2020 has a brought a lot of problematic aspects to surface: Systemic racism. COVID-19 and the United States’ messy healthcare system. Further targeting of the LGBTQIA+ community. Record breaking measures of global rising temperatures. Murder hornets.
2020 has been majorly depressing — and even more upsetting that it has taken this long for such radical widespread engagement. During these particularly stressful times, I urge you to remember to take care of yourself. Of course, eat your vitamins, stay hydrated, sleep 8 hours, take a walk, shower — but what I really mean is set aside some time for just yourself. Make a habit to practice self-care.
Empathy burnout is real and it is exhausting. Whether out protesting, educating yourself on these issues, or engaging in conversations, the same energy you need to incite change also needs time to be recharged with a degree of self-care and self-love. If you’re not taking care of yourself, how can you possibly aid in the care of others? So, here are 5 quick self care practices you can easily add to your daily routine. Which one will you choose to include today?
I mean a good cup of tea. Like, something Uncle Iroh would make — if you don’t get this reference, I understand and assure you that it is, indeed, an excellent reference. Tea is a self-care practice, because of the patient energy you actually need to exhibit in order to make something soothing worth drinking. Tea is more than just hot leaf juice — it’s an art.
You don’t have to know what to write to journal. That’s kind of the point. Articulating a stream of consciousness can do wonders. Just set a timer for 5 minutes and don’t stop writing — that’s literally all it takes. Even scribbles are a form of writing. There’s no pressure to write inside the lines, but if you prefer a more structured experience, start with listing these three things: something good that happened (a rose), something upsetting that happened (a thorn) and something you’re looking forward to (a bud).
Set a timer for 5 minutes and focus on clearing your mind. Start with focusing on your breath; we constantly forget to breathe. Deep breaths can quickly reconnect your mind with the rest of your body, informing you where stress may have physically manifested itself. A quiet mind isn’t an empty mind; rather, it intuitively connects you with your surrounding environment.