How To Break Away From The Commercialization Of Self Care

In a world where “treat yourself” is the response to literally anything, it’s no surprise that the concept of self care has changed significantly. 

Let’s dive into how self care has become overly commercialized and ways you can break away from that!

What is self-care, really?

Self care isn’t just about buying new skincare products and taking bubble baths. Of course, those things can be considered self-care, but it’s important to also recognize that self care doesn’t always have to be extravagant.

I like to think about self-care as anything that prioritizes your physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. This could look like listening to music, eating nutritious foods, or even saying no to someone.

How is self-care commercialized?

It’s no surprise that since the pandemic hit in 2020 that people have been prioritizing self care and their mental health as a whole. Google Trends actually show a 250% increase in searches related to self care since then. Crazy, I know!

According to Information Resources, Inc., self care is growing into a $450 billion industry.

Because of the rapid increase in self-care-related searches and the estimated worth of the self care industry, self care has truly become unrecognizable. It’s become more about spending money and competing against other people’s routines, instead of truly taking care of yourself and prioritizing your overall well-being.

Sadly, I even saw an influencer say that self care is not an expense, it’s an investment – said while promoting her affiliate product, of course!

So now that we are surrounded by constant ads, YouTube videos, and influencers on TikTok and Instagram telling us to invest in self-care products and create expensive routines – how can we make sure that we are prioritizing actual self care and not getting sucked into the commercialization of it?

millennial woman drinks water for self care morning practice

How do we break away from commercialized self-care?

Recognize that self care will look different to everyone

Well first, I think it’s extremely important to recognize that self care can and will look different to everyone. Just because your best friend loves to color while sitting on the beach every night doesn’t mean you have to also!

Here are some examples of what self care can look like:

Of course, these are just some ideas and there are many more ways you can practice self care in your life! Notice how those ideas don’t all include spending money, which brings me to my next point.

You don’t need to buy numerous products to engage in self care

You can take care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs without spending a dime! It’s so easy to get sucked into the commercialization of self care and want to buy all the new things.

Yes – a skincare routine is nice and can be a form of self care, but you don’t need to buy a whole new kit when your current one is working just fine!

Your self care routine doesn’t need to be time consuming

Another thing that influencers on TikTok and Instagram promote are self care routines. Personally, I think having a self care routine is impactful and I definitely want to prioritize that more in my life. 

But I also get a feeling that it’d be time consuming – maybe you do too. And that’s another way we can break away from the commercialization of self care, by recognizing that it’s not about who has the most luxurious and time consuming routine.

If 10 minutes of journaling helps you destress daily, then that’s what works for you!

Read this next: How To Create Your Own Self Care Retreat

Self-care matters

It’s extremely easy to think that you’re not doing enough for yourself, especially now that we see so many people posting about treating themselves and their self care routines. It’s great that more people are starting to prioritize self care, but let’s make sure that we’re not making it more about competition than actual self care!

break away commercialized self care