We Need to Stop Our Obsession with Self-Care. Here’s Why.

This is what to do instead.

Linda Smith
3 min readSep 17, 2020


The self-care business is booming.

Everywhere I look, there are tips, products, TED talks and social media posts about the importance of self-care, and the consequences of not getting enough.

I have nothing against self-care, per se. I took a recent quiz entitled “How High Maintenance Are You?” and scored almost embarrassingly high. Truth is, I like my massages, my freshly manicured nails and my complicated lattes. I enjoy my boutique barre classes and my afternoon walks.

I’m here, however, to share an alternative, possibly divisive, viewpoint, which is this:

Let’s focus less on our increasing need for self-care, and more on creating lives we don’t need to escape from in the first place.

What Are We Running From?

I truly believe that our increased obsession with self-care stems from our over-full, increasingly stressful, never-enough culture.

As our lives becomes more chaotic, we try to compensate with fancy chocolates, buying a new outfit, or taking a bubble bath.

As a society, we’ve lost the art of taking our emotional and psychological temperature, of knowing when we need to take a step back, to slow down. We overdo it on all fronts, and our filled-to-bursting schedules are a testament to this.

Even worse, we’re told to schedule self-care into our calendars, as if without doing this, we’d never remember to make time for ourselves. Or, scary thought, is this really the case? If we don’t pencil in “exercise-30 minutes” or “take deep breaths” on an ordinary Tuesday, is it possible we may forget to do these things altogether?

What I’m Doing Instead

Truth be told, there is nothing wrong with meditating, or giving myself a treat, or spending more time in nature. All of these things are positive, and, dare I say, essential to a happy life.

Instead, what I’m suggesting is slightly more complex.

Let’s focus our energies on working to construct lives we don’t regularly need to escape from. Lives where such pleasures as exercise



Linda Smith

content creator | creative | coffee-enthusiast | Enneagram 9