Industrialized nations where the population is rarely struggling to eat and talk about the most recent episode of a TV show are looking for ways to self care. Those aren’t the only people that need it, but certainly the ones talking it up. The wealthy peoples of nations have always been more indulgent in taking care of themselves and the ancient Romans practically made it an art form. The difference is that while we are a wealthy nation, we are dealing with a different world where actually taking care of ourselves comes far behind taking care of everything else.
Since electricity was put into houses and workplaces the world has changed at an alarming rate. Time that once might have been spent growing your food is now spent in a car driving to a store to buy food. At the same time, vegetable gardening is now a form of self care to give you time to slow down and relax. The fresh food that comes from this is a bonus not the goal.
Family is now spread far and wide, distancing us from our support systems and forcing us to rely on businesses created to care for our children, which brings the additional stress of worrying about who’s caring for them and what they are teaching your child while you are away at work. The solution to that is to work hard to save enough money to take a vacation so we get time with our family (which usually stresses us out instead of relaxing us).
Our world is also full of constant noise and distraction. We barely have time to think through what we’ve just been shown or told before we’re being shown something else. We sit an watch Netflix, TV, movies, and have Facebook and text messages competing for our attention. Finding time to just have quiet is a challenge, and the brain can never relax with all the noise and images from the beginning of the day to the end. That’s a relatively new phenomenon as well.
While overall our lives have improved over the last 70 years, it has changed so fast that each generation has had to learn how to navigate a world their parents never dreamed of. These generations came on the heels of a generation that knew long continental war and wasn’t prepared for the changes that brought. The topic of self a care is in the media because we’re just rediscovering it. And self care has changed because now we can pick and choose from methods from around the world that have been proven to help keep us ready for whatever the world throws at us.