Unnie Thoughts: Self Care to NOT escape your reality

Anyeong! 🙂 Veering away from my usual korean drama posts, I wanted to share something that really got my attention. I recently came across a quote that one of my good friends posted in her Instagram story and it got me really thinking about what it means to take care of ourselves. The quote is:

True self-care is not about salt baths and chocolate cake. It is making the choice to build a life you don’t need to regularly escape from.


It was particularly striking because it was the first time that I read/heard of self-care not defined as pampering yourself or taking an hour or two to destress or escape from the mundane. I’ve always considered watching korean dramas as a form of “escape” from my real life because I don’t think about my own problems for 30 minutes – 1 hour and merely become an observer of someone else’s life. I can pry and make comments about a character’s decision, cheer for them for attaining their goals, and revel in their journey when they have conquered their plights. I started thinking that instead of treating my interest as an escape, couldn’t it just be considered a part of my life that I find enjoyable?

Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with indulging ourselves at times because waking up every single day and going through the same routine can drive us crazy. But the thing is, I also don’t think that the saying above means that we’re not allowed to destress, but rather, I think it calls for a shift in perspective –– a change in mindset that instead of trying to escape the mundane, we create a life that we can enjoy on a regular basis and not need to break away from. It’s being able to deal with your life the best way you can with habits and plans that nurture yourself.

I enjoy watching korean dramas but it did reach a point where I just “had to” catch an episode because I had a stressful time at work and I deserve to unwind. Although I can argue that it’s not an extraordinary way to indulge myself, I realize that the feeling of deserving something because of an unfair situation is entitlement. I just had to buy a Starbucks drink, order take-out food, or I need to buy that luxury bag — I thought it was self-care because I felt good after treating myself. But the reasons behind those actions were just to satisfy an exhausted or entitled part of myself. Again, there is nothing wrong in treating yourself but ask yourself: How can I truly take care of myself when I’m always depending on something else to make me feel happy? Is it even happiness or just a temporary spurt of glee?

If you find yourself having to regularly indulge in consumer self-care, it’s because you are disconnected from actual self-care, which has very little to do with “treating yourself” and a whole lot do with parenting yourself and making choices for your long-term wellness.


With so many unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances that can sprout in our lives, building a life that we can learn to be satisfied with takes time, courage, and the willingness to accept mistakes and learn from them. It’s not meant to be easy because real happiness and satisfaction stems from a mixture of good and bad experiences, and that’s okay.

I still stand by the fact making plans to travel, buy an iced coffee, or go on a shopping spree once in awhile if you feel good or just want to do such a thing. It’s the how often you do it and reason why that signals the difference of these habits being defined as true self-care or I need to do this because I am stressed. It’s different for everyone but I think that taking care of ourselves doesn’t have to involve special events or occurrences all the time. Reading a book, taking a power nap, talking with your family and friends, or watching korean dramas — simple but isn’t this what life is all about anyway? 😉

*For further reading, check out the author’s post here:

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