The original purpose of this piece was to discuss self care, for activists. As I wrote this, I scrapped that idea because we all need self care, regardless of what we do with our lives.
Self care is such an important and healthy part of our lives. I tend to burn myself out, constantly. From working a job, to taking classes to all of the activism and clubs I am involved with, I find myself burnt out and unsure of how to cope.
I went to this summit for young activists and we talked briefly on self care. We emphasized why it's important to perform self care.
This topic resonated with me and made me realize, I need to make sure I always take time for myself. I made a list after this summit with things I can do when I need a time of self care.
1. Put on a favorite movie.
Or try a new movie! I always find myself rewatching "Ghost World" just due to the beautiful set up and amazing script. Or even the genius writing of Kevin Smith with his classic "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back!" or I love a mindless comedy like "Dude, Where's my Car?"
2. Pet some animals.
Animals are too good for use. Or in my case, cry over some animals.
This sounds ridiculous, but I promise, a good cry is totally worth it sometimes. If you keep all your stress built up, it's unhealthy. Releasing it with a nice cry sesh is totally acceptable. I feel so much better after a good cry and I'm fine with that. Suppressing your emotions is not what self care is about.
4. Pick up a new book.
Or read an old favorite.
5. Call an old friend.
This always helps, reflecting on good memories. Learning about what others are doing and their wellbeing is super wonderful.
6. Plan a weekend.
It can even be 100% make believe! Just something for the future or even this upcoming weekend.
7. Learn something new.
Listen to a lecture, read a newspaper (supporting your local press can be super cool!) read a book, watch a documentary, or even talk to an old relative.
8. Drink lots of water.
Always stay hydrated.
9. Start a Netflix binge.
"It's Always Sunny in Philly" or "Friends" are two I highly recommend. "Californication" and "Weeds" are also worth a binge.
10. Treat yourself.
Get yourself something nice! Treat yourself to a nice day. You deserve it!
11. Look at old photos of good times.
Tissues can also be needed for this one.
12. Check out a new band.
Recently, I took a break from work and went out to this awesome show in my town with a good friend of mine. I had a the pleasure of learning more about the music scene in my area and even finding some new bands I can listen to. Learn about your local town's scene. It's so worth it!
13. Eat some fruit.
Fruit is nature's gift.
14. Research something you always wanted to learn about.
Kind of goes with #7, but this can be more extensive. You can go really into detail and learn more than just one thing. Extensive research can be super interesting and oddly relaxing.
I can't say this enough. Get enough rest.
16. Be positive.
I know sometimes things can be hard, I understand. Being positive isn't something that can always happen over night. Remember, everything works out. Everything has it's ups and downs. Everything will be ok.
17. Remind yourself of your value.
You are so important.
18. Pace yourself, always.
Part of the reason you become burnt out is how much work you do. One day, you may get a ton of stuff done and the next, you get less done. Keep a nice, steady and even pace. It'll help balance out in the end.
19. Make a playlist.
One for you, or even your really nice co-worker who constantly compliments your style
Online, in person, retail therapy is so nice.
21. Take a break from social media.
This is a lesson I should really take from myself. We invest ourselves so much in social media, it takes over most of our lives. Unplug for a few hours. Hide your phone, hide your computer. Just be invested in the world around you, not the digital one. A social media detox once in a while is so refreshing.
22. Take a bath.
A bath helps relaxes all your muscles and you can totally shake it up by bringing a book, some nice tunes and some candles to help create a totally different and totally relaxing feel.
23. Make a list.
It can be as simple as a "To-Do" list to a list of all your favorite bands.
24. Give yourself a makeover.
This could be putting your hair up or even trying out a whole new look. I once spent a whole day changing my look from floral queen to grunge lord. Change can be satisfying and a nice breather.
25. Clean your room.
Clutter totally creates stress. De-clutter. Cleaning can be oddly enjoyable and even soothing. When I was moving out of my dorm, cleaning up the whole suite was so much fun and calmed me down during my crazy rollercoaster of emotions during finals and moving out. It's proven to help.
26. Write something.
A play, a movie, a song, a note to someone you care about. Get those feelings out.
27. Listen to some old classics in your room and dance around.
I love blaring old Christina and Britney in my room. Bonus - I am a horrible dancer and no one will ever see it. It's so much fun.
28. Have a movie marathon with some friends.
My friends and I once had a night of horrible rom-coms and popcorn. Our comments during the movie were even better than the movies themselves. Like, no one those things ACTUALLY happen in real life, right? Lame.
29. Host "Shitty Karaoke Night"
Singing "Bitch" by Meredith Brooks in my car, totally off key and loud gave me this idea. I am so down for a bad karaoke night with some good pals and good vibes.
30. Bake something.
Muffins are always fun.
31. Work out.
Getting all your energy out, angry or nervous energy. Basically any kind of energy. That rush of energy is super motivational and refreshing.
32. Go walk around.
It could be as simple as a walk around where you live to the local downtown in your area. Walks are super calming and fresh air is so good for your body.
33. Take a break.
My friends and I are taking a much lighter load this summer with all of our activism, we all need a break sometimes. It's fine to take a break and it's so acceptable. I need to remind myself more.
Laughing is so good for the soul.
35. Breathe, you're doing so well.
You are really are.