Is consumer self‑care the answer?
Forget short-term perks and self-help guides: focus on building your business your way
Just like clockwork, a Happy New Year brought with it a whole host of new year resolutions and the desire to do better. And as the world we live in continues to speed up, it should come as no surprise that the £23bn wellness industry shows no signs of slowing down, as frazzled souls look for remedies to soothe their busy lives. In fact, it’s all but impossible to open a magazine in January without a so-called expert holding court on the importance of “self-care” and how we all need to carve a little more me-time into our hectic schedules.
But what does self-care actually mean? Those magazines might have you believe that all it takes to reset and revive is an expensive bubble bath, a few candles and a slab of something dark and cocoa-based. According to the writer Brianna Wiest, however, it’s much simpler – and less indulgent – than that. In a Facebook post that’s since gone viral, she makes the distinction between “consumer self-care” and “actual self-care”: “True self-care is not salt baths and chocolate cake, it is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from,” she states. At 284,000 shares, it’s clear that Wiest’s hit a nerve.
For working mums in particular, the pressures of maintaining a fulfilling career and finding that elusive work/life balance can be tough – but not impossible, if you reframe the concept of self-care and focus on what’s really important. As Wiest says, self-care “…is sometimes having a dirty kitchen and deciding your ultimate goal in life isn’t going to be having abs and keeping up with your fake friends. It is deciding how much of your anxiety comes from not actualizing your latent potential, and how much comes from the way you were being trained to think before you even knew what was happening.”
In Wiest’s world, self-care often comes down to focussing on practical matters to achieve a longer-term goal. So, if you want to set up a business or work by yourself this year, why not make a start by checking out the options for flexible office spaces in your area? It’s one concrete step towards taking control of your life and reorganising it in a way that suits you and your family. And with the office taken care of, you’re also taken care of – which means more time to spend on your business and the things you love. Like sit back, relax, and sink into that bubble bath.