Are you commiting a self-care faux pas?

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The rise of ‘self-care’ videos on social media has gone from obscure to omnipresent. Videos on routine chores, morning meditations or at-home spa days make for a satisfying watch and are deemed the ideal self-care day’. Along with pride in their holistic lives, people also preach its benefits to a wider audience. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube have now become platforms, where the act of self-care is marketed as a replacement for access to proper healthcare or therapy. It creates a false belief that certain activities or products can improve one’s mental health.

Along with pride in their holistic lives, people also preach its benefits to a wider audience. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube have now become platforms, where the act of self-care is marketed as a replacement for access to proper healthcare or therapy.
Along with pride in their holistic lives, people also preach its benefits to a wider audience. Instagram, TikTok and YouTube have now become platforms, where the act of self-care is marketed as a replacement for access to proper healthcare or therapy.

In a video posted last month, YouTuber Kati Morton, a licensed therapist, explains how you can distinguish between real and pretentious self-care, and how it can work dif­ferently for every individual. “If someone is feeling hypervigilant, the ability to stomp or jump can be beneficial. Even if it doesn’t look like traditional self-care, regulating your nervous system self-care can become problematic if done to please others. In such cases, the focus is on the external reward rather than on the individual’s actual well-being.

Trisha Singh, nutritionist, found her current self-care routine on Pinterest and believes the ‘perfect’ practice balances what appeals to you with what works for you. “For instance, a detox retreat might sound rejuvenating, but consuming a lot of liquids can lead to dangerous electrolyte imbalances,” she shares.

Elaborating on the physical implications, nutrition coach Nikhil Arora says, “Engaging in a workout routine without a personalised consultation can increase the risk for people with undiagnosed cardio or respiratory diseases.”

Creators on social media are also a part of the ‘social commerce’ scene, a lucrative way to earn commission by working with brands directly or in the nascent phase, making contextual content where they feature products to earn a potential relationship with the company.

“Creators are riding and pushing the surge of products for at-home shopping, and while some of them communicate this to the audience, there is an unsaid bias that is built into the content,” says a representative of a cosmetic e-commerce platform. “While clothing, tech and well-being products received a surge in demand during the pandemic and later, the survey revealed that more than 65% of buyers reported quitting their self-care routines, explaining a ‘false sense of comfort in the initial phase that flamed out’ or finding that they needed more than outward relief to meet emotional needs.”

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