20 tips for practicing self care

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!


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Your vote is your voice

I’ve spent all day trying to think of a blog post to write that does not focus on the election that is happening today. It hasn’t gone well.

It’s not that I don’t want to get political on this blog, it’s more that I don’t know what to say. I voted for Hillary Clinton in September during early/absentee voting. I’m with her, I don’t care about the damn emails, and I am so excited to have voted for the first female presidential candidate. I know that she’s not a perfect candidate and that there are lots of things that upset people about her, but I feel confident that she will do a great job leading our divided country. Having a Democrat as our president will help our country get where it needs to go in so many ways, and hopefully this election can help the House and the Senate actually achieve things in the near future – mind blowing idea, right?

My insides jump and flop any time I think of the outcome of this insanely important election, and that there’s nothing I can do about it at this point. Maybe if I had volunteered for the Clinton campaign by canvassing or phone banking, I would feel less helpless – I have no real excuse for sitting by and not helping out. Part of me felt reluctant to do anything surrounding the campaign (aside from our yard sign!) because I’ve had difficulty putting into words why exactly Clinton was the best candidate for this election – it feels like common sense to me, and I get flustered and overwhelmed when I talk about politics. I just can’t seem to get the words together, and feel ashamed about my inability to be vocal for something that is so important. That is also part of the reason why I really didn’t want to write a blog post on Election Day.

But here we are. 

Here I am, sitting at home, refreshing the election results every two seconds, watching episodes of Friends that I have seen at least 8 times, trying to distract myself from the election by doing research on my dream of opening a coffee shop/bookstore business, and forcing my cats to cuddle with me. The anxiety is giving me a headache, and I’m dreading each refresh. I can’t look away, but I need to.

Whatever happens, the sun will still rise. The Earth will still turn, and we will have to find the light in what could be a very dark situation.

See you tomorrow!