I was already going to write a post about self-care this week. And then Alton Sterling and Philando Castile were lynched, and I know that, while it hurts me to hear about it, I can't even begin to imagine how it feels for my friends of color. I don't want to recycle the same words we've used so many times about what we can do to change things. We know what needs to change. Right now, I just want to make sure we're all taking care of ourselves.
Now, I can't tell you what self-care is, precisely. It's different for everybody. For some people, it's diving in, educating yourself, and doing the work. I know that when I have things going on in my personal life, I always lose myself in the work, and making progress in at least one area of my life makes me feel better about all of the others. For some people, it's unplugging, distressing, and binge-watching something on Netflix/reading a book, be it good or terrible/taking a bath/disconnecting from the world. For some, it's just about making time to be with friends, family, and the people we know care about us. Whatever it is, if it makes life easier for you to deal with on a day by day basis, it's totally valid and fine.
But when do we indulge in self-care? Part of me wants to say that we should do it whenever it feels necessary. Is that too late, though? If it feels necessary to indulge in self-care, does that mean that we've been going too hard too long and should've taken time for ourselves well before then? Like how, if your body is feeling thirsty, then you're already dehydrated? Does it need to be a regular thing? Like, you make sure to take a day off the hustle at least once every week or two? But then, we're also taught that the person who wins is the one who works the hardest. If we know we can keep going, shouldn't we do that instead?
I legit don't have an answer to that part of the question. I can't remember when I last took a full day off, and I definitely burn out before I let myself have a break. Which probably isn't healthy. And what about when you can't get a break, like when it comes to current events? Corrupt law enforcement officials aren't going to stop shooting black men just because we're tired.
Sometimes it's also good to mix up what your style of self-care is. If you deal with things by unplugging, and you're hurting because nothing gets done, maybe diving in would actually help, and vice versa. As much as I'm all about doing the work, I probably need a day to unwind and just watch, like, a whole season of some TV show.
I don't really have any hard and fast solutions today. I'm sad, and I'm weary, and I don't know how to solve racism in America. Obviously, I'm taking too much on myself if I think that I, a lone white girl, can solve racism in America. But I don't really know what to say. I just want to make sure everyone is at least looking after themselves as best as we all can.