Let’s say you had a bad day. Maybe you didn’t get the internship you applied for. Or maybe you failed that exam you stayed up all night studying for, or the person you have been Snapchatting just left you on open. This is the kind of day where self-care is crucial. The key to self-care is doing something beneficial for your own well-being, whatever that may be. It seems easy enough to treat yourself by doing what you feel is most helpful, but the days of social media can make it a little more difficult.
The Aesthetic Break Down
The aesthetic of living a seemingly perfect life has never been more sought after. Social media tends to heighten the desire of proving how healthy you eat, how hard you work out, how good your grades are — anything that shows how “above average” you are. The pressures that social media has instilled upon brains are seemingly subliminal at this point, which can lead to exhaustion and insecurities.
Because of this, self-care is being seen as a crucial and necessary act, but the act of self-care does not remain untouched by these societal standards. Social media tells us: Journal! Go for a run! Drink a green juice! But what if writing isn’t for you, or you hate running? Personalizing your self-care seems like a given, but with the pressures that we now enforce upon ourselves, doing anything that would not be perceived as “aesthetic” seems wrong.
Figuring Out Needs
It is no small feat to go against the grain of this aesthetic life, but sometimes you have to, especially in the realm of self-care. Self-care needs to be individualized because not everyone finds the same things to be relaxing. What some may deem as self-care could be entirely different to someone else, which can lead to these harmful comparisons. However, one should have the freedom to ignore the standards and delve into activities without feeling guilty or embarrassed.
The simple version? Eat the bag of chips. Stay on the couch all day. Do what you need to do in order to truly let yourself breath and decompress for a bit. It is ok to utilize a cheat or rest day, if that is what you feel would make the best form of self-care. If going to the gym is a stress reliever, go for it. if not, it is nothing to be ashamed of. Let yourself relax without the weight of an aesthetic life weighing you down. Create your own aesthetic! Personalize it to give yourself the power to continue on and succeed.
How do you give yourself a break? Tweet us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter and let us know how you personally practice self-care.