From women’s mental health specialist and New York Times contributor Pooja Lakshmin, MD, comes a long-overdue reckoning with the contradictions of the wellness industry and a paradigm-shifting program for practicing real self-care that will empower, uplift, and maybe even start a revolution.
You may have noticed that it’s nearly impossible to go even a couple days without coming across the term self-care. A word that encompasses any number of lifestyle choices and products—from juice cleanses to yoga workshops to luxury bamboo sheets—self-care has exploded in our collective consciousness as a panacea for practically all of women’s problems.
Board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Pooja Lakshmin finds this cultural embrace of self-care incomplete at best and manipulative at worst. Fixing your troubles isn’t simple as buying a new day planner or signing up for a meditation class. These faux self-care practices keep us looking outward—comparing ourselves with others or striving for a certain type of perfection. Even worse, they exonerate an oppressive social system that has betrayed women and minorities.