Self-care, to me, used to be seen as a spa-like experience full of glamorous, regular trips to the salon to get high-tech facials and relaxing massages; ultimately taking a break from reality to pamper myself into feeling better.
I’ve personally come to realise over the years, that my typical self-care methods of expensive shopping habits and regular trips to the nail-salon aren’t actually fulfilling my ‘treat yourself’ prophecy, the way I once thought they were.
These short-lived experiences are channelling deeper emotions that are being masked by my desire to over-indulge in external self-care.
Self-care is not an expense, it’s an investment that shouldn’t cost you much. It’s the action that you take to address your own self-experience, whether physical, spiritual and/or mental, ultimately enhancing your natural self.
Psychological self-care is all about increasing and preserving your current mental and emotional state and wellbeing. It’s about addressing your concerns in a day-to-day manner, incorporating techniques into your daily life so you don’t feel the need to ‘escape’ at a later date.
There’s a true value in authentically expressing your emotions because it allows you to be true to yourself. Masking your feelings in day-to-day life when someone asks you how you are, and responding with the classic, ‘I’m good thanks, how are you?’ spiel – it’s never a good place to be. You should never have to feel the burden of burying your own feelings in conversations, as to really unleash your full potential you have to be able to align with yourself, out loud. Becoming self-aware of your needs and addressing those concerns increases self-kindness, which is a strong step toward healthy self-care.
During COVID, I found myself enjoying the occasional (in fact weekly) online shopping spree, as I took a liking to that burst of excitement, seeing a parcel on my doorstep that awaited being teared into. I ended up finding myself with a lot of short-term gratification and a very drained savings account.
It got to the point where a few weeks ago I had to cull my beauty cupboard because I had such an excessive collection of products. I’m not just talking about different types of moisturisers and cleansers, I’m talking about clinical formulations (AHA’s & BHA’s, Retinoids and Peptides - you get the picture). I don’t even know what half of them do to my skin!
Did I purchase these products to combat my skin concerns, or was it because I was trying to pamper myself into feeling better about underlying issues that I’ve not yet addressed?
An article written by Roberta Lee discussed the associations between over consumption and poor mental well-being. Lee went on to deliberate studies by the acclaimed psychologist, Tim Kasser, on the link between materialism and well-being, highlighting that people who prioritised materialism tended to have poor personal well-being. “These people had lower happiness and life satisfaction levels and had more personal illnesses such as anxiety and depression.”
Bottom line? I should stop over-indulging in excessive (and expensive) skincare products that are only addressing external issues rather than the deeper issues at hand.
Self-care is not an expense, it’s an investment, and it doesn’t have to cost much.
If you’re feeling sad or need to talk to someone, call Lifeline: 13 11 14
You can read more of Roberta Lee’s article here:
Amy is a fashion blogger on Instagram and is currently in her third year at uni, studying computer science. She also has an incredibly cute pet lizard called Norman, who stars alongside her on Instagram. Amy is known for her quirky poses and use of colour in her outfits, sharing new looks on the daily.
You can find more about Amy and her colourful outfits on her page, @amyz_k