Wellness is a word that often gets bandied about when it comes to taking care of ourselves. There even was a time when it became an extended version of self-help, a category on its own that revolves around speaking and literature circuits that focus on personal development. However, in these times where millennials are already shaping the world around them, wellness is starting to become more of self-care than self-help, transforming it into a gentler, and even more forgiving, compared to other forms of wellness.
The realm of self-care has been severely criticized because it focuses on experiences that you can purchase such as getting manicures, massages, or any thing that gives you that “me time” you’ve always wanted. But if you take a closer look at its beginnings, self-care is more of these loose rituals that are done to help keep your nervous system stable. Today, this concept has not only been simplified, but it has also been broadened to have different meanings.
How Wellness Became Millennials Self-Help
Like it was mentioned before, the millennials are starting to shape the world around them which includes what wellness means for them. If you are going to take a look at Instagram, about 2 million posts by millennials are under the #selfhelp category, with 18 million doing more #selfcare. The latter are the ones who keep journals, have plenty of books, sipping cups of tea throughout the day, or even spending time with pets and the garden, all of which are designed to make you feel better about yourself.
This is quite different from the self-help style that we are more familiar with which usually involves doing cleanses, performing extreme workouts, going on restricted diets, and going on detox just to name a few since they are starting to become irrelevant in a millennial’s world with their low-wage job that keeps them on a tight budget. The newest form of self-care is gentler and seeks nourishment instead which millennials are staring to enjoy.
Self-Help vs Self-Care
When we say self-help, the emphasis is more on fixing something in you that is preventing you from reaching your true potential. Self-care, on the other hand, is more on telling you that you are already an amazing person already. Self-help is more on how to do a particular thing, while self-care is more on how not to do. You can easily find how-to books such as The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and How to Win Friends and Influence People that focus on increasing your productivity levels and even how to correct your personality in order to win friends. These are all self-help books that we may have picked up at one point when we find ourselves in need of guidance. The problem with these self-help books though is that they are lacking warmth, tenderness, empathy, and inclusion all of which are what millennials can easily relate to.
For self-care, the idea here is how to not do. Self-care practitioners don’t follow any rules, nor are there any best-selling books like the self-help ones in the market, as of today. What you’ll get, however, are an infinite display of coloring books, journal-type workbooks, inspirational quotes, and so on. The problem, however, is that the daily efforts suggested on self-care, such as being conscious about your breaths, creating boundaries, and the like are not that interesting for many.
Of course, there will be areas in self-help and self-care that will overlap which can be labeled as “spiritual self-help”. In spiritual self-help, this method doesn’t focus much on fixing what’s wrong, but more on trying to understand as well as to calm and soothe the person, just like how self-care works.
A Change in Terminology
Most of us are not fond of reading self-help books as it gives the impression that we are trying to fix something in us that is hindering our growth. Millennials, on the other hand, are seeking ways in which they can improve their self, but with books being branded as self-help, many are not so eager to pick one up. Marketing companies have seen a change in popularity with self-help books as their sales are not as high as before, but they are still seeing their customers still intrigued on what self-help is all about. What these companies did is to change the terms that they are using such as self-improvement rather than self-help. And it seems to be working since the word “improvement” gives off that positive and affirming vibe which millennials are leaning towards to.
If you are going to compared recent books on self-care or self-help, you will find the newer ones to have a sassier title or has an attitude that millennials are quite to pick up on. There are blogs that tackle how to take care of yourself in this digital age where, instead of mindlessly scrolling down your social media posts, you actually be more mindful of what you are reading to be able to connect your spirituality and success together. Fortunately, with the appearance of technology, it’s easier for us to access self-improvement books, blogs, and videos that can help improve ourselves.