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  • Writer's pictureHaulwen Nicholas


A social media trend or a true answer to life problems?

Self-care - everywhere you go these words are spoken. Self-care is the new black, the thing to do, the latest trend to follow. Or is it?

When we see so many books, and magazines, or clothing ranges, or beauty ranges all extolling the benefits of self-care you can see why some may see it as a "millennial obsession with selfishness" - yet behind all of the media and hype and all of the marketing campaigns to get you to "buy into self-care" there is an honest authentic truth.

Because self-care is important and it doesn't need to cost the earth.

It's easy for some people to deride a younger generation wanting to spending more time on self-care and recreation. Yet we forget a fundamental truth. Self-care was normal. It has always been normal, the problem we have is there is an older generation that naturally had self-care built into their lives, and a younger generation who has seen their parents buried in overwork and stress. For those in the middle, those who have developed through into a business world and a life where work and home overlap to an extreme, then self-care is the thing we all allowed to drop off our radars. The thing that we could let go of.

When I look at my parents generation life was different. Work was generally between fixed hours 9am to 5pm and finish half day on a Friday. A regular shift pattern, but rarely at weekends. Sundays were days not to work, the pubs were closed and all you could do was rest at home, listen to the radio, read a news paper, and it was frowned upon to do work such as gardening, washing etc.

In the Outer Hebrides it is still frowned upon to even put your washing out on the line on a Sunday, the shops are closed, children don't play in the playgrounds. Sunday is a sacred day still. Everyone stops. Everyone pauses from life.

Even when I was a child shops were closed on a Saturday afternoon and a Sunday. My local market town it was Thursday afternoon that was also closed, but every town was different. There were no mobiles phones, or internet, or email. So when people finished work they stopped. Sundays you couldn't do anything other than be with family and go to the park or go for a walk. Even as a farmers daughter yes we worked, the cows were milked, the animals fed and cleaned out, but unless it was harvest time, Sunday was sacred. Sunday we stopped.

Now we live in a 24, 7 world and people forget that in less than a decade we were beginning to see the world change from the more relaxed one where everything closed on Sundays, to the world of something on all the time.

As children we were not carted around places to be entertained, we were told to get outside and entertain ourselves whilst the adults rested. 


That was normal, but it has changed.

My parents don't understand the need for self care as they were not of this 24 7 generation, so it's understandable they don't understand the "media" preoccupation with it. 

The people in their teens and 20's have grown up with exhausted parents whom they have been lucky to ever see, as they would come home glued to their phones, dealing with emails, in a world of information overload. So at weekends the parents over compensated, taking the children everywhere and anywhere, when in fact the kids would probably have been happy being at home. So now they don't want to be like their parents. They really want to be more like their grandparents, but have no idea how much they really have in common in this desire for rest and down time. Something their grandparents took for granted as they knew no other way.

So those of us in the middle burn out, break down, we are told self-care is selfish by a media speaking from a  generation that had rest days. So we keep going, until we crash, we burn and instead of finding ways just to stop and rest, we buy into the self-care revolution that the marketing companies are throwing down our necks. Hoping the next credit card payment fix will help us to feel like ourselves again. Working as hard as we can to ensure our children don't have to work as hard as we have, and ensuring our parents can enjoy their hard earned retirements. 

Yet all we need is to stop.

To stop, to rest, to breathe and to see.

 To be in the moment and realise that self-care is just good old fashioned rest. It's the  stopping for Sunday lunch, to watch Last of The Summer Wine on a Sunday evening, belly's full, basking in the warm glow of family, friends and life.

It isn't selfish, its essential.

Call it by a name to suit you. Call it what it is. A time to rest, to recharge and resurface as your true self.

Find a time that you make sacred for you as an individual, for you as a parent, for you as a family.  Rest, and become one with yourself again.

Haulwen Nicholas

The Magical Mojo Coach

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