Sunday, November 20, 2011

Demystifying Self Care

A bit of a divergence from previous topics...self care. I recently spent time exploring this idea with a group of powerful women who tackle issues of racial and social justice on a daily basis. Women who, like me, have for years burned the candle at both ends, humbly and without fanfare, committed to supporting the upliftment of undervalued and mistreated people and communities...our communities. Those with significant others, including partners and/or children and other family members, continue to provide care upon arrival at home, day after day with love. Those without a significant other or family member to care for often work much longer hours. In both cases these women, like so many of our women, push to the background their own need for care. There is always so much to do that taking the time to exercise or sit in a warm bath or spend time doing something that brings joy and balance seems so selfish.

Making the time is necessary. There will always be struggles to engage in, problems to solve, others to care for...but if we are too sick - emotionally, physically, mentally - we will be no good to anyone. It can be a challenge to prioritize self care when the pressure to work more for less increases daily. But consider what it means to be a whole person; consider the value of your life and the contributions you have yet to make, if only you have the time. Make the time.

Some things can be as simple as getting up 20 minutes earlier to have a quiet cup of coffee, write in a journal, do some stretches or exercise. They can be as inexpensive as walking, spending time with a friend or family member, gazing out of the window or reading. You can take a trip, if you have the resources. You can draw or put on music and sing and dance. There is so much to do to help balance the demands on your time and energy with self care practices. The key is MAKING the time to do it and DOING IT!

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