When you think about the word “soft,” what comes to mind? Is it the plush teddy bear you used to snuggle with as a child or the thread count on your favorite comforter set? Maybe it means something deeper to you, or perhaps you rarely think about the word, especially in terms of describing yourself.
The terms “soft girl season” and “soft life” have been trending on social media during the past few months. From Instagram Reels to TikTok videos, it’s hard not to come across someone mentioning them. But what does it mean to live a “soft life” or a “soft girl season?”
What’s clear to us is that both ideologies are about prioritizing one’s overall wellbeing, which doesn’t sound too different from the bigger conversation surrounding mental health. But again, it’s hard to deny how popular “soft girl” season/life has become—#softlife has more than 500 million views on TikTok. But is it realistic for moms to consider living a softer, more peaceful life, and what would that even look like? If you’re curious about this too, we spoke with self-care coach and wellness consultant Cassie Butcher to learn more about what this wellness trend can look like for moms.
How to define a “soft girl” life?
Since everyone has a different definition for what it means to take care of themselves, there are several ideals about what living a soft girl life means. “One of the things I’ve noticed is that people are allowing others to define it for them, which leads them to getting caught up in that definition,” Cassie said. This can lead to an unnecessary comparison game where people feel like their lifestyle is “rough” because it doesn’t match one person’s definition of a soft girl life.
“You have to figure out what ‘soft’ means to you and what it looks/feels like in this season,” Cassie said. Some people believe it’s merely a period of time that deserves softer living, while others want to devote their entire life to it. Depending on different factors in your life, you may only be able to devote a season to living softer.
Overall, Cassie believes it’s more peaceful for moms to focus on defining their own soft girl season/life should they choose to engage in one. “Don’t worry about trying to fit into how someone else defines anything,” she said.
Can moms realistically live a “soft girl” life?
We live in a society that loves to label things and, unfortunately, this also carries over to one’s wellness journey. “I think it could be helpful for some moms not to attach a label to prioritizing their wellbeing, because it doesn’t belong to anyone else except for them,” Cassie said. That being said, you may feel like you either don’t have time to take care of yourself or that self-care is selfish. This may stem from beliefs that society or your immediate community has about the role and responsibilities of mothers. Additionally, Cassie acknowledged that some people are in survival mode more than others: “For moms,” she said, “it’s important to remember that some are parenting by themselves.”
But it’s not selfish to take care of yourself. In order to show up for the different roles you have in life, it’s a necessity. “Moms can absolutely practice self-care, even it means making space for it,” Cassie said. “Not only that, but moms have to learn to be okay with asking for help outside of familiar territory.” It’s natural to consider family or friends as part of your village, but support can also come in the form of mental health providers. Sometimes self-care looks like taking medication to help your mental health.
How to stay encouraged on your wellness journey, labels aside.
As beautiful as motherhood is, there’s no denying its rough moments. Sadly, sometimes those rough moments can cause you to want to give up on taking care of yourself. But Cassie believes looking after yourself doesn’t have to require anything elaborate on your part. She said, “Something as simple as taking a certain amount of time to catch your breath, read, or focus on something that’s relaxing or enjoyable to you is one way to get back on track if you feel discouraged.”
Also, while social media can be a great source of inspiration, you don’t have to apply everything your favorite account shares to your life. “You can admire people for being vocal about taking better care of themselves, but there’s nothing encouraging about feeling like you don’t measure up to another person’s life,” Cassie said.
Social media trends may come and go, but taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be about what’s popular. It just has to feel good to you. Cassie said, “Some people have been feeling like they’re struggling in life, which explains why they may resonate with the word ‘soft.'” Whether you decide to call it a soft girl life or not doesn’t matter; taking care of yourself does.