Radical Self-Care Means Putting Yourself First
Making your mental and physical health a priority enables you to keep on keeping on in chaotic times
There is no end in sight for the chaos and anxiety that’s gripped the United States this year. It feels like we’ve been hit by a tidal wave and a tornado all at once.
The threat of the Coronavirus looms in the air, while crowds are still taking the streets to confront racism and police brutality that has poisoned our country for far too long. California is on fire and hurricanes are pummeling the country’s southern shore.
It’s hard to be a human right now.
Enduring anxiety, rage, and uncertainty day after day can feel like living through never-ending trauma. It can cause you to spiral into dark places, and wear you down to the point of giving up.
That’s why practicing radical self-care is so important right now. It’s a way to rebel against the status quo and ensure you are strong enough and healthy enough to fight the good fight another day.
Below are ways to take care of yourself when the world seems to be falling apart:
Spend time alone, incorporating moments of silence and reflection into your day.
Avoid the 24-hour news cycle and your Facebook feed for a few minutes every day. Notice how you think and feel without the barrage of outside negative information hitting you all day, every day.
Protect yourself with boundaries.
Strong boundaries are as vital as breath — especially in times of chaos. Set up uncrossable barriers to safeguard your energy from the negativity and pain that hover in the air like storm clouds right now.
Notice areas in your body where you feel discomfort or pain.
Our bodies are great communicators; however, their language is expressed through emotions and feelings. Honor the messages our body whispers to you. Rest, then write in your journal about what you learn.
Learn from leaders.
Find authors, podcasters, bloggers or documentaries whose messages resonate with you. Tune out the drama outside and tune into a higher frequency that aligns with goodness and truth. You don’t need to be a witness to the pain every day.
Take a hike!
Nothing mends a heavy heart like time in nature. Take an evening walk. Notice how the trees reach skyward while staying rooted safely in place. Listen to the birds sing, oblivious to the strife in the human world.
Take a nap.
Indulge in a midday siesta if you need it, or go to bed before the sun goes down. Adequate sleep is vital to your mental and physical health; it’s nature’s medicine.
Consume whole food nutrition and water.
That means eat real food — not the stuff in crinkly bags. Good nutrition fuels your body and boosts your energy. Drink water.
Continue to wear your mask, wash your hands, and practice social distancing.
The virus is still here, still infecting and killing people. Every day. Now is not the time to be lax about precautions. Protect yourself and others from getting sick. Wearing your mask tells other you care about your health and theirs, too.
These are just a handful of ways to ensure you stay healthy and whole during this difficult time — a time that feels like an endless crisis on a loop. But putting your attention on yourself can make a difference
Make yourself a priority. Now is not the time to give in and give up.
I am a writer and editor from Louisville, KY.