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self care

Self-care is a bit of a buzzword these days. Based on the idea of consciously looking after one’s own needs – something we all strive to do when and if we can – it’s an expression that became popular last year. According to this Slate article, self-care was originally a medical concept; the simple idea of doctors telling their patients to exercise and improve their diet, if needed. (The article is an interesting read in that it traces the history of self-care.)

A blog post written by Brianna Weist made the rounds on social media last week. In her post, titled “This is What ‘Self-Care’ REALLY Means, Because It’s Not All Salt Baths and Chocolate Cake” Weist says self-care is “often doing the ugliest thing you have to do…” and that “a world in which self-care has to be such a trendy topic is a world that is sick.”

Some agreed with Weist, saying it was a good reminder. Others disagreed, saying there was no need to criticize somebody on their version of self-care. Others added that the article makes assumptions, that sometimes the life you wanted isn’t the one you’re living, whether it be because you're caregiving for an aging parent, a sick spouse, or struggling with your own illness.

If a salt bath is a way for you to momentarily escape stress, then so be it. Nobody else can decide what works for you – but you.