Like we said before, we’re all about self-care. It’s crucial to our emotional, physical and overall mental health and shouldn’t be seen as a self-indulgent. It can be a radical act to take care of yourself FIRST.
But at times self-care can be equated with “treating yo self.” And by “treating yo self” we mean leaving a dent in your wallet. And our wallets are already less full than our male peers. So here are some ways to enter self-care bliss without looking at your bank account in tears.
Tune into a podcast
The best thing about podcasts is that there’s one for just about everything you could think of. The second best thing is that the vast majority are free. For a good laugh at pop culture try the “The Read” or “Ana Faris is Unqualified“. If you’re looking to step away from reality try “The Orbiting Human Circus” or “Welcome to the Night Vale.” Or if you want to feel giddy and nostalgic at the sound of the original Oprah Winfrey Show theme music give “Making Oprah” a listen.
Tune out and meditate
Meditation can be tricky if you’re new to it, but there are some very real perks to making it a regular practice. There are a number of great apps like Headspace and Sattva that help you on your way to finding some peace of mind.
Take a donation based yoga class
Yoga can sometimes be seen as a sort of luxury fitness, but it’s probably one of the most accessible and touts a variety of emotional and physical benefits. Places like Bikram Yoga or Yoga to the People accept regular donations as low as $10. Even modish spots like Sky Ting Yoga in New York offer weekly donation classes.
Make a compliments journal
Okay, try not to laugh at this one but just think about gratitude journals. Now just replace “gratitude” with “compliments.” Write little compliments to yourself as you see fit and reference back to them when needed.
Reorganize and reset your space
You don’t necessarily have to get all Marie Kondo with this one, but simple steps like lighting a few of your preferred scented candles or refreshing your sheets can make all the difference.
Self-care has made quite the trendy come back in the past few years, but specifically in the past few months. It’s hard to not find one publication or blog that doesn’t talk about self-care to some length as it’s been hailed as an integral practice to maintaining clarity in frustrating and/or confusing times. Whether it’s an at-home facial or adult coloring books, some form of focusing on our own mental and physical needs has been deemed with having countless benefits. But can all this self-care actually be downright selfish? And where does that put women who are always being told to put others before themselves? How do we even begin to unpack this conundrum of care.
There’s always a negative connotation associated with being selfish and if you’ve ever been told you’re being selfish, it more than likely wasn’t intended as a compliment. But maybe it should be? Selfishness is best described of thinking of yourself before others. According to Psychology Today, there hasn’t be any research that concludes humans are either “fundamentally generous or greedy and whether these tendencies are shaped by our needs or our environment.” We are both selfish and caring by nature. So why is there a confliction when it comes to caring for ourselves?
Self-care allows us to go to terms with our own self-worth and leveling with our own physical, emotional, and mental needs. But there’s something much more unique about women practicing self care. Some would say it is even a radical act to put one’s self before others as a woman.
When you consider the fact that women historically have been viewed as the caretakers who take care of their husbands, children and homes while maintaining only a bit of self-identity. There’s something empowering about taking ownership of that stigma and applying it solely yourself, while maneuvering in a world that is often harmful to women and especially women of color.
In these times, self-preservation is key. If a little “me-time” requires you to put yourself ahead of someone else, that’s okay. Psychologists say self-care can actually help improve our own relationships by not projecting negative feelings onto others. Think of it taking a flight. In the case of the an emergency you’re always told to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping others. Allowing yourself to come first can actually be life-changing. It’s also important to remember that self-care doesn’t necessarily mean, expensive treatments or shopping sprees. It could be as simple as taking a walk after sitting at a desk all day, or making time to read that book you picked up months ago but never got around to reading.
If you still can’t embrace it or find self-care’s purpose, take this quote from Audre Lorde: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” If Lorde still does have you convinced, pose yourself this question: “If I don’t take care of my own well being, who is?”