Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be extravagant, like getting a manicure or neglecting chores to binge on Netflix. In fact, sometimes the most important acts of self-care are pretty freaking boring.
One Instagram user is highlighting mundane daily activities through engaging illustrations, hoping to spread awareness of what taking care of yourself really looks like: changing into new clothes, getting an eye exam, even cutting your toenails.
Hannah Daisy, a London-based mental health occupational therapist by day, is the illustrator behind the successful series. She shares the drawings under the hashtag #BoringSelfCare, encouraging people living with chronic illnesses, disabilities, and mental illness to celebrate even the most boring acts as vital accomplishments helping them thrive.
Daisy, who lives with mental illness and endometriosis, was inspired to create the series after seeing how self-care is usually portrayed on social media.
“I started noticing that online, it was often only about nice, lovely things you can do for yourself — like a bubble bath, a massage, or buying nice crystals,” Daisy said. “In my profession, we talk about self-care involving a much wider range of occupations, or things you have to do every day — doing the dishes, washing, dressing, housework, laundry.”
Daisy saw conversations online that alienated people who struggle to do basic day-to-day tasks essential to living comfortably. She started illustrating and posting examples of “boring self-care” on her personal account @makedaisychains in late February, driving home the point that even the most mundane activities count toward taking care of yourself.
The ideas for Daisy’s illustrations come from mixture of sources. Sometimes she draws things she does through her own experience with chronic and mental illness. Other times, she pulls inspiration from the things her clients, or some of her 9,500 Instagram followers, say they find difficult.
Her followers have also started using the hashtag #BoringSelfCare to share photos of themselves doing boring yet crucial tasks in real life.
Daisy said she hopes her followers expand their view of self-care through the Instagram series, and feel empowered to celebrate even the smallest daily victories.
“I hope people [realize] that doing boring tasks are just as valid forms of self-care as any other activity,” she said. “But also I wanted to shine a light on how when you’re unwell, the tasks most people take for granted are actually some of the hardest things to do.”
So book that long-overdue dentist appointment in the name of self-care.