It’s January, and–nearly all content online is about how to be healthier, happier, and more productive in the New Year. Of course, it’s great to see larger discussions around wellness being brought up. However, there seems to be there’s a particular focus on instagrammable forms of “self-care”, like, going to yoga classes, drinking turmeric milk, or bathing with crystals. Although for many folks these are great ways to relax and unwind, there are few conversations surrounding self-care for those struggling with their mental health.
Online discussions around mental health and wellness have become more common than they were years ago, yet there’s still a marked difference between the connotations surrounding mental health care and those surrounding self-care. Google search trends even show that while searches for self-care are consistently high, searches for mental health are often less popular. Self-care routines are shared and praised by celebrities, while counseling resources are still kept hush. Vloggers and Influencers are quick to share inspirational quotes, but talking about taking medication becomes much more difficult. Of course, discussions around mental health are serious and should be taken seriously, but that doesn’t mean they need to be separated from conversations about overall wellness. Additionally, we need to challenge the fact that self-care is exclusively done alone. For those who are trying to care for themselves but may need additional help, options like counseling, therapy, and other sessions conducted by professionals can also be also forms of self-care.
Thankfully, wellness resources are increasingly becoming democratized, accessible, and affordable. Silicon Valley is even making big bets on mental health startups. Mental health is no longer a luxury, but a priority. As 2018 gets into full swing, let’s work towards more inclusive discussions around wellness that include individuals from diverse backgrounds and at different life stages. After all, we all deserve to be well.