A lot of the work I am doing right now is very draining. Environmental organizing can be both life affirming and emotionally wrenching. Grant writing is meaningful work but it is also a lot of screen time (and all my soul wants is to be in the mountains!) Bringing self-care into your life isn't selfish. If we want to be of service to this world and to others, we need to be vigilant about tending to and taking care of our hearts.
No matter what you're doing right now or where you are in life, you can carve out time for self-care. You are your own permission! And it's okay to be happy, too. A big lesson I've learned through my self-care work is that I don't need to be critical of everything all the time. I can enjoy a moment without wondering Is this enough? Am I wholly considering my carbon footprint? I can simply be.
In that spirit, here are four ways to be—to inhabit—the practice of self-care. You are a very precious vessel of magic & moon power and you deserve love!
FOSTER A PLANT
Plants ROCK. My goal is to sleep inside a garden so I am always searching for plants to fill my room with. In many ways, plants are as nourishing as food. They give life, purify the air, and teach you how to tap into your internal maternal energy. Caring for a plant is a beautiful way to care for yourself because it invites you into a reciprocal relationship with the world. I also think it is important to name your plants! Right now, I sleep next to Sweet Pea, a feisty burro's tail, and I keep Milkshake, my succulent garden, by my window so she can get lots of luscious sun.
Drink herbal tea. Drink bone broth. Drink lavender lemonade or apple cider or green juice. Find a beverage that feels soul-nourishing (mine is a warm mug of rooibos) and integrate a cuppa into your everyday. I am pretty sure that half of life's problems—fading energy, headaches, emotional turmoil—can be fixed with hydration. Sometimes I'm feeling cranky and sleepy and sad and then I sip on a glass of cold water and am revived.
Play is one of the most important things that we can do. When Lily and I get together, we can crack jokes for hours. We might not be doing anything "productive," but also, like, we're not cogs in the capitalist machine, you know? So all that time we spend giggling and making up personas and dreaming up album titles for The Crop Tops is fortifying our friendship and feeding our creative spirit. It's healthy to be silly and to try and not take anything too seriously!
Many of us are stymied during the process of putting together a project because we're worried that what we create won't be any "good." So we don't do ANYTHING at all. Taking care of your saucy, succulent souls means giving yourself permission to explore. Whenever I'm feeling frustrated after a long day at work, it's really juicy to just make something. I might draw or try out a natural dye or toy around with scrap fabrics. Pretty much nothing I create would ever get int a museum but who cares? Creating something brings me joy.
What do you do to take care of yourself? Share with us in the comments and sending love (and flower power!) your way.