It took me a while to write this. By Kiesha Meikle
I’m conscious of the fact that this is a touchy subject for some. It feels like selfcare is something that alot of us had to fight for in terms of acknowledging that it is important and that we all need it for various reasons. I am 100% a fan of selfcare and it’s benefits for good mental health and general wellbeing.
Some of this #selfcare is looking ALOT like overindulgence.
Yeah, I said it.
I am aware that it’s not my place to tell you whether you are overindulging or not. So, I am going to stay in the safe zone and use myself as an example. K?
It’s not you hun, it’s me (it’s probably you too), my selfcare has become an excuse to overindulge and overspend.
I received one of those random PR emails the other day. It was from a credit company – tenuous link for a style website but there you go – their research around spending habits was actually pretty interesting.
They found that the average Brit spends over £1,000 on luxuries every month, despite their average disposable income being almost three times less.
Here are their stats:
- Brits spend £1,093.90 on treats for themselves each month despite only having £371.30 of disposable income
- The most expensive purchases include holiday travel, running a car and home improvements
- 16% admit to being wreckless with money at times
‘GUILTY PLEASURE SPENDING COSTS BRITS £866 BILLION EACH YEAR‘
A quote from the company followed which was pretty much spot on in my opinion:
“A worrying number of Brits are massively overspending on non-essential items, looking for that immediate gratification rather than saving for the future. Whilst it’s definitely healthy to treat yourself to nice things once in a while, spending on treats and luxuries does need to be moderated to avoid nasty financial surprises at the end of the month. The fact that the average British adult is spending £722.60 more than their disposable income budget each month is a big cause for concern and suggests more needs to be done to curb overspending and educate the public on the dangers or overindulgence.”
This all hit home for me recently when I realised I had been writing off alot of indulgent behaviour under the guise of ‘selfcare’. Going out for coffee everyday (with cake) because, you know…selfcare. Buying that Chanel lipstick despite having a drawer full of every colour because, you know…selfcare. Watching Youtube style videos and immediately going online to purchase every outfit because…you guessed it, selfcare.
This behaviour is totally fine if you have the funds to back it up, but if you are spending way above your means then it’s no longer selfcare it is self sabotage. It might be time to take stock BEFORE you are in debt.
Balancing selfcare with restraint
We all need to take care of ourselves and there are times when putting your wants and needs before anything else is absolutely necessary. That said, we all need balance too – sometimes that means exercising restraint. Here are a list of ways to avoid overindulging in the name of selfcare:
- Put a realistic budget aside every month for selfcare activities, hobbies and indulgences – do not go over this budget.
- Get online banking – keeping an eye on your savings will keep them in mind when you are spending. Have a minimum amount for your bank balance and never go below it.
- Use cash – it’s much easier to whip out your card and swipe without thinking. Take cash out of the ATM and use that, when it’s gone it’s gone. You will be much more frugal.
- Book selfcare activities in advance – having something to look forward to can lift your mood for much longer than the immediate gratification of a quick purchase. Book something for the end of the month and keep it in mind when you’re tempted to shop for the next pick me up.
- Get joy from free things – Not all selfcare activities have to cost you money. Make yourself a lovely meal, make homemade cocktails / smoothies from the left over fruit, take a bubblebath and stay in it until you turn into a prune. If none of that works, go back to number 4.
What do you think? When does selfcare become overindulgence?