I go to school full time and work part-time in addition to trying to maintain good physical/mental health. Suffice to say that leaves me with not much time, not a ton of energy, and in desperate need of a break/time to recuperate/take care of myself/not do anything/etc. Most of the time, this kind of mindful taking care of oneself is known as “self-care”. The University of Buffalo (SUNY) School of Social Work explains self-care as:
activities and practices that we can engage in on a regular basis to reduce stress and maintain and enhance our short- and longer-term health and well-being.
And the great Audre Lorde described her own relationship with self-care as
not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.
In this sense, self-care is a mechanism to counteract the capitalist keep doing and doing and doing mentality that is endemic within Western society. The dominant discourse within the West values the work that our bodies produce especially those of us with marginalized identities, however are bodies/selves/lives are seen as value-less if instead of producing capital gain, we focus on nurturing ourselves. That is how self-care can be a revolutionary act to maintain, uplift, and thrive in societies that are desperate to see us beaten, tired, and emotionally/physically exhausted.
In this post, I’m going to focus on simple, low cost self-care that can be done basically any time. These are self-care activities that are really great for me because I can treat/pamper myself, take my mind off of stressful things, and have a break.
Enrich the Soul