Written  by Sara Macauley

Are Companies Capitalising on Mental Health?

While the rise of open mental health discussion and self-care is certainly a positive thing, there are some who view this new attitude as a marketing opportunity. Corporate giants capitalising on our emotions is nothing new – even the celebration of love is commercialised and embodied by fluffy teddies and heart-shaped chocolate boxes. Now the same is happening with self-care. Shops encourage you to ‘treat yourself ’ with expensive bath salts and a wardrobe of trendy outfits. And according to the advertising world, applying a clay face mask every Sunday evening is the antidote to emotional turmoil. Who knew?

While marketing companies are partly to blame for perpetuating an unhealthy attitude towards caring for our minds, the majority of us probably make rash decisions in the name of self-care without even realising it. If you’ve never found yourself punching in a Deliveroo order on a down day, give yourself a round of applause. Many people choose to splash their cash in an effort to make themselves feel better, only to find topping up an Oyster card the next day becomes a little bit more soul-destroying. Getting into debt in an effort to look after yourself is counterproductive, and will ultimately leave you feeling even more stressed.

Proper self-care requires listening to what your body and mind really need. If your body is aching all over, perhaps an extra hour or two of sleep is the answer instead of a pricey Swedish massage at lunch time. Or maybe you’re a night owl type who prefers late nights and long lie-ins. Both options are equally valid. The key takeaway about self-care is for you to listen to what works for you, and create a change in your routine that makes room for those things.

People often start searching for self-care tips when they’re already feeling super stressed or deep down in a pit of depression. This can lead to feelings of frustration when traditional methods like meditation don’t instantly eliminate the problem, or when only drinking green smoothies for breakfast doesn’t make us glow like a goddess. We should be approaching self-care as a necessity, something we need to do to get by. So think of this as an M.O.T for your mind, and start paying attention to what YOU need.

The only self-care tip you really need is a simple one: listen to yourself and your own needs – then make proper time for them.