What Really Grinds My Gears: Self-Care

What Really Grinds My Gears Peter Griffin Family Guy gif

What Really Grinds My Gears

Welcome back to another “What Really Grinds My Gears” post! I feel like a lot of you enjoy these because it really gets everyone talking which I always love. Today, we’ll be talking about self-care. Now you may say, aren’t you an advocate for this? Aren’t you always talking about how self-care is vital for mental health? Well, to that I say, never let them know your next move. Kidding. I actually love self-care but there are some things I need to get off my chest about it. So just give me a chance before you get outraged and keep reading.


Self-care catnap cat napping cat sleeping

Just to be clear, I love self-care and I think it’s absolutely vital for our mental health. What bugs me about it is what is currently happening and what has been happening for a while. The who idea of taking care of yourself, putting yourself first and loving yourself started because people were suffering by always putting others first. We all need me time as well. And it was created by mental health activists to help those struggling because of not having enough time to take care of themselves.

However, as it got popular, the idea of self-care became more and more commercialised. Influencers picked up on the popularity of self-care and began shoving products in our faces. Acting like the only way to care for yourself is to buy things that are worth thousands of dollars. As though those things will make you happy and make all the bad stuff magically go away. This was also connected to the toxic positivity movement that still reigns supreme on platforms like Instagram. Soon self-care started companies started to market their products towards people looking to indulge in self-care as well.

And that’s what really grinds my gears. Self-care is supposed to be a beautiful thing that helps people. However, now it is often associated with overspending and even wasting ones savings for material things. But it shouldn’t be that way. Self-care can be completely free even if we choose. It can be taking a nap, taking a nice bath, saying no when we need to, eating a delicious home cooked meal etc.

Final Thoughts

I guess what really bugs me about self-care is how commercialised it’s become. And how it has become all about spending money. And not about what it should represent- mental health. It’s frustrating to see one more good thing being exploited for money.

Some of you may not know this and I’m sure most of you do know this, but I’m a social media manage amongst many other things. That means I spend a lot of time on social media. And I constantly see people trying to shove expensive products in their followers faces in the name of self-care and find it absolutely frustrating. It’s okay to share what helps you or even the products you genuinely like. But encouraging your followers to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars when you were probably paid to promote something is never okay. And with Valentines coming up, you see more of these products than usual which drives me nuts.

My final thought is, let’s go back to the idea of self-care being about taking care of oneself. Not wasting money on unnecessary products. Unless you can afford it, if so go right ahead. Although one has to assume there are better things you can spend that money on.

What are your thoughts about the commercialisation of self-care? Let me know in the comments below or simply stop by and say hi!

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131 responses to “What Really Grinds My Gears: Self-Care”

  1. Too many TV commercials are pushing their wares every day and that grinds my gears! Self care is also about taking care of the body that keeps our mind alive which is ridiculously expensive today!

    1. SO true! It’s all about taking care of ourselves mentally and physically not spending huge amounts of money.

      1. The old saying says that money talks and bullshit walks! 😂

  2. As mentioned by you, I’ve seen multiple advertisement that shows “to treat yourself better, do this”, “to take care of yourself better, do that “. That’s complete BS, and it’s playing with people’s sentiments.

    People need to understand what self care actually is!
    Companies will keep doing it. Only people should be smart enough to understand the difference between what’s good for them and what’s not.

    1. And yes, I like What really grinds my gear. In a way it’s “why I’m whinning today” 🤭
      It’s fun, sorry 😝

      1. Haha thanks 😂

        1. How fun it will be to name it
          “Why I’m whinning today” 😝

          1. Lol true, if only I didn’t love Family Guy and want to name it after that 😂

    2. Yes, true. It’s up to us to make sure these companies don’t tempt us into doing something stupid like wasting money on things we don’t need.

      1. We don’t need anything fancy for self care

  3. Absolutely!! Self care is simple, it doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. It also doesn’t have to be lonely. Spending time chatting with a friend refuels my tank and it feels very self caring 🥰✨

    1. Yeah, hanging out with friends can make a huge difference in our mental health. Totally agree with you 😊

  4. Hang in there. You’re one of the good ones. Take care of yourself.

    1. Thank you so much.

  5. I know what you mean. I am trying hard to take care of myself. I do free meditations on youtube and walk in my neighborhood. But “influencers” always are shoving products.

