'Self-care stopped working for me. But I was more surprised by what happened when I gave it up.'

“Go on girl, do something for you!”

“Prioritise self-care!”

If you’re a woman juggling any sort of work/life/family mayhem, you’ve likely been met with these mandates and others like them. 

And while I’m in full support of the sentiment, lately, I’ve been finding the pressure to squeeze in activities aimed at stress reduction, well, kinda stressful. 

A rare gap in my schedule was an opportunity to squeeze in one or even two such supposedly relaxing practices. I’d race to a yoga class, book a massage, or go to a fitness class – all lovely things, that are a privilege to access. Except instead of making me feel rejuvenated, I was finding myself coming back to work and mumming even more exhausted.

Watch to know what is Self-care, and why is it so important for your health. Story continues after the video.

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I had struggled to find a park and ran in late to yoga, I felt guilty for spending upwards of $100 on a massage, or I had pushed my body to pump out a workout when all it wanted was to rest. 

There are infinite activities sold to us as essential steps in our pursuit of that ever-elusive state: wellness. Meditation, breathwork, reiki, acupuncture, yoga, health retreats, salt room therapy, infrared saunas… Oh my! Nowadays, these therapies and a boundless array of offshoots are what many of us have come to rely on as self-care.


But I’ve started to wonder if, at times, engaging in them can do more harm than good. At best, adding financial strain, and at worst, simply throwing another should onto an already exhausting list. 

I’m not saying these practises can’t be beneficial, but I am asking if sometimes they’re distracting us from the most obvious and accessible built-in self-care activity we have at our disposal – rest.

Enter the lazy girl’s approach to self-care, an attempt to take the pressure out of ‘me’ time and bring it back to what it should be – free and easy! I’m talking about true, unadulterated, zero-pressure to be anywhere, wear anything, look a certain way or even move your body kind of chill-time. 

By now you’ve likely heard of bed-rotting (thanks, TikTok), and that’s not what I’m talking about here, although if it’s your vibe, go for gold! Rather than forcibly taking to one’s bed for hours, or even days, the lazy girl approach involves tuning into your deepest desires in the moment, asking your body what it’s craving, telling your brain to stop panicking about using your free time ‘productively’, and then going full lazy gewl.

Image: Supplied


Intended to do a fitness class, but you’ve woken up feeling absolutely wiped of energy? Instead of telling yourself, I’ll feel better after if I go, say, I’ll feel better if I take all the pressure off and ask my body what it wants. 

Feeling like something is wrong with you because you find yoga low-key infuriating rather than restorative? Don’t push through, it’s just not for you!

Think you should get back into reading 12 books a year but can’t seem to open one? don’t worry, you might find devouring Leigh Campbell’s latest beauty tips more restorative right now, and that’s okay!

It’s all about taking the pressure off. Telling the world to f-off with its glamorous depictions of the perfectly balanced woman, and just doing you. 

The whole point of self-care is to support your physical and mental resilience when faced with stressors. You should come out of these activities feeling calmer, more emotionally balanced and/or physically rejuvenated. So, if you’re finding the opposite is true, it’s probably time to re-evaluate what really gives you that sense of peace.


A decade ago, I had a robust yoga practise and even managed a 150-day streak on my meditation app, and those things felt good at the time. I’m not saying these activities don’t have their benefits. But in my current life as a toddler-mum and freelancer, with multiple chronic illnesses to wrangle, making it to a yoga class, or forcing my brain into submission long enough to meditate honestly just feels exhausting. 

My mistake was forcing myself to return to the kinds of activities that used to make me feel great, and feeling dejected when they didn’t do the trick. Comparing the right-now me to the decade-ago, marathon running me with comparably zero responsibilities was making me feel like a failure, so it had to stop.

Now that my self-care routine is as low maintenance as Keanu Reeves, I’ve seen a tangible reduction in my overall stress levels. I’ve managed to recode my neurotic little brain into valuing the art of doing sweet jack-all as highly as it used to value ‘productive’ self-care, and I’m better for it. 

Sure, I’ll still pop to a yoga class if the mood strikes, and eventually I will get back into some regular meditation, because let me tell you, that stuff works wonders on an anxious mind. But if it doesn’t happen this week, or this month, that’s okay. 

For now, I’m happy in my paint-covered tracky dacks watching Selling Sunset in bed for an hour before daycare pick-up, careful not to spill my cuppa noodles on my quilt cover.

Feature Image: Supplied

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