I guess I’m pretty ill-prepared for a self-care themed blog, because I not only learned today (July 24th) is International Self-Care Day, but I also discovered that an International Self Care Foundation exists. Before you click on that link, I will share with you that it’s based out of the UK and supports only the UK and Hong Kong so if you’re from and residing in the United States of America (like me), happy reading from a 3rd party perspective because it’s not a tool for us.
But it is a tool for us, because it allows insight to the way other cultures perceive self-care and it’s importance.
Or maybe the lack thereof.
I think it’s important. Not only is it important for me, but quite necessary.
This afternoon after sitting and writing in a cafeteria, I found myself wandering the nearby shopping center. In the center is a store called Anthropologie, from which I’ve always appreciated the clothes and aesthetic. (Fun fact: I bought the dress I’m going to walk down the aisle in November from the bridal portion of the store called BHLDN.) While in there, I couldn’t help but be awestruck by all of the self-care paraphernalia amassed toward the back of the store. There were crystals and crystal pouches; teas and tea detoxes; protein powders and cacao nibs; masks and vitamins; bath salts and bath teas; water bottles with glass bubbles in which sat more crystals. Side note: Why are crystals such a craze these days? I think they’re pretty, but I don’t know the science behind them–I got a C in Geology some 10 years ago. This bottle didn’t get great reviews. (Laughing.)
Anyway, I can’t help but wonder about this self-care movement, if that’s the right term. Is our culture finally taking back our personal time after generations of it seeping into our jobs? Is it purely a symptom of our jobs sucking up our personal lives, along with other anxious side effects? Or maybe it’s related to changes in our health care system?
I can speculate motives day and night, but all I really can do is just sit here completely baffled still by all the literal CRAP I saw there, trying to bait every woman who crossed it. I, too, was tempted, but I’m not willing to pay $100 for a mass-produced crystal quartz. (No, no–I’ll be at the Gem Faire for those things. Let me know if you’re going to any in Southern California!) Alas, Anthropologie, your intoxicating Capri Blue candles’ aroma ain’t got nothin’ on my willpower… or bullshit meter.
The thing is, self-care can be all or none of the things they’re selling. Today, self-care for me was braiding my hair (to keep it off me during this muggy season), doing a little window shopping and accepting compliments from a sales clerk. Most importantly, it was not really buying anything. It was getting a little buzzed while sipping my skinny cadillac margarita alone. It was also finishing a can of mango La Croix and taking an antacid after said cadillac margarita. Self-care was allowing myself to enjoy the moments I had throughout my day. Above all, it’s been reflecting on my moments and writing these entries.
I’m going to sign off this International Self-Care Day with artwork specific to self-care from an illustrator and writer I follow on Instagram, Mari Andrew. Mari’s work is so beautifully vulnerable, sensitive, and honest. I find it inspiring and I hope you enjoy it too.
May good things come to you always.