Is Sanity Care The New Self Care?

Mental health = bigger priority than pedicures

Will self care ever not be a buzzword? Time will tell.

In light of the pandemic, the term “sanity care” is slowly getting in the limelight. Sanity care is internal — aka anything inside your body that you may need maintenance/improvement on, like your mind and your gut. I equate it to mental maintenance.

Self care, on the other hand, is external. People do things like go the spa (when can we do that again?), go shopping, get their nails done, get their eyebrows waxed and take solo staycations. Basically, anything that gives you satisfaction derived from feeling better about yourself as it speaks (mostly) to aesthetics, is a form of self care.

While many will argue that self care is multidimensional, most of us talk about it in terms of improving physical appearance or indulging in experiences that relieve us from our adult and parenting responsibilities.

I’m not pitting sanity care against self care. I’m simply saying that bypassing our mental wellbeing won’t serve us. Self care is often used as a bandaid for feeling bad, and that isn’t sustainable.

Self Care Is What You Say It Is

Sanity care or self care, here’s how I see it: If it (whatever it is for you) feels essential to your mental wellbeing, you need to do it. No excuses and no shortcuts. This, for me, is exercising, eating healthy, writing/reading, listening to good music and good podcasts, and talking/venting about whatever is bothering me. Every day.

These are the things that keep my mental game strong, allowing space for motivation, creativity and fun, sans guilt.

If you could do without it — or at least, delay it — it probably can be tabled for another time. In essence, your blowout can wait. Addressing our feelings of depression, anxiety and stress can not.

Am I saying you shouldn’t get a blowout because it isn’t deemed “necessary?” Not at all. I’m saying we should prioritize our mental health before anything else.

Parting Questions

Is Being High-Maintenance a Bad Thing? Unless you’re damaging someone else’s self-esteem/emotional state in the process of your high-maintenance-ness, I say no. Why is it anyone else’s business that you get a thrill out of wearing your $600 pair of sunglasses? You don’t have to justify your reasoning for loving them simply because someone else thinks it’s ridiculous.

Is Self Care Selfish? This one has been controversial for awhile. My gut response is NO. It’s a different story when you’re excusing frivolous behavior as self-care, like buying a Maserati to congratulate yourself on sending the emails you needed to send this week. But also, maybe that is your cup of tea? Who is anyone to judge your impulse buys?


You aren’t a selfish person for taking care of yourself. You’re just a happier one.

As always, thank you for reading. May you find ways to attend to both sanity care and self care today, and every day.

And lastly, own your you-ness. Whether you’re wearing sunglasses from the gas station or from Bloomingdales, just own it.

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Be you.