    1. Those are both great. Just keep ignoring the “influencers” and do you.

  6. I haven’t believed any of that stuff “works” for a long time, mainly because I’m old and in my 20s and early 30s I tried it all and was just as unhappy and lost as ever. I guess self-care can mean different things to different people. For me, not caring about self-care or what I “should” be doing for myself works better than forcing myself to meditate, work out, eat healthy, etc. I went to the gym and ate a pretty strict diet for 2 years straight prior to COVID lockdown and honestly I felt worse than ususal. Lol

    I also can’t believe advertisements on social media work. I guess they have to, or people would stop paying for them, but I’ve never known anyone to buy anything based on one of those ads. They’re getting pretty bad, too. I used to think there was some sort of corporate panel at companies like YouTube or Meta that approved ads but the ads I’ve seen on YouTube lately are completely undisguised scams.

    It’s kind of funny.

    1. I think we’re all different and what works for one person may not for another. Just keep dog whatever makes you feel best.

      Unfortunately, as a social media manager, I can tell you that advertising on social media does work. Quite often when done properly. And when that’s misused to shove products in followers faces it kind of makes me sad.

      1. I created a troll ad once on Facebook just to test the reach of such things, and it got me banned for life. So people definitely do see them lmao

        1. Lol yeah they really push those ads out to everyone.

  7. Agreed… this is where we need to learn to differentiate. Self care is often confused with self spoils/pleasures. We all want self spoils but we need self care. Want and need being the operative word.
    Self care should be simple.
    Lovely grinding of gears Pooja😁😋 and a much needed one too.

    1. Yes, there is a big difference between the two. Self-care is much more longterm and leads to a happier and healthier life overall.
      Thanks so much 😊

      1. Most welcome Pooja. 🤍

  8. I do try to enjoy self care. My favorites are taking a nap, praying, or reading a good book. I get what you’re saying about the commercialism of self care. Companies are more focused on how much money they can make. It’s a shame. I think taking care of oneself should be something we all take a little time (and very little or no money to do.) Take a nap, people!!! Enjoy the restfulness of sleep! 🥱😴💤

    1. Yes, companies are always trying to make a profit and it can get annoying. I agree, self-care should cost little or no money. There are inexpensive things you can do as self-care. And naps are high up on that list 😅

  9. You’re so right and it’s important to remember what self-care really is.

    1. Yes, absolutely.

  10. I love this post! My favorite form of self-care is taking a nap and binge watching Friends. 😂

    1. Haha same here, I love naps and Friends is one of my absolute favourite shows 😊

  11. Hi, Pooja, this post really got me thinking how the manipulation of self-care really does grind my gears too!!! When I started my career, the way the world was to start with a company or organization and stay there for life, and basically give them everything you had, often to the expense of your family and your health. I got sucked into that game and it harmed both. I’m so glad to have my life back now, and time to share with family and friends. I am glad to see so much more focus on self-care and mental health nowadays, and absolutely agree with you… it has nothing to do with buying a bunch of expensive clag. It’s about taking time to do something you enjoy that helps you feel relaxed and whole, and able to be present for your lovelies. Ahhh… now I’ve gotten that off my chest, I feel soooo much more relaxed. Ohhhhmmmm. Thanks!

    1. Glad you were able to get that off your chest, that’s what my gears posts are for!
      Yes, companies and organisations can really exploit their workers and often times it is our mental health that suffers because of that. I’m also happy to see the importance mental health is being given these days. And self-care can really help overall health.

  12. It’s an awesome topic, the difference between self-care and self-indulgence is huge, yet who am I to decide? I can only decide for myself, for example, I can sleep as much as I want and just chill if I want. My sister would work round the clock to afford all the luxuries that I never even look at, it’s unnecessary in my opinion, and in my opinion, it’s pure self-indulgence. But the way she sees it is completely different, she sees it as something absolutely necessary for her well-being therefore she works like a dog to afford all this crap. I don’t want to judge her but my ‘I couldn’t care less’ attitude truly bothers her, as I ‘should’ be doing all those necessary things to claim I am a woman too. Conclusion: never listen to your sister’s advice. LOL

    1. My sister is similar, she has expensive taste compared to me. I buy everything thrifted and rarely buy things I don’t need. However, we can’t judge what makes others happy. I just hate how commercialised everything has become. And now everything is an excuse to spend money. And definitely agree with that lesson lol.

      1. I am super thrifty too. I hate wasting money on just crap, you do that and your home get cluttered, and feels like living in a storage unit. disgusting lol, I love minimalism, I am trying really hard to own as little as possible, and I definitely despise consumerism. Especially if they present it as self-care…

        1. I’m the same. I like having a few things I love rather than too many thing I don’t care much about.

  13. Oh absolutely, these expensive ideas are of no help, they just gives you extra headache!!

    1. Couldn’t agree more!

  14. I never thought about it that way, but you’re right; self care has become commercialised. Brands will always find a way to hop onto a trend and use it to promote their products. But I think there are still a lot of influencers focusing on the free activities too and hopefully that continues eg writing in journals, taking a walk, yoga etc.

