Self-care isn’t always Instagrammable, stay positive


Rebecca Peick

Rebecca Peick, Columist

We see #selfcare all the time as we scroll through endless posts and stories on social media.

It’s usually touted as an extremely important thing to do as a part of being a wholly well person, but the self-care practices that we usually see are using bath bombs, lighting candles, watching Netflix and putting on face masks. 

They are accessorized with hashtags like #selfcareisn’tselfish and #selfcaresunday, because many people believe that making it trendy will influence others to implement it regularly.

Here’s the thing, if a person doesn’t believe that they need to take the time to actually take care of their mental health, they won’t — no matter how cool friends and influencers on Instagram make it look.

Self-care must stem from a root belief that we are each worthy of loving ourselves and prioritizing our health.

Self-care often isn’t always bath bombs and candles — sometimes, it is putting “take a shower” or “wash the dishes” on your to-do list, because that is what your energy level is today. 

Sometimes, it’s “go to the gym” or “take a walk” because you can’t remember the last time you moved your body with intention or went outside to enjoy the warmth of spring. 

Sometimes, it’s “journal” or “meditate” because you have been so busy that you’ve forgotten to take time to breathe or reflect on your day. 

There are some days, sure, that we just need Netflix and ice cream, but I believe that it’s so important to take a moment to gauge what we actually need in that moment to help us toward our highest potential. The one-size-fits-all approach simply doesn’t work to truly target our needs.

Implementing small changes to our daily life and making meaningful self-care a habit, not an occasional luxury, can change your life. I have found so much personal growth in tackling one “self-care habit” a month and creating a sustainable goal to achieve integration into my weekly routine. 

For instance, I wanted to start working out this semester, so I created a goal to go to the gym at least three times a week. I started going with friends and my boyfriend and actually scheduled time in my planner to go. Because I created this goal and reminded myself of my motivation to go to the gym. I’ve managed to make it a really important part of my routine, and actually look forward to working out.

Journaling or working out may be a way to take care of yourself, but genuine self-love and reflection is the source of self-care. It takes strength to remind yourself to put your needs first, and to take time to step back and think, “how am I actually feeling? What do I really need right now?”

Above all, self-care is not just actions, it is a way of thinking. 

Rebecca Peick is a hospitality management major at South Dakota State University and can be reached at [email protected].