Not only did the pandemic affect people’s physical but also mental and emotional health capacity. Even so, individuals and communities are not able to fully comprehend the essence of well-being aka ‘self-care’ seamlessly into their lifestyles because of inaccessibility and untailored fit means to do such.
Check Your Privilege
Melissa A. Fabello, of Everyday Feminism, describes self-care as “any set of practices that makes you feel nourished, whether that’s physically, emotionally, spiritually, all of the above.” The conversations that circulate today, regardless of nature, are still centered on specific groups of people which is why reality sells benefits only to the elite few. Furthermore, streamlining resources seem to only reach and prioritize those who can afford such services when health is meant to be indispensable.
Privilege? No, Right, Yes!
At a time of great disparity and structural inequity, it is vital to note that despite mainstream routines having the potential to be exclusionary, self-care itself doesn’t have to be. Now more than ever, digital well-being, integrated into one’s ordinaries, is key to combating systemic loss starting with the self. There is no one-size-fits-all method when we talk about mental health, especially self care, as compared to the lavished-woman-gulping-down-exotic-tea-while-doing yoga-filled advertisements being perpetuated.
As an advocate, it is indeed challenging to break barriers when we’re walking a thin line but we shall be reminded that self-care does not need to be expensive and flashy, nonetheless; It just needs to be appropriate in order to adapt to the ever-changing needs and demands of personal and societal behavior. It is our duty to not be of disservice to our respective health amidst the inflexibility of environments.
Here are some simple ways in order for you to genuinely adapt self-care into your life:
- Breathe and log-off.
- Listen to your favorite song.
- Chill and read a motivational letter.
- Do some writing or journaling.
- Go outside for a walk or exercise.
- Practice listening over talk.
- Understand various oppressions obstructing our achievement of wellness.
- Foster community care and therapy alongside it.
- Bask in your own brand of self-care.
- Encourage someone else to do the same.
Different but not Indifferent
Remember that self-care, at its most fundamental core, “is about identifying your needs and what helps you show up as your best self,” (Polanco, A. & Loving, K., n.d.) and regroup one’s own resolve. Being able to engender this notion will aid in framing better solutions surrounding the cause eventually.
At the end of the day, despite concurring opposing demands and expectations from the environment we are each uniquely held in, our collective shared responsibility and lived experiences as human beings, bound to take care of each other, will not just save us from the risk of others but most importantly, our own selves.