Self Care Isn’t Always Sunshine, Rainbows, and Face Masks: The Dark Side of Self Care

Self Care Isn’t Always Sunshine, Rainbows, and Face Masks: The Dark Side of Self Care

Self Care Isn't Always Sunshine, Rainbows, and Face Masks_ The Dark Side of Self Care

I was going through my Pinterest account and leaving/applying to various group boards, rearranging all my own personal boards, and getting a better handle on all of that.

I swear, this does have to do with self care.

The thing is, self care is a big part of my blog, so I was looking for boards to join or follow regarding that. However, a lot of the pins I came across were on the more “fluffy rainbows” side of self care. The “have a mug of tea, put on a face mask, and relax to some Youtube playlist” kind of stuff.

But self care isn’t always like that. Sometimes it’s a lot more intense and less sparkly than that. Even if you are using a sparkle face mask.

In this post I’m going to relay an experience I had where I had to do some real, genuine, hard core self care. If you want to know about the darker side of self care, keep reading.

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Self Care is Caring For Your Self

I know that’s basically the definition, but think about it. Some of the more “surface level” kinds of self care aren’t exactly “caring” for yourself, they’re treating yourself to something. They’re helping you relax after a stressful day or adding to your daily routine.

Sometimes self care is much more than that.

I want to tell you a story about how I was doing not too long ago. Recently I had to drag myself to the psychiatrist office to finally get my medication checked out and something else was added, despite my guilt and shame regarding that. (You can read about some of that here)

My depression had been going on a spiral to the point of me wanting to cry at all times, barely being able to hold myself together, and all I did was sleep and lay in bed.

Self care in this situation was forcing myself to take a shower after the 5th day because I was afraid I was starting to smell.

It was washing my hair after ignoring how greasy and gross my hair felt because I couldn’t be bothered to care.

It was forcing myself to eat something even if it wasn’t the most nutritious because my appetite tanked to the point of not wanting to eat.

It was talking to a friend about these problems I was having instead of bottling everything up inside, despite how guilty and shameful I felt about it.

Related: 8 Things to Do When Depression Hits


Self Care Isn’t Beautiful

Forcing myself to take a shower took a lot of energy and will power, something I didn’t have much of either at the time. 

Think about that.

I had to force myself to get into the shower, turn the water on, and actually wash myself instead of just letting the water run down my body. 

I had to force myself wash my hair instead of letting it get wet and having the grease and oils build up to a point it made my head itchy and feel heavy.

I then had to force myself to put on my winter level lotion/cream because my eczema is getting worse in the colder weather.

See a pattern here?

I had to force myself to do these basic things.

Sometimes, that’s what self care is. 

It’s making yourself do the basic things you do on a daily basis to keep clean and hygienic, have a full belly, and mentally sound.

It’s wanting to lay in bed all day, but knowing in the back of your mind you should do something so you try to watch informative YouTube videos instead of entertaining ones.

It’s ordering Cinnabon from GrubHub for the Nth time because you don’t want to move to cook anything and Cinnabon is fucking amazing (but absolutely terrible if you eat it every day like I was).

Sometimes self care is ugly crying into a pillow because you need to get all those emotions and feelings out before you can start on a better path.

Related: 7 Questions to Ask Yourself When You’re Having a Bad Day

Self Care CAN Be Sparkly and Shiny

But not all self care is getting down and dirty with your depressed self.

Sometimes self care is having that mug of hot tea at the end of a stressful day, or having some time for yourself where you don’t focus on anything. 

Sometimes it’s putting on that face mask or using a super hydrating cream after neglecting your skin care for a bit.

It can also be getting yourself a new journal to journal in, or anything else that comes along with the frills that Pinterest and other bloggers write about. I mean, the dark and depressing parts of self care aren’t exactly pretty to put on a pin.

So that brand new lotion or body wash or exciting new thing you just bought can very well be part of a self care routine. I’m not here to gatekeep self care, just here to show you that sometimes self care isn’t pretty. It’s not always rainbows and sunshine like the internet likes to convince you it is.

Related: Step-by-Step Self Care Guide


Self Care Isn't Always Sunshine, Rainbows, & Face Masks // I'm going to relay an experience I had where I had to do some real, genuine, hard core self care. If you want to know about the darker side of self care, Click Here.



I wanted to share my “other side” of self care with you so you know that sometimes it’s more than what companies try to sell you as “self care” products. 

  • Self care can be absolutely intense. Sometimes it’s making sure you’re still a functioning human being.
  • Self care can be something you forcing yourself to do said things to keep your a functioning human being. And no, grubhub Cinnabon doesn’t count as a meal.
  • Self care can be sparkly, shiny, and full of rainbows. It can be a product for your skin care, a fancy lotion, or anything else that’s less scary than the “dark side” of self care.


Have you even met the “dark” side of self care? Let me know in the comments below!

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Jenni

    Abso-freaking-lutely! Love this post so much!! This is much needed for many people to read. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you for reading!! I’m finally in a much better place and thought it was the perfect time to write about this

      1. Jenni

        That’s amazing to hear!!

  2. Amy Irvin

    I definitely have been there, having dealt with mental illness my whole life. God bless you

  3. Leah

    Wow! I love that you’re able to share this, because while self-care can seem glamorous, this is the true meaning of self-care. Doing what you need to do to keep yourself functioning is the core of self-care, no matter what level you’re at. I’m proud of you, and I truly hope you keep sharing this. 💕

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