Self Care: A Trend or a Necessity?
Written by Amanda Anderson
The meaning of self care has morphed and split over the past five years. The question everyone’s wondering is… is it a trend that convinces people that they need the most expensive cosmetics or vacations? Or is it a true necessity that still continues to be overlooked and treated as if it's an excuse to get away from life’s troubles? That's what we're here to explore today.
In today's world, social media runs the world. It has become the preferred and popular way to communicate, especially among younger generations. And although it can build communities, connect people worlds away and acts as a creative outlet for many, it can also be an extremely toxic environment.
When I was a little girl, all I ever wanted to do was wear my mom’s makeup or shoes. I wanted to feel as confident as the woman in the mirror who I idolized. She was the definition of what I thought to be beautiful. So as I grew up I would use makeup and jewelry and clothes to find that feeling that finally made me feel enough, but I could never find it. And then one day my mom sat me down, she knew I had been chasing feeling whole for a long time. However, as time went on and I grew up, it became the way I defined myself. My mom reminded me that self acceptance and self confidence comes from within, it comes from practicing ways that make life more exciting, motivating and colorful for me. Turns out that mindset was that of self care.
Since this discovery, self care has become a part of my daily routine in small ways. I have learned to treat myself how I treat my friends and family, with kindness and care. For a long time, I thought self care was only valued in the material items I bought or received or how beautiful the places in which I surrounded myself were. But as I progressed into my twenties, I realized that is the furthest thing from what self care truly means. And until I struggled with depression for the first time, did I understand how difficult it was to maintain.
I was ten years old when I felt the dark cloud of depression hovering over me for the first time. I would look in the mirror and cry at who I saw looking back at me. I had just moved to a new school for what felt like the one-hundredth time, and I did not have many friends yet. Boys laughed at me at school and called me names. I was just a kid, but those words branded the way I viewed myself and my identity and still do to this day. To this day, I let the words and insecurities projected onto me affect the person I believe myself to be.
From there, I had to pick myself up and learn overtime and into adulthood that my worth and my value comes from within and how I choose to define my identity.
So, yes, self care has what some may consider a trend on social media. But what we really should focus on is how does it play a role in my life? Am I prioritizing self care in my own life as the true necessity it is?
Amanda Anderson is the Social Media Marketing Specialist for Tennessee Voices and the Healthy Transitions program. She is an alum of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a focus on both Public Administration and Nonprofit Management.
From a young age Amanda knew she wanted to help people and as she grew up she also found a love for the arts through music, photography, journalism, fashion, painting and digital creation. “I think the key to happiness is combining your passions and talents and helping others! That is why what I do is so fulfilling and why I am so grateful to have been given the opportunity to do what I do”. She also helps to host the Statewide Young Adult Leadership Council which meets every second Saturday of the month in which she collaborates with the youth council members on openly discussing topics related to leadership, mental health, advocacy and more!
WHAT IF I’M IN CRISIS RIGHT NOW?
If you or someone you know is in a medical or life-threatening crisis right now, get help quickly.
- Call your doctor
- Call 911 for emergency services
- Go to the nearest hospital emergency room
- Call the toll-free, 24-hour hotline of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (1.800.273.8255) TTY: 1.800.799.4TTY (4889)
- Call Tennessee Statewide Crisis Line at 1.855.274.7471
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Tennessee Healthy Transitions Initiative, please contact:
Tennessee Department of Mental Health And Substance Abuse Office of Children and Youth Mental Health