Blogs titled “Self Care Tips” litter the explore pages of both Instagram and Twitter alike, promoting self-proclaimed “effective” routines to practice in order to improve one’s mood or lessen a state of anxiety.
These accounts generally include vague tips like “Drink half your weight in ounces of water every day!” or “Try this face mask to relieve stress!” but sometimes these blogs offer ideas even more toxic, like advertising unhealthy weight loss hacks labeled as self care.
Eckerd junior Genesis Drew has a different idea of what qualifies as taking care of herself than that of “self care twitter”.
“I think to an extent, doing things that allow you to decompress is totally fine. But it may be problematic to have this universal ‘cure-all’ that is pushed into our faces, sometimes these quick fixes just don’t help for the long-term,” Drew said.
When asked to give her idea of an effective self-care routine, Drew mentioned that she mainly focused on cathartic writing and learning to let things go.
“I tend to pour all my energy into try- ing to improve my mental and emotion- al health, writing about anything that hap- pens that day or something that’s been bothering me for a long time just to vent,” Drew said.
Linda Abbott, executive director of counseling, outreach, and health services, is focused on making sure college students are able to meet their own basic needs, which can be easily missed when all energy is devoted to schoolwork.
“I think where we start, to me, with self care is things like getting enough sleep, which I know it’s challenging in college, but things like sleep, trying to eat healthy meals, getting outside,” Abbott said.
Abbott said that she wants to shift the paradigm of having to pay large amounts of money to get a massage or purchase expensive things in order to help yourself relax.
“Self care might be allowing yourself for every hour that you study, taking 20 minutes and watching a show on YouTube, you know, that could be your self care if it [allows] your brain some down time,” Abbott said.
Self care is as defined by the person practicing it. Searching for answers on the internet may not be the best option tailored to the individual. Browsing the internet for tips and tricks on how to take care of yourself causes more harm than good. The best option is to listen to yourself and your needs, not what wealthy influencers tell you is best for you.
Contact Eckerd’s Mental Health Services if you find you need help with anything ranging from starting a self care routine or tackling more serious issues.
REAL SELF CARE TIPS:
Make sure you’re sleeping enough
Have time for rest and relaxation
Do something active, like exercising
Eat enough and include foods that make your body feel good
Practice good hygiene
Don’t be afraid to try therapy
Do something that brings you joy or helps you grow