Self-care is meant to address symptoms of everyday stressors and inspire practices for physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

From social media trends on Instagram and TikTok to celebrities creating wellness brands, self-care has become commodified in recent years – particularly towards women. Whether it’s joining the 5am club or buying a new skincare product, marketing and advertising have seeped into what was once a true from of taking care of oneself.

Self-care is an act of leisure and luxury, something not all women have access to due to the demands of their jobs, childcare, or household duties. When combined with consumerism, self-care can widen the inequality gap of who has access to what resources for their well-being.

How can we escape social media and advertising’s consumeristic grip on self-care and get back to its true purpose?

We spoke with Sujaya Balachandran to find out.

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • To use self-care to improve your physical, social, and mental health
    Self-care has been warped by popular and social media to spur consumerism
    To determine which self-care practices work best for you

More about Sujaya: 

Sujaya is a Women & Public Policy Fellow with The Center for Women in Government & Civil Society at SUNY Albany’s Rockefeller College. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from Carnegie Mellon in 2014 and is earning her MA in Criminal Justice at University of Albany, SUNY. Sujaya is currently at the office of Assembly Member Patricia Fahy, working on a variety of legislative and community outreach initiatives.


Resources for Episode 010:

Important terms :

Self-care: activities that help you find meaning and support your growth and “grounded-ness”. 

Self-soothing: activities that provide distraction and/or comfort during difficult times. 

Community care: workarounds for systems that don’t inherently support care. 

Structural care: systems that support community care, self-care, and self-soothing. 

References Mentioned

“Self-Care” Won’t Solve Life’s Problems —
At Least Not the Way It’s Sold to Women by Sujaya Balachandran

What We're Talking About When We Talk About Skin Care, The Huffington Post. 

I Gooped Myself. The Atlantic. 

Who Is ‘That Girl’ & Why Is TikTok Obsessed with Her? Refinery29. 

That Girl: Wellness Shouldn’t Be Work. YouTube. 

Parks and Rec episode: Season 4 Episode 4

New Age Capitalism: Making Money East of Eden by Kimberly J. Lau

How We Can Work Together to Avoid Cultural Appropriation in Yoga by


The primary purpose of this podcast is to educate and entertain. All views expressed by the persons featured on the Your Health Unlocked podcast are their own and do not reflect the opinions of the NWHN or its affiliates. Information provided in this podcast does not constitute medical advice. Consult your own provider for any medical issues that you may be experiencing.

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