Audre Lorde, writer and activist, once said “caring for self is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation and that is the act of political warfare.” But nowadays, self-care seems to be synonymous with Bikram yoga, superfoods and a possible CrossFit class. Although all of those things are fine for some, they aren’t fine or accessible for all.

How can everyone can practice self-care? First, we have to dissect what self-care is, as well as what it isn’t.

is self-care a privileged act
Photo: Pinterest

Self-care is comforting

My mother always told me to do one thing at least twice a month for myself. For her, it’s going to her favorite nail salon for a routine mani-pedi. The simple act takes no more than an hour or two, but it helps erase the stress and drama from her work and home life.

Whether it’s getting a mani-pedi twice a month, drinking your favorite warm tea daily, or having awesome sex every week, just incorporating the simple comforting things in your life can make a huge difference in how you take on life’s obstacles.

Self-care is challenging 

Just because self-care can be comforting, that doesn’t mean it should always be easy. Growth is never easy. If you are trying to change your life for the better, you will have to shed some old habits and thoughts that hold you back. Bringing in new habits and thoughts that might be hard for you at first, but it will benefit you in the end.

Self-care is a time to explore

Find a new class intriguing? Want to try a new food? We’re curious at heart and there’s nothing wrong with creating new experiences. In fact, trying something new can help you overcome fear, learn a new skill, or help you meet new people.

Self-care doesn’t have to be time-consuming

Breathing exercises for five minutes can bring more oxygen to your brain, while 10 minutes of sunlight can lift your mood. Scratch the idea that if you can’t do two-a-days in the gym then you aren’t doing enough. Small habit changes can make a huge impact in your life.

is self-care a privileged act
Photo: Mykalee McGowan

Self-care doesn’t have to be expensive 

The best things in life are free. Like saying ‘no,’  having a good cry or dancing to some good music. Those three self-care tools can help you prevent or help you through tough situations. If you want to incorporate a service or product into your self-care practice but can’t afford it, I ask you to look into alternative ways to receive those things. For products, catch a sale, go to freecycle sites or even a local thrift store to find what you need.

For services, look for community-based organizations, volunteer, or barter to get what you what. If all that fails, remember Google, your local library and YouTube have your back.

Self-care is customary 

The most important thing is that there is no correct way to practice self-care. Let’s focus on the ‘self’ part of self-care. We are all different and we have different needs and ways to meet those needs. Sometimes morning meditation can help me start my day, just like old Rugrats episodes can help me calm down from an intense day. All in all, just do what heals you.

On Saturday, May 21st, we’re hosting our inaugural conference about how creativity and technology are changing our daily lives, from our hobbies to our work. Will you be joining us? Tickets here.

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