I’ll never be a free spirited, go-with-the-flow, super chill kind of person, and I’m mostly okay with that.
I tend to worry a lot about most things, big and small. Worrying is definitely not one of the traits I am most proud of, and it can lead to some intense feelings of anxiety sometimes, but, get this – I don’t think that all worrying is bad.
Sometimes my worrying causes me to catch details or issues that others might miss, or allows me to fully think through and process a situation in front of me. I can mentally prepare for multiple outcomes, as I have that “let me think of every single thing that can go right or wrong in this situation” kind of brain. This brain has also gotten me into many a sleepless night because I was pretty sure a murderer was about to break into my house, but hey, I didn’t say that my worries are all good! I just think that so much of the conversation around worrying is that it’s something that should be avoided, shamed, or crushed immediately, and that that mentality isn’t helping anything.
Instead of trying to immediately force any of these thoughts out of my head or beating myself up for my worries, I am putting my focus and attention to worrying less and trying to understand why I am worried in the first place. Can I turn this worry into positive thought on what I can practically do to make the best of this situation or prepare for something? Most of the time, my worrying won’t actually change the outcome of the situation. Many of my worries are not productive, and therefore should not be given priority in this strapped-for-space brain of mine. Repressing them is not going to get me anywhere, but reflection and gentle thoughts will.
… any tips?
It’s been a rough few days.
I’ve spent so much of this time thinking and reading and feeling all of the feelings. I’ve been using social media to share lots of these feelings, and the feedback of solidarity and understanding has been incredibly helpful. This election has showed us just how divided our country is, but luckily I’ve got lots of people in my circles that have been able to share words of comforting wisdom and ways to turn this anger into action.
All of that aside, now is an incredibly important time for a reminder on how to practice self care. Many of us are hurting and angry and upset, and it can be easy to forget to spend some of our energy focusing on ourselves and our well-being. Self care is something I learned about in college when I was heavily involved with my college’s feminist group, the Feminist Association of Wheaton. Being in that group and being a Women’s & Gender Studies major meant that a lot of my time was taken up with activist efforts, reading heavy articles & books about society, and learning about less-than-pleasant things, aka the systemic oppression of women and minorities in our world. Real fun, huh?
While not fun, all of that was incredibly important for me to learn and be involved with. Luckily, many feminist groups and communities know the importance of regular self care, so that is something that I learned about and practiced during this time.
What is self care? Self care is taking the time to put yourself first, to get in touch with yourself & your emotions, and to give yourself time and space to reflect and heal. It’s really something that everyone should be doing regularly, but is especially important in times like this, where it’s hard to avoid hearing or reading potentially distressing things. There are a lot of ways to practice self care, and a healthy form of self care is different for each person. Also, pro tip, be careful to avoid disguising unhealthy or self-destructive habits as self care. It’s way too easy to let that happen. Other than that, there’s not really a wrong or right way to take care of yourself – so your list might be totally different than mine!
Continue reading “20 tips for practicing self care”