    1. Yes, unfortunately most things that are popular soon become commercialised. And this can actually cause mental health issues to worsen rather than make them better. Absolutely, there are still good influencers out there and I’m thankful for that.

  15. Reading and writing and walking and nature are my self care.

    1. Yes, those are all wonderful for our mental health.

  16. I completely agree. I struggle with SAD (winter depression) and I find the Norwegian practice of Hygge is really helpful, but that too has become about special products, books, styles etc. For my Mum and I, hygge is a thick fluffy fleece that you can pick up for about £25 on Amazon lol.

    1. Thanks and that’s a great and inexpensive way to make yourself feel better! Now that’s proper self-care lol.

      1. Too right lol there are probably thousands of ways to practice self care for free or for very cheap when you think about it, it’s just about taking an idea and being willing to settle for something similar that won’t require a second mortgage to buy it lol

        1. Totally, there are so many ways if you choose. Even if you spend money, it’s possible to spend a small amount and nothing extravagant/out of your means.

  17. Self-care is education.. that Drs are not telling us, instead of finding root causes to ailment they want to treat the illness with the latest therapies, drugs anything but tell you what you really should change in your life to get better or at least slow the prognosis. Yes i can see so much BS that grids our gear’s! I could write and write about issues we shouldnt be dealing with because we are trusting drs and really we should be questioning everything and double checking what they want to put into our mouths! The whole world is nut!

    1. Sorry 🤭🥴 rough gears..

    2. Yes, I am a big believer in actually finding the causes instead of using drugs to numb the symptoms. The world really is going mad right now.

  18.     Yes, self-indulgence and buying things that are advertised doesn’t always solve personal problems. Advertisers can sometimes go too far. That worries me.
        I’m worried about the woman known as Mary who bought a Chinese spy balloon for a million dollars so that she could intercept the phone calls of her husband who works on a nuclear missile base in Montana. Her husband was having an affair with a girl who fled to an atoll in the South Pacific to make a sci-fi movie about UFOs. Mary somehow got the launch codes for a nuclear missile. She’s going to sink the island with a nuclear bomb if she doesn’t get a box of chocolates, roses, and an apology. But she’s going to take care of herself with a hot bath and massage in her bunker.
        It’s scandalous how much roses and balloons cost. Self-care should not take millions of dollars to obtain. Mary is feeling much better after getting her chocolates and taking a long bubble bath. Her lover, the press agent, has managed to keep secret the atomic explosion that occurred in the South Pacific.
        The workers at the balloon factory are enjoying delicious home cooked meals. They were given a week off for their good work.

    1. Yes, advertisers often take it too far. It’s like everything popular becomes commercialised.

  19. I totally agree with you.
    I love my skin and hair. Taking care of them is part of my self care. But whenever I watch influencers show their skin care routine or hair routine I feel bad for not being able to afford such expensive products. Tbh they make it feel like self care is meant only for the rich.

    1. Thanks. Yes, I feel that way too. They use so many extremely expensive products. And although these products do seem to work, most people can’t afford them in the name of self-care.

  20. There is no doubt self-care has become a business, when I visit my mom all that is on her TV are commercials for medications. I feel the less medications we put into our bodies the better, go natural first before you give in to those fake commercials.

    Remember those actors are being paid to make such miracle claims, if they were not getting paid how many of them would really be promoting them is something to ask yourself

    1. I so agree. Everything is paid promotion these days so you have to be extra careful. I prefer natural remedies as well since they have fewer side effects.

      1. We do think and live our lives very much the same, natural is the best way to go whenever possible

  21. Yoga is also a form of self-care. But it sometimes irks me to see yoga being commercialized. I am not sure if you will agree with me or not. But many people think that just getting a yoga certificate, wearing a yogi outfit, creating a website with an exotic theme are enough to start teaching. They do not give importance to experience and mentorship from expert Gurus.

    1. Yes, these days yoga has become one of the most commercialised things and makes millions of dollars. It’s sort of ridiculous and very sad.

  22. You are very right. Stats show that the self-improvement and self-care business is a billion dollar franchise which is okay from a capitalist point of view but ethically wrong

    1. Yes, most things that are ethically wrong are okay from a capitalist point of view. But a line needs to be drawn somewhere when profits become more important than lives.

