Self-Care in Times of Uncertainty
About seven month ago I started this blog with the intention of making everything perfect: I wanted weekly consistency, well-researched topics, and multiple drafts before I went ahead with taking on the role of "blogger." For about five months this pattern worked out for me because my life was in a stand-still.
However, since moving to Los Angeles and joining the never-ending hustle of trying to find multiple jobs, couch surfing, and finding a more permanent place to live on top of healthcare and social needs, I let this blog take a rest. I was, and continue to be, very self-critical about it. Despite our collective queer feminist efforts to smash the patriarchy, the freelance world continues to operate from a place of patriarchal capitalism. Even though moving to Los Angeles has done wonders for my creative and professional opportunities, I've found myself really overextending to meet the right people, attend the right events, make the right choices. I've been going everywhere and doing everything but actually -write-.
Now it seems like the non-virtual world is on pause. As a necessary public health measure, businesses are shutting down, gatherings are being canceled, church services, and even drag shows, are becoming available for live streaming. In lieu of socialization, we have already started to utilize technology to promote social distancing. While I firmly believe this is the right course of action, I am becoming increasingly more overwhelmed by the internet at large.
Initially, I was very against contributing to any media surrounding the virus. I felt that the media was already contributing to a large scare tactic and uncalled for hype to capitalize off of vulnerable Americans. Hard facts aside, I think mass media is contributing to panic and fear that is not helpful or needed in these times.
However, I've witnessed a gentle shift in the ways we virtually love one another. Financial professionals are making budgeting seminars free, film festivals are making content readily available, and celebrities are openly Venmoing people who need money to pay for rent, groceries, and basic needs. It's been truly beautiful to witness people come together to help one another out in the wake of our incredibly inefficient government and healthcare system.
As a writer, creative, and deeply spiritual person, I am feeling a deep need to contribute some sense of hopeful content without contributing to mass fear, paranoia, or misinformed hype. In the tender moments of lounging on the couch or going for rainy walks, I realized that I am an Enneagram 4 in all of its good and its bad: while I may not be the person who is prepared for the end of the world, I AM the person who is equipped to deal with mental/emotional/spiritual times of uncertainty. I can send you a playlist, write you a poem, paint you a picture, or make you laugh about almost anything. I have a naturally soothing nature and I've recently come to terms with the fact that this is a real gift that I can offer to the world. While I value detail, consistency, and credibility, I also think that 2020 is asking me, and the collective "us," to really lean into the mess and assess what we can offer one another out of love.
In this time of distress and anguish, I would like to offer some small tips for self care that don't involve leaving the house or spending money.
-Limit time on social media
-Limit news consumption
-Plan regular walks outside, let your skin feel the sun
-Practice square breathing (in for 4, hold for 4, out for 4)
-Make a face mask with things you have in the house (greek yogurt & honey is my fav)
-Marie Kondo your room
-Re-read your favorite book
-Create a mood board of things that give you comfort (old magazines for well for this)
-Burn incense, light a candle, or sniff Vick's Vapor Rub (because honestly it solves all your problems)
-For more creative souls, spend time journaling or following a creative writing prompt
-For athletic souls, try creating a DIY home workout for you and your friends
-Arrange you computer files and PDFs
-Erase/Unsubscribe to all those random emails sitting in your inbox
-Clean your bathroom! Clean your kitchen! Clean your sheets!
-Do a puzzle
-Listen to a podcast (like, idk, maybe mine :)
-Take a bath
-Wash all of your blankets
-Paint your nails, try on new makeup styles, or shave
-Put on lotion like your in one of those luxurious spa commercials
-Re-organize all of those papers stashed in your desk, night stand, or on your kitchen counter
-Create a recycling bin in you don't already have one
-Freeze your fruit and make smoothies!
-Play a board game (the more childlike, the better!)
-Learn a dance routine via YouTube
-Garden! April showers bring may flowers
-Drink a cup of tea and watch the steam rise off the water
While my favorite little mug proclaims "YOU GOT THIS" on the front, you may not feel like it. And truth be told, a lot of this isn't in our control. However, we do "GOT" our own self care and the care of our loved ones. Stay good to yourselves and those around you.
Comment with self care things you are doing to get you through this murky time!