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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Sunday, December 03, 2023

Self-care products may be doing you more harm than good. Here’s why.

It is a common belief that money can buy happiness. 

This belief comes from the world we live in today. People feel if they raise their incomes, their wealth will enable them to buy the latest and greatest products. They often feel these items will cure their unhappiness by providing joy when feeling down. 

While materialistic items may bring joy, it is short-lived. Buying products with the intention to make you happier temporarily fills the void, but it does not solve the root problem. 

This dangerous cycle, known as the “hedonic treadmill,” will eventually repeat itself. Business owners and entrepreneurs see this cycle as an opportunity to increase profits and expand their companies. I mean, can you blame them? 

Sadly, these business tactics have spilled over into the wellness industry.

I took the University of Wisconsin-Madison course “Consuming Happiness” taught by Christine Whalen. This course was based upon the question of whether money can buy happiness, which brought me to further research these topics, specifically the wellness industry. 

So, what is the wellness Industry?

The wellness industry is all the industries from personal training to skincare products that advertise people practicing “healthy habits” in their day-to-day lives. While these products may have cool packaging and a sleek website, they must be bought. 

The wellness industry has turned into a booming business. It has made me wonder why the world has turned into a place where self-care has become too expensive for many people. 

After researching the wellness industry, it is clear there has been an obvious shift in the concept of self-care. In the article “Self-Care Culture is Evolving,” Rina Raphael explains the differences between health basics such as sleep, movement, illness prevention, friendships and all the extra things that are now marketed as self-care. 

For example, pretend you’re scrolling through Instagram and see an ad for stress-relieving eye patches. While these eye patches will probably feel nice on your skin, they are not going to relieve your stress altogether. 

Things like this are more for fun rather than self-care. Using a face mask is not going to cure your problems or give you flawless skin, but it might make you feel a little better.

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Psychologists and authors worldwide have published many self-help books and programs promising consumers happiness. These books do contain advice that can be beneficial, but it’s generalized for thousands of people to read. Everyone has their own journey in this crazy life we live, and everyone needs advice tailored specifically to them. 

One book or seminar will not make your issues magically disappear. This can be diminishing for consumers who pay for a promise that will not come true. 

I am not telling you to stop buying your favorite face mask or put down your book about self-care. I am telling you to slow down, to be mindful of your resources and how you are using them. 

In the world we live in today, it’s important to be educated on these shifts in the wellness industry. There is no cookie-cutter way to experience genuine happiness, and we are all on our own personal journeys. 

We are all doing the best we can. Let’s keep it that way.

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