You may have noticed a culture shift happening ever since the pandemic forced us all to slow down. A rise in Gen Z’s and Millenials starting to reject hustle culture sparked a shift where fewer and fewer people are striving to be #BossBabes and are instead embracing their #SoftEra.
If you haven’t already heard the term #SoftEra floating around your TikTok For You Page or have wanted to know what the heck this #ThatGirl trend is all about, look no further.
We chatted to Amy Clark, senior editor and beauty journalist from Adore Beauty, about why she’s entering her soft era, the importance of slowing down and some of her practical tips and tricks to embrace your soft era, too.
What is the #SoftEra trend?
Not too long ago, hustle culture was being celebrated and even glorified as the epitome of success. In fact, you probably saw hashtags like #hustle, #grind and #girlboss dominating on social media, too.
We were sold this idea that working extra hard (no matter the cost) would somehow help us live a life we’ve always wanted.
But, in reality, hustle culture has caused a massive rise in career burnout and even a rejection of traditional ways of working (just look at phenomenons like the great resignation).
This is where the #SoftEra trend comes in. After two years of lockdowns, we’ve all started to push back against #GirlBoss culture and the hustle and bustle of modern life. The soft life is all about slowing down, prioritising yourself and making choices that make daily routine more enjoyable.
In part, we have the pandemic to thank for a rejection of hustle culture and a newfound appreciation for the slow life. It taught us to rethink the need to be ‘busy’ and re-evaluate what is actually important to us.
But we also have people of colour and black women, in particular, to thank for the #SoftEra trend. The most prominent #SoftEra influencers on TikTok are black women who are rejecting racial stereotypes and embrace life’s simple pleasures and hobbies (guilt-free).
The #SoftEra is all about cultivating a life that is free from stress. It means prioritising your peace and devoting your energy to things that are actually important to you and give you the most fulfilment, whether that’s hobbies, creative arts or sport.
Why should we all embrace our soft era?
Hashtags on Instagram and TikTok aren’t the only places telling us to slow down and do more of what we love.
Beyoncé recently told us we should quit our jobs to find a new drive and purpose in her new song, Break My Soul. Although we may not be able to hand in our resignation, this song does make a powerful comment on the negative implications of hustle culture, that being that work shouldn’t break your soul.
In fact, according to The Global Burnout Study, burnout rates are rising. The 2021 study found that 34.7% of participants were currently experiencing burnout, an increase from 29.6% in 2020. Interestingly, women in middle-management positions were highlighted as the group experiencing the highest levels of burnout.
We know that burnout has serious health impacts on our wellbeing, our mood, our energy levels and even on our sleep. So, rebelling against the need to be constantly busy is a way of tackling burnout, taking control of our lives and finding more joy in our daily routine.
How Amy Clark is embracing her soft era
We sat down with Amy Clark to find out what she thinks about slowing down and prioritising self-care. Here’s what she had to say.
“The term ‘self-care’ can feel a bit wacky or silly. But self-care doesn’t have to be sheet masks and serums (although being a beauty editor, I obviously highly recommend!),” tells Amy.
“For me, it’s about being aware of my surroundings, and how my mind and body are feeling, and responding accordingly. Sometimes, you feel like leaning into whatever you’re working on or socialising.”
A big part of slowing down is rethinking how and when we work. Here’s what Amy had to say about rebelling against hustle culture.
“I moved to a compressed 4-day work week around 3 months ago. It’s been a huge adjustment, and a lesson in prioritisation, perspective and time management, but it has also been a genuine game changer,” shares Amy.
“So while I do work longer hours day-to-day, I’ve set a firm boundary that the fifth day is for whatever I want or need.”
How you can start embracing the soft life
Ready to jump on the #SoftEra trend and embrace the soft life?
While we know there are structural changes that need to be made to address the rising rates of burnout, there are so many practical changes you can make in your daily life that will make a meaningful difference in how you feel.
1. Book an in-home massage or beauty treatment
Whether you’re in desperate need of a massage to relieve some tension or just a pamper session to brighten your day, Blys offers a range of in-home treatments and services to help you on your #SoftGirlEra journey.
But don’t take our word for it!
“If you haven’t tried an at-home massage, please do that ASAP. I gifted my step mum with a Blys voucher for Mother’s Day and she couldn’t get over how good it was having that kind of treatment at home,” tells Amy.
2. Listen to your gut
Living the soft life is all about prioritising your needs, establishing healthy boundaries and trusting your intuition.
It means living life as authentically as you can, whether that involves saying no to situations that make you feel uncomfortable or declining an invitation to an event.
Start embracing JOMO (a.k.a. The joy of missing out) and watch TV on the couch on a Saturday night if that’s what you feel like doing.
The soft life is all about ditching stress and doing what feels right for you!
3. Create your own self-care rituals
Self-care means something different to everyone. Social media may tell us that self-care has to break the bank, but you don’t need to spend money on the latest skincare product to practice self-care.
In reality, it’s all about setting aside some time in your day to focus on yourself and doing activities that make you feel good.
“I love seeing people’s daily ‘mental health walks’ on socials, but hate the idea of walking without a destination or purpose. So I usually save up the few podcasts I listen to for my day off, and walk up to a cafe for coffee and food,” shares Amy.
“I also enjoy driving to my regular nail art appointment, and will call my family and chat while in the car.”
Now that you’re ready to start living the soft life, book a self-care treatment with Blys and embrace your #SoftEra with a lush in-home wellness treatment.