      1. At the end of the day, they will say, “It’s all business” and because money basically runs the world, they won’t let ethics run the show. Instead, the people standing for ethics will be called “activists” which really is a term I have really never understood fully

        1. Yes, I really agree. And these “activists” are seen as radical because they want to live in an ethical world.

  23. Great post Pooja! Keep me in the arms of my cats and dog and I’m good. It’s a me me buy buy world and what do we really need.. ?
    All we need is love.. cliche but true! Keep grinding your gears which you do so well with the many hats you wear.❣️

    1. Aw yes, pets are such gifts! Thanks so much 😊

      1. You’re so welcome.. they sure are💞

  24. Everyone has made valid points about self care. It is important that we take care of ourselves, but spending money on expensive things to make oneself feel better is only temporary. Self care is about taking care of yourself so you can be better and feel better about yourself. Great post. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

    1. Yes, self-care is much more long term than just buying yourself expensive things. Thanks and have a great weekend too.

  25. Very correct.

  26. 💯 totally agree, self-care should be for you, and usually I find that the smallest, simple things are the best ways to take care of yourself

    1. Thanks and yes I totally think so too. It’s really the small things that make a big difference.

  27. Self care seems to have become a trend. I keep seeing videos recommending what products to use and how to use them. They also show the influencers having a fun time using those products.

    1. Yes, absolutely. I have seen so many of those videos too and it gets kind of annoying.

      1. Yes I prefer to stumble about on my own to discover what self care regimen works for me. Especially since a lot of those influencer’s products are a bit higher than what I want to pay.

        1. Yes, some of those items can be quite expensive.

  28. Nowadays everything is being commercialized and that sucks!
    Self-care is such a personal thing (according to me), you can’t tell what can make someone feel good about themselves, everybody’s not the same.
    People have changed the whole idea of it.

    1. Yes, so true! Everyone is unique and different things help different people.

  29. Oh man. I hate how that’s overpromoted now. Mindfulness has also gone the same way. I don’t spend money on extravagant things for self-care anyway. I keep it simple, and that’s how it should be

    1. Most self-care stuff like mindfulness, yoga etc has become a business now instead of helping people.

  30. Got to agree with you there.

  31. Good for you. Somebody needed to say it. But what I don’t understand is why didn’t you SELL it??? Anyway.

    1. Hmm, if only I had known it would be profitable…

      1. You live and you learn. And then you buy and you sell. Anyway.

        1. Yes, lesson learnt. Always sell everything, never give it away for free.

  32. You’re so right! And that’s why a emphasize following the right people on social media not just rich influencers that buy 10 sunscreens in a week

    1. So true, there are some great influencers too. You just need to follow the right people!

  33. Unfortunately, that’s what the world has become. We’re always looking for the latest gimmick, face, concept, idea or person to commercialize. Everything is all about dollars and cents.

    1. Yes, it’s where we are in life. It’s so sad. But it is what it is.

  34. I completely agree with you Pooj. Self-care is meant to relieve anxiety and other stress related things in life, not add to it by unnecessary spending. The poor representation of self-care right now by others is only temporary though. People who are smart will learn that material items are not the way to full happiness within oneself and go back to the self-care that works. Such as reading a good book or taking a nice hike in nature. But I understand your frustration.

    1. Thanks so much. Yes, it’s about being healthy mentally and physically. Not buying things. Stuff makes you happy for a bit but self-care makes us happy longterm.

  35. I don’t even buy stuff when I am stressed. I love shopping when I’m stressed out, but it’s not worth it because I get depressed afterwards or feel stupid so I just don’t do it.😕

    I think a lot of stuff being commercialized after it comes out really drives a lot of people away. Self care can literally be taking time out to shower or even giving yourself kudos for bravery, but anything that promotes addictive shopping and retail therapy is not self care and after a while, it won’t fix anything or could lead to a problem. 🤷🏾

    1. Thank you so much. Yes, buying stuff doesn’t help you feel better in the long run. It gives you a good feeling for a bit but that goes away. Self-care should be really about taking care of yourself long term. Not spending money and putting yourself in debt.

      1. Exactly. It takes time to start and for the affects to work, but when it does, it’s amazing.💕

        1. Yeah, you’re improving yourself longterm and that’s always a great thing.

  36. […] and brands have made self-care a business, and they sell expensive stuff in the name of self-care. That really grinds her gears (If for some reason you haven’t read that blog, tap this […]

  37. Whenever a thought or idea becomes mainstreamed, people will find a way to make money off it. Think about the organizing and decluttering trend. People went out and bought so many “organizing tools”, rather that addressing the root of the problem, either too much stuff or just the inability to figure out where and how to put things away. Self-care has now become the excuse to buy stuff to make you feel better, when really a quiet hour with no responsibilities would do the same with no monetary outlay.

