Essential Radical Self Love Practices In An Uncertain World
There is a lot going on right now. I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t worried, grinding my teeth, and flying into furious rages. But even as a whole lot of crazy shit is being said and done, we still have to make our self-care a priority. We do not have the luxury of falling apart. In order to be useful, and in order to create the world we want to live in, we have to look after ourselves — now more than ever. This is not selfishness. It is survival.
You can listen to me read this post below.
TAKE REGULAR BREAKS FROM SOCIAL MEDIA
We all think that it is our duty to stay totally abreast of all the insanity happening in the White House, but some of us become addicted to the horror. There comes a point where we are actually just torturing ourselves. A headline gets shared and then we experience hours of retweets and hyperbole. The collective freak-out is real, and it’s not helping you. Yes, we need to be informed, absolutely. But we do not need to spend the day refreshing Twitter and Facebook. (Those are the places where I see the most panic.) Worrying is not productive. Set time limits for browsing social media and don’t exceed them. This is essential for your mental health.
ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR PRIVILEGE BUT STAY UNITED
There are a lot of people talking about white feminism right now, and specifically about how we have historically chosen our racial privilege over inclusivity and intersectionality. Let’s be real, women of colour have been telling us that things are a mess for a long time, and only now, when our rights are threatened, have we chosen to act. This is true. We are definitely late to the party and it is not a good look. It’s time for us to wake up and realise that an attack on anyone is something we need to get together to defend. We need to listen to — and believe! — the experiences of all women, and always keep in the front of our minds that — I’ll say it again — white women have a history of choosing race over sisterhood. These things are hard to swallow, especially when we feel like we are trying to do the best we can. But I believe there is a place for us to be able to listen to these critiques and still band together. We are all fighting for the same thing. We have to stay united.
Yep, we marched on Saturday, but that was just the beginning. There is so much more to be done! Donate to the organisations that need it, make phonecalls, organise regular action-oriented meet-ups, march for #blacklivesmatter and Muslims and immigrants and everyone else who is being threatened, keep taking action, and do whatever you can to be part of the solution.
Take care of others. Ask how you can help. Say please, thank you, and excuse me. Hold the door, give up your seat, smile at the cashier. Tip generously, as often as possible. The president might be performing a flagrant display of disrespect for others but we are not him. It is our responsibility to set an example, and treat others how we would like to be treated.
REMEMBER TO SLEEP AND EAT
I was so upset that I lost my appetite for a couple of days. You might have experienced something similar. Of course, not eating just makes you feel even worse, so, skip your morning coffee (it’ll only make your stomach churn) and eat something simple instead. Chicken and rice has been my saviour. Don’t forget that sleep is essential to your functioning too: take naps when you need them, and disregard any sense of FOMO in favour of an early night. You will feel so much better.
IT’S OKAY TO FEEL YOUR FEELINGS
…Because we are all feeling a lot of them right now. Pretending otherwise is ridiculous. But make sure you have a healthy outlet for them. While it might be tempting to vent on Facebook, it’s only a matter of time until your uncle (or friend of a friend) is going to jump into the comments thread and infuriate you all over again. We shouldn’t live in an echo chamber, and hearing other people’s opinions is important, but there is a time and a place for it. Sometimes you just need a safe space to talk about how you’re feeling. My suggestion? Talk about how you’re feeling face-to-face with strong, empathetic people.
TACKLE YOUR ANXIETY HEAD-ON
Take care of yourself. If you’re feeling anxious, ask yourself, “What can I do to feel safe now?” and then do it. This could be anything, from an orgasm, to a cup of tea, to anxiety medication. Engage all of your senses: ask yourself what you can see, hear, feel, taste, and smell. Reach out to a friend: you are never a burden. Your friends care about you and want you to be safe and happy.
SPEND TIME WITH YOUR FAVOURITE PEOPLE
Don’t forget about having fun! When RuPaul was asked how he was going to deal with 2017, he said, “I’m going to party like it’s motherfucking 1999.” Hell to the YES. Dress up, go out dancing, gather your friends, and don’t forget that life is for living! Don’t allow that combover turd to shrink the amount of joy you feel in your own life.
We can do this, but we have to take care of ourselves first. Make radical self love your priority, and you will have so much strength and energy for everything else.
Love and hopefulness,
Photo via NIN3 and The Fabulous Stains!