For a really long time I have felt, and still feel that the way the term 'self care' is used on the internet alienates the people for whom struggling with self care actually affects them day to day.
Self care seems to mean, on the internet anyway, activities you only engage in as a luxury, like the classic; fancy bath bombs or buying fancy crystals. Often activities which cost money, are only nice things or only available for able bodied people. For me I think even the way 'self care' term is used, it insinuates you have to do it yourself, shaming an alienating those who need actual people and carers to do it for them (for what ever reason, physical, emotional and/or neuro diversity etc.) This is not my understanding as a mental health professional at all. Self care refers to all the activities we need to do day to day and the 'self' bit doesn't mean you have to do it yourself.
I've felt so confused by how the internet has completely changed the meaning. Someone said to me it was 'white feminism' and/or 'tumblr' which came along and changed the meaning. I kind of agree.
I really wanted to create something which separated itself from the internet version of self care and give it a new name. I came up with '#boringselfcare' mostly because I was drawing all the boring things I either find difficult when unwell or can't actually do. Again, I was never insinuating that the activities are merely just boring, sometimes they are ok, sometimes shit, sometimes simple, sometimes awful, sometimes essential....maybe I should have thought of a better name.
I created the 'asked for help' illustration because so many people, myself included at times, need help to do the most basic self care.
I feel that the hashtag is not for everyone. It's for people who struggle day to day. It's for people with mental health problems, chronic illness, disability etc, not for able bodied and people without mental health problems to post selfies with the hashtag. I have stopped looking at the hashtag now though, I found too many people using the hashtag in a way I did not want.
It's strange the way the internet changes the meaning of terms, definitely still at work, when you use the words 'self care' everyone knows what it means, people needing to do the most basic activities.
The internet needs to stop using the term 'self care' in such problematic ways and I feel a bit sad that the 'boring self care' meaning may eventually, if not already, be taken and used in a way I never intended.