To remain an activist, I must practice self-care. It’s essential.
If you didn’t know, I picked the word “act” for my word of the year. One of the biggest reasons that I picked the word “act” is because we need more people doing the good things that they say that are going to do. I hope this year is filled with: acting strong, acting bold, acting wise, acting organized, and acting brave. Something I wanted to share more about last year (when my word was “create”) was updates throughout the year and how I was putting in motion what my word for the year was.
The idea for this post came was inspired by the night I volunteered at a rally for International Women’s Day/A Without Women. During the event, I was stationed at a table with a couple other women from the group we belong to and the wind made the event rather chilly. It was also a little exhausting saying the same thing over-and-over again. Once I got home, I needed time to myself and I wanted to warm up. I took a soaking bath, like I do many weeknights, especially in the winter. I thought about how important it is to mix activism with self-care.
I try to do something daily to take care of myself. My go-to self-care activity is taking a soaking bath at night. I use Epsom salts and add in essential oils to create a soothing detox. Sometimes I’ll even throw in a bathbomb. Lush is the most well known for their bathbombs, but I also like when I can find them locally. My other forms of self-care include creating art, sending cards to friends (if you want a pen-pal, I’m your girl!), and even working out. I forgot how much working out improves my well-being. I’ve mentioned this a bunch on the blog, but I joined Brickhouse Cardio Club at the end of last year and started my year right by actively going to the gym. At first, I was going to 3 classes a week and now I am up to 4 classes. What I love about it is I can schedule the classes a week in advance and that helps me keep organized week-by-week. I also love the variety of classes and times. Spin, PiYo, and Hip-Hop classes are definitely my favorites. I’ve felt a lot healthier the past 2.5 months and I can already tell I am getting stronger.
I think with the current political climate and rising interest in activism, self-care gets a bad rep at times. People might think you’re being selfish when you’re really just trying to take care of yourself. It’s not narcissistic to do something to feel good or take care of yourself. If I get to the point where I am feeling overwhelmed with activism and political involvement, I have to take a step back and focus on my physical and mental health. It’s hard enough to be an advocate and doing it sick is even tougher.
Something that I am still learning to be better about is taking social media breaks. I tend to stay up-to-date with the current happenings of the world by following trusted news sources, like NPR, on Facebook/Twitter. But sometimes, it’s too much. I’ll get on my phone or computer and become stressed out by all the hate and chaos. I’ve started turning off an app if I start to feel anxious about what I am reading. I’ll admit that I can be an obsessive over certain news stories and I won’t stop looking for new developments until I feel satisfied with understanding. Since I recognize that, I am trying to take steps back when I can.
All this being said, I’m definitely still learning how to be a better activist and be better at taking care of myself. I’d love to hear your methods of self-care and any advice you have on this subject. I have another “Act” post planned (it’s taking me longer to write than this one) to share in the near future. The cover photo was taken by me during the Women’s March on Washington.
Have a great Thursday!