When anxiety kicks in

I remember one of the most severe anxiety episodes I have ever experienced. It happened last spring, before the day of my first debate competition. As I was reviewing my notes, my chest began to feel heavier and heavier. Every inch of my body was shaking and with every second, breathing was more and more difficult. Fortunately, as soon as I applied a face mask and lighted a scented candle, my apprehension disappeared! Maybe in an ideal world, that would have happened. In reality, human emotions are more complex and the mind can’t be treated with skincare products.

Capitalism is bad!

On a more serious note, there is one of the several myths promoted by Instagram posts. Countless advertisements that self-care is a spa day, dessert and a movie marathon. These activities and products are not harmful in and of themselves, but they are not self-care. However, the connection between this trend and capitalism is concerning because of the industries that are encouraging consumers towards reflexive consumerism rather than introspection.

You decide your own self-care!

I find it threatening especially to the younger audience that yoga and pumpkin-spiced lattes are more promoted by the media than healthy coping mechanisms that could classify as real self-care. Romanticizing a superficial concept harms teen minds and benefits companies, who take advantage of a generation’s insecurities.

The sad reality

Self-care is a personal process and it is different for everyone. It can be writing about what is bothering us, discussing our problems with a close one, internalizing our feelings and accepting reality as it is. Instead of living in a constant state of denial and believing that buying an overpriced bath bomb will magically make us happy. It’s time to focus on caring for ourselves on a personal level because we are the only ones who know what we truly need. Self-care should be an act of self-love, not an act of consumerism or avoidance that only focuses on the outward appearance of our lives.

Learn to love yourself!

It takes courage to assess your qualities and defects, understand your character, accept it as it was shaped when you were young by circumstances outside of your control. It is not simple to learn how to cope with yourself. How to discover habits that suit you. How to be kinder to yourself and others, when mistakes are made. What your mind truly needs is self-acceptance, love, and kindness – so that you can broaden your horizons and experience your life in full and in reality. This is self-care.

Foto: Nicoleta Alexandru