When Self-Care Doesn’t Work

Image result for self care isn't always lush bath bombs

The type of self-care that I’m referring to in the title is the type that infuriates me the most, and alas, it’s the most popular one to appear across a variety of social media platforms. It’s the aesthetic type that involves heavily filtered images and more so, videos with individuals bathing in water full of scented bubbles, and a face mask to accompany it.

Don’t get me wrong, I do like all those beautifully scented bath bombs and moisturising face masks, there’s nothing wrong with a little bit of TLC, there never has been. But, for me, problems arise when this is the only visible way that self-care seems to exist.

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As a child, this type of self-care used to make me cringe to the point where I neglected it as a whole, I was severely burnt out the majority of the time, sleep-deprived and wholly focused on academia. In a way, it broke me.

To this day, I still suffer from the consequences of self-inflicted pain. Trust me, it’s not pretty.

If this type of self-care doesn’t work for you, then know that you’re not alone, there’s recently been a rise in the understanding that self-care is not pretty, or aesthetically pleasing or, in fact, easy to do. If you struggle with regular self-care like me, then stop thinking what self-care should be, or what society markets or tells you to believe it is, and go back to basics.

Self-care literally means to care for the self, if you keep this reminder in the back of your mind, and know that self-care is for no-one but you, it’ll become easier to do what works for you, to do what you need to do to recover from a long workday, or week, to get back on track after being in a slump or even just treat yourself to extra love every now and again.

There are times when self-care for me is not an early morning full of already accomplished goals, but an extra 2 hours of sleep. It’s not living off of salad and smoothies, but stuffing myself with takeout meals, and at times, desserts. It’s not bottling up my emotions and faking a smile in front of everyone, but crying when I feel sadness or sorrow, happiness or joy, anything at all. It’s not being in the company of toxic people as much as you may want them, but it’s about letting them so you can survive and thrive.

Self-care isn’t always what it looks like, it’s not always surface level deep. it’s about self-forgiveness, self-understanding, peace, happiness and most importantly, balance.

-Whenlifeawakns (1)

© Afiyah/WhenLifeAwakens, 2018. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Afiyah/WhenLifeAwakens with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.






As for now, my main focus is my Instagram account @whenlifeawakens which I gave a huge makeover to since it was my personal account for such a long time, but now it’s my main way to keep in touch my fellow bloggers, to update you on new posts and of course, to be aesthetically pleasing.



13 thoughts on “When Self-Care Doesn’t Work”

    1. I dislike how self care has been manipulated by companies to make us feel like we need to buy things to feel cared for. It’s about being comfortable on your body and learning what works for you.


  1. LOVE THIS!! Its so true, every single word! Everyone has different needs when it comes to self care and it goes so much deeper than lighting a candle or doing a face mask. I feel like there’s now this added pressure of caring for yourself in a way that everyone else does for it to be considered right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree, the fact that there’s so much pressure to take baths and use face masks it’s definitely not the right thing for everyone. I wanted to shed light on the importance of balance and listening to your own needs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a great post and a message that needs to be heard. Self care is so commercialized now because it is the buzz word of the moment. I have always struggled with self care and self judgment. So when the commercialized ways didn’t work I questioned my self. Thankfully I have learned that self care means different things at different times for me and that’s okay!! Sometimes self care is just making sure I get out of bed and drink enough water that day. Thanks again for this post!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with the commercialisation of self care and how marketable it’s become it’s the last few years, that’s what I wanted to highlight most in my post, as well as understanding that sometimes self care is just needing some extra food, sleep or even time to do absolutely nothing. Thank you for the comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

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