The One where I Question a Popular narrative in Mental Health Circles

Good evening dear reader.

One of the things about mental illness that has been doing the rounds for a long time is the concept of self-care. In fact over the last few years this has made a lot of people, lots of money. The self-care bandwagon has seeped through into many parts of society. There are clothing lines dedicated to it, bath bombs, shower steamers, and all things that smell nice. There are so many books devoted to the self-care cause that it is hard to tell one from another. The motivational quote has also developed to include the be kind to yourself mantra. The products sold every day that endorse this message are numerous, and it shows no signs of abating anytime soon.

So, first things first. I am not about to start dragging the self-care message. I am totally on board with being kind to yourself. What I wanted to question was how much pressure there is to be kind to yourself. This may seem to some a bit silly, after all this is a good thing to do. The trouble is, when you are mentally unwell, being nicer to yourself seems like an alien concept, especially when you are in the ravages of an episode or a low.

I see it so much, people making bold statements on social networks about how they have been boosting their confidence using different self-care methods. It might be some hot yoga sessions, or hiking or chucking a nice face mask on before bed, and that is a wonderful thing, and we shouldn’t resent people for being able to treat themselves. BUT…….

I think my aim with this post is to remind my fellow neurodiverse people that if you are a bit resentful of those who relish in self-care, it’s OK. It is natural to be envious, or just a bit sad about it, so hopefully you can feel a little better and less guilty for feelings that are totally valid.

I see that as an act of self-care in itself.

Finally, I would say that kindness to ourselves IS difficult, and as with all social media posts, we usually don’t see what is going on under the surface. People’s lives are very complicated to put it mildly. I myself struggle with taking care of myself when I am feeling particularly poorly, and to be honest anything I do that is for my health, hygiene or wellbeing is an act of compassion for myself. So maybe you could consider brushing your teeth or washing your face as self-care, the same way that I do?

Peace out everyone

X

2 thoughts on “The One where I Question a Popular narrative in Mental Health Circles

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