    1. So true, that happens all the time. Like even mental health stuff in general is used to make money. Or yoga or healthy lifestyle. Pretty much everything popular. It’s sad because like you said, self-care is very possible even when you don’t spend any money.

  38. I’m in total agreement with you! I mentally sidestep the fakeness and commerciality that gets pushed. Instead I try to connect with what I need. Then take it from there! Today is Valentines Day and I took the day off work as a vacation day for my mental health. It’s a day I’ll be doing stuff for myself!

    1. That’s great! Valentines Day is another very commercial day but I’m glad instead of buying stuff you took the time to get some rest and work on your mental health.

      1. It was great! Cooked myself a gourmet dinner, had a long soaking bath, relaxed, it was great!

        1. Oh wow, that sounds lovely!

          1. It was great! Happy to report that I wasn’t feeling wistful about not being in a couple. This is a big change for me, because I spent too many of those days not feeling good about my situation.

            1. That’s really great progress! I know it’s hard seeing couples and not being in one but I genuinely think everything happens for a reason and maybe when it’s the right time you’ll find the right person.

              1. I’m happy with where I find myself, if I find someone then I’ll be happy too! 😊 wishing you a wonderful life partner!

                1. Thanks! 😊

  39. Your posts are really so fabulous✨
    You always write the things which are really needed by people nowadays 🤗👍😉

    1. Thank you so much 😊

      1. Always a pleasure for me yrr! You are really a very Great motivator Pooja!🤗👍

  40. You put it perfectly and I completely agree! While we of course can spend money for self care, it is absolutely not essential and it should not be commercialised in the way it is now, especially with expensive products. In a similar way, I get very annoyed when self-care is “glamourised” (if that’s even a word ahah) and shown as something that has to be pretty and tidy, while usually our lives and homes can be quite messy!

    1. Thanks! Yes, exactly. The whole “glamourised’ aspect of it annoys me too!

  41. Yes, you are soooo right. Recently as I was listening to a Spanish podcast, I learned about the incentive motivation and fear motivation, both are external and both can be very damaging to one’s mental well being. When I was young, I was forced to assume these two types of motivation, which my narcissistic parents subscribed for me. And it takes years for me to extricate myself from it and focus back on what I am really interested in and what is the best self care I can do for myself.

    1. Yes, I think both forms of motivation can be toxic. True, the best form of self-care is doing what we love.

  42. Super blog post Pooja. As usual I love the “WHAT GRINDS MY GEARS SERIES”? I enjoyed reading it and also I believe self care is a must and I love taking care of myself before taking care of the other companion🙌

    1. Thanks so much and yes self-care is so vital but of course you can do it in a budget friendly manner too.

  43. Yeah. There’s a distinction between actual “self care” and “treat yo self.” The latter likes to call itself “self care” to sell you stuff you don’t need.

    That said, I did always enjoys the Parks & Rec “Treat Yo Self” episodes.

    1. I loved the “Treat Yo Self” episodes but yeah definitely not actual self-care lol.

  44. […] back to another edition of “What Really Grinds My Gears.” I know a lot of you are enjoying these posts because I get so much interaction on them. So […]

  45. I feel this way about self-care, commercialization of nature, etc. My perceived truth (as an American, not sure where you’re from) is that this is the society/culture that we life in, we feed, we/they’ve created. The American culture is capitalistic, and anything that’s popularized will naturally be rolled up into a product line that can be shoved down our throats for someone who doesn’t truly give a shit about the issue they just want to make a few dollars off it. Maybe I’m just a grumpy opinionated pessimist *boy with a hand up emoji* but that all really grinds my gears, too. Love the column! <3

    1. Thanks so much! I’m Kenyan but was living in Canada for a while. It was an interesting experience because I realised just how different self-care was in North America compared to Africa. People spend so much there on products they don’t even need. I completely agree with you about anything becoming popular just being used to make profits. It’s really so sad. Definitely something that grinds a lot of peoples gears I think.

  46. […] first and be your own number one priority. And that’s not really selfish it’s just self-care. And as we know, self-care is absolutely vital to our mental and physical wellbeing. So go out […]

  47. […] first and be your own number one priority. And that’s not really selfish it’s just self-care. And as we know, self-care is absolutely vital to our mental and physical wellbeing. So go out […]

  48. […] first and be your own number one priority. And that’s not really selfish it’s just self-care. And as we know, self-care is absolutely vital to our mental and physical wellbeing. So go out […]

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