My Wellness Costs Money
My wellness costs money, and I think it's important to be transparent about that. I'm excited that the themes of wellness and self care have been getting so much air time in recent years, especially among millennial womxn. It warms my heart even more to see the dialogue coming from Black and Brown millennial womxn. But something I grapple with sometimes is the relationship between the wellness space and commerce. Essentially, I’m wondering how possible it is to have productive public conversations in the online community about how to take better holistic care of ourselves without being heavily influenced by a brand landscape that teaches us that wellness can be bought.
Especially as a brand strategist, I think a lot about the ways by which brands align themselves with cultural trends or popular discussion topics for the purpose of building loyalty and driving purchases. The crux of a brand’s job is to create an emotional tie with its target audience, and tapping into trending public conversations as it devises its key messages is an intelligent strategy for doing so. I mean, it’s the whole reason we use hashtags on social media: so we can find out who all is talking about certain things and what exactly they’re saying. So, lately I’ve been thinking about what this means when it comes to wellness.
I worry about an image of wellness that looks too much like face masks and skin care products we don’t actually need, or an aspirational depiction of “balance” that so happens to require pricey yoga attire. To be clear, I don’t fault businesses who recognize opportunity among people with interests in wellness and self care. What I’m aiming for here is an honest reflection on how we talk about and portray wellness in online communities, and how it truly looks in practice.
So to circle back, I want to start by being transparent about the aspects of my wellness that cost me money. Then, I want to share some of the most crucial rituals for my self-preservation that don’t cost me a dime. It just feels more responsible, as someone with a few strangers watching her on the Internet, to acknowledge the privileges I enjoy with regard to accessing self-care and wellness habits. I know that a ton of people simply cannot afford the luxury of wellness we often see depicted on our Instagram feeds. So, I hope that sharing both my costly and cost-free self preservation methods will remind us of a few things: 1) If you’re fortunate enough to invest in things that keep you healthy, mentally and physically, appreciate that. 2) You don’t need to buy everything that “social media wellness” is selling. With a little resourcefulness and discipline, you can probably achieve quite a few of your wellness goals with exactly what you have in the current moment. And 3) If you’re struggling to incorporate self care into your life because of barriers to access you can’t control, be willing to ask for help. I guarantee you’re not the only one.
My Top 5 Costly Wellness Habits
Personal trainer 3 times a week
Fresh produce and organic protein
Monthly multivitamin subscription
Professional photoshoots (You’re like, “how is this a wellness habit?” Trust me, it’s a very intentional investment in my confidence as someone who grew up not truly feeling beautiful.)
My Top 5 Cost-Free Wellness Habits
Naming three things I’m grateful for each morning
Singing in the car
Listening to elders in my family
Voice recording myself sharing random thoughts and ideas on my phone
Forgiving myself for choices I made in the past that I wouldn’t repeat today
Where do you spend the most on wellness? And what are your best free self care techniques? Drop down in the comments and let ya gurl know.