By De Elizabeth
“Self-care” has gotten a lot of air time in 2016 – and for good reason. This year was depressing, exhausting, terrifying, and maddening – and that’s just taking the election into consideration. But practicing self-care is going to be even more important in 2017. We’re all anxious to leave 2016 behind, but I have a sinking feeling that next year won’t be much better – from a political standpoint. In just 20 days, we’re saying goodbye to Obama and hello to Trump for four years.
And while we’ll have to go about our lives to some degree, we can’t ever normalize or become “used” to the things that have shocked us over and over for the past few months. But all that fighting and putting the truth out there and battling frogs and trolls on social media – it’s draining.
So, with that, here are some important ways to take care of yourself while fighting the good fight. We need you to stay strong, warrior.
1. Unplug once in a while. While it’s tempting to look at your phone constantly, to weigh in on social media drama, or to fight back against those who you just know are wrong, it’s also good to take a break. Your notifications will be there in an hour or two.
2. Turn off the news. This feels counter-intuitive, because we need to stay informed, but it’s okay to take a break. Don’t feel guilty about turning off CNN and switching over to Netflix or Keeping Up With the Kardashians for a bit.
3. Journal. Honestly, journaling is an amazing source of relaxation – and it doesn’t need to take a ton of time. Bullet journaling is a simple way to organize your thoughts without spending hours writing in a notebook.
4. Indulge. Don’t put your vices off-limits. Eat chocolate. Take baths. Drink wine. Do the things that make you happy in small doses. Or large doses when you’re having a really bad day.
5. Allow yourself to have a good cry. Honestly, is there anything better than having a good cry sometimes? It is cathartic, and can feel just as good as a massage in some cases. Put on that movie that always gets you going, or listen to your saddest playlist. It can feel really good to take your frustration and put it into tears.
6. Be five years old. Do something that you loved as a kid, whether it’s playing a sport, coloring, painting, playing with play-dough (but seriously). We don’t really ever change so much as we keep all the parts of ourselves inside. Somewhere, you’re a little kid just wanting to have fun. Don’t stop having fun.
7. Let yourself be nostalgic. Too often we beat ourselves up for not “living in the present” or spending too much time looking backwards. Nostalgia is a human emotion. Let yourself feel the things.
8. Stop apologizing for who you are. One of the most refreshing forms of freedom comes when you stop apologizing for simply being yourself. Embrace the things that make you, you.
9. Re-connect with nature. Go to the beach. Or take a hike. Find time for an afternoon outdoors. Especially when it gets warmer, but don’t wait until then. The winter is beautiful too.
10. Don’t let the truth be distorted. We’re immersed in a world where the truth has become flexible. Don’t let go of what you know to be true. Don’t forget what you know to be right. Don’t forget any of it.