to fast are the easiest hours to go without eating– as your appetite is not very strong.
In short, although intermittent fasting is becoming very popular right now– it is not just another self care trend.
Words of Affirmation:
Self care tips are nothing without evidence to back them up their benefits. One of the harder concepts to get behind is to state positive affirmations to yourself in a mirror.
This route of self care is at the very least, a little silly. There is nothing more awkward than waking up in the morning and whispering “I am a joy to be around” softly to your reflection.
It’s hard to accept compliments like these from other people, so saying it to yourself is obviously a struggle. However, it really works.
Jade Bowler, a popular YouTuber and influencer, swears by this technique. It was incorporated into her “Unjaded Challenge” — a week long guide she personally created in order to “reset” your life.
The best part about this method of self care is how easy it is to pick up. It’s free, simple, and straight to the point. It doesn’t feel like you are cheating yourself to try it out because you have nothing to lose.
You can do it while you brush your teeth in the morning, and after a while it becomes relatively painless. Additionally, the results are noticeable. It is a full proof way to gain confidence in yourself.
Self care is a tricky tightrope to balance. Are we being too indulgent? Have we become arrogant? The best advice is to take everything in moderation and stick to a routine.
It is easier to give yourself a reward without feeling guilty if it’s already built into your routine. Budget self care. Routinely treat yourself. You deserve it.
Self care fads are not always all that bad, as seen in the three techniques above.
Next time a new fad comes along, look into it a bit more– you might find something that truly helps you.
Do you want to learn more about practicing self-care on a short schedule? Why not read about micro-practicing yoga?