Self Care is a Radical Act- How to Use Self Care to Serve the Collective

Self care has become a bit of a buzzword these days, and sure, it can be an excuse for marketers to convince you to drop $500 on shoes, or buy shit you don’t need, and maybe it’s fun to do that once in a blue moon, but what if we re-framed self care as a revolutionary act?

In order to serve others to our fullest capacity, we must be full ourselves. In order to make positive and radical change, we need to recharge and avoid burnout.

When we are burnt out, we are more likely to click “buy now” because it’s easy to click a button in the hopes that it will fill the existential dread we are feeling. When we are burnt out, we are feeling low, and more susceptible to messages that we should feel scared and insecure.

When we are burnt out, we are too tired to fight, so we say, take our money, take our rights, I’m just gonna click through this privacy agreement because I. Am. Too. Damn. Tired.

If all we do is take in news, say yes, and run around doing all the things we’re “supposed” to be doing, we’re going to burn to a crisp, and we’re much more vulnerable to bullshit in this state.

When we become frazzled, overwhelmed, and over-give, we exhaust ourselves.

Our energy is finite, and whether we realize it or not, everything we do takes a little piece of our energy, whether that is texting, working, planning, thinking, scrolling through social media, chores, working out, or creativity.

We need to re-charge if we want to show up in this world at our full capacity. We need to use self care as a means to ignite positive change in ourselves and our world. We need to use self care to serve others, and to better serve the collective.

If we don’t care for ourselves, we cannot adequately care for others, and we ultimately do them a disservice. When we are running on empty, we are more prone to anger, self-defeating thoughts, and feeling stuck.

If your car is out of gas, you’re not going anywhere. The same thing happens to you. Self care is your fuel. You need fuel for the journey ahead, and it’s not a one time stop. You need to keep re-fueling to move forward, and if there’s anything that 2020 is teaching us, it’s that we need to keep moving forward, and putting one foot in front of the other.

We cannot hide under our blankets and look away forever. We need to gather our strength and keep showing up, and we do this through self care.

So I invite you to practice and prioritize your self care. If you can’t yet do it for you, do it for all of us. Do it for your family, your friends, your community, and the collective. The world needs your gifts, your voice, your actions, your vitality, and your forward momentum. We need you, and we need you to take care of yourself to show up for us at your full capacity, which will of course vary from day to day. I’m asking you to show up for you.

Here are Ten Ways You Can Practice Self Care Today

Say No

Yep. Make it a point to say no to work obligations, chores, errands, social gatherings, and any other shit you just can’t do right now. You don’t have to do it all, and you can and will survive a day of dirty dishes in the sink. Pass the torch when you have to. Other people will get on. You are not responsible for others wants, needs, and desires.

Unplug

We have to stay informed, and many people have to stay on social media for their livelihoods, but it is imperative we learn to turn it off at some point, set boundaries, and just be. We have to let our minds take a rest from the constant stream of information. It’s always a lot, but right now, it’s really super extra.

There’s being informed, and there’s driving yourself crazy. Stick with the former.

The media often frames stories to be outrageous so we click on them, and the more clicks they get, the more money they get. Hey, we’ve all got to eat, and we all want to save for a nice vacation, right? Be wary of outrage links, and be mindful of the various ways the media skews stories, crops photos, edits videos, etc.

Spend Time With Loved Ones

Call your nearest and dearest and make phone dates, face times, and socially distant hangouts a priority. We need each other more than ever, we need connection, love, human contact, and socialization, and to remember we are all connected and part of something bigger.

Put Your Health First

This goes back to the fuel. Eating crap makes you feel like crap. Now, I’m a big proponent of eating whatever the fuck you want in moderation, but food is medicine. Taking care of your body is taking care of your mind. We literally become what we eat, so become sunshine, nutrients, minerals, and flowers that become gorgeous, vibrant, rainbows of food. Feel the difference. Nourish yourself.

Get at least eight hours of sleep a night. Take a nap if that’s what feels right. Drink water, stay hydrated.

Make Time for Movement

Move and stretch your body every single day. Work up a sweat. Dance. Roller skate. Surf. Hike. Do yoga. Lift weights.

Movement is the quickest way I’ve found to boost my energy and get out of a funk. I swear your body can physically work and sweat out your negativity ten times faster than it can think it away. In fact, thinking it away rarely works.

Move your body, sweat out the toxins, and reap the benefits of increased mood and energy all day, as well as better sleep at night.

Prioritize Fun

The world may be metaphorically and partially literally on fire, and it may sound trite, but it’s more important than ever to have an outlet. We have to laugh, play, be silly, and understand the power of our joy.

The best part of my day lately has been my evening roller skate session, because it is so much fun and makes me feel like a kid. I put on my music, and roll on the pavement to the beat, and it lifts my spirit.

This world may be in disarray, but there is still so much light. We need to make sure we keep the light on inside, and spread it to others. Our joy is contagious, and we are infinitely more powerful when we tap into joy.

Embrace Pleasure

Yes. Pleasure. Since when did pleasure become a dirty word? “Guilty” pleasure can kiss my ass. Indulge in the chocolate. Take a bath with rose petals. Enjoy a glass of wine. Come six times in a row with a massage wand. Feast your eyes on some art (you can treat yourself to a new art coffee table book) or watch your favorite show or movie. Curl up into freshly washed sheets with a good book.

Give yourself a massage. Whatever pleasure means to you, indulge in it.

Make Time for the Spiritual

Whether you are religious or not, connect to the greater powers at be. Whether that is through being in nature, prayer, meditation, building an altar, casting a spell, or attending a social distant church, it is more important than ever we keep the faith.

Pamper

I know it seems trite over revolutionary, but when we take care of our skin, wear clothes that make us feel beautiful, our confidence is positively affected and we are more capable of showing up as our best selves in this world.

Think about how you feel when you’re in grungy sweatpants, and need a shower, vs how you feel when you’re dressed in some fresh clean clothes, freshly showered, with your favorite lipstick on. That person shows up in the world differently.

Take Downtime

Maybe this means sunbathing in your yard. Maybe it’s journaling or napping on your couch. Maybe this means laying in bed flipping through a magazine while listening to the rain. Maybe this means going for a pretty drive, or a walk, or doing nothing at all.

Allow yourself the gift of laying around and doing absolutely nothing. You do not have to be productive all the time. We were trying to do that in the “before” and it clearly wasn’t working.

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