On the Importance of Self-Care

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Can you believe it’s only been four weeks? I don’t know about you, but after all this letter-writing and calling and poster-making and marching and getting more involved with local politics and volunteering and spell-casting and relentless trolling of @realDonaldTrump on Twitter (still only me?), I’m beat! And we’re still at the BEGINNING of this race.

Yes, the term “self-care” is annoying. It seems – to use yet another annoying term – so “basic,” conjuring visions of pumpkin spice lattes, scented candles, Uggs, Taylor Swift, and Lululemon yoga pants. (Not that there’s anything wrong with any of that stuff if you like it – you do you, hon.)

But we are in for a major shitstorm under Donald Trump. The work is going to be hard, exhausting, unrelenting, and potentially dangerous. So it is really important to take care of yourself to make sure you’re up for the task.

What that means is going to look different for each person, and there are at least two components.

On the one hand, it means things like:

  • Less TV, more reading stuff that makes you think
  • Less booze, more tea
  • Less take out, more cooking
  • Less social media, more face time with people you love
  • Less bar time, more evenings at home with the cats
  • Less shopping, more volunteering
  • Less aimless flipping through your Facebook feed, more walking – and thinking
  • Less binge-watching, more attending local government meetings
  • Less Buzzfeed listicles, more long-form journalism (and PAYING for it with a smile on your face)
  • Less wanting to fall in love with the perfect candidate every four years, more contesting every goddamn local and state election, down to dog catcher

But in a larger sense, it will be vitally important not to lose track of what brings you joy (like my adorable cats up there). When you’re fighting for the soul of your country, shit gets serious as a heart attack, like, immediately, and stays that way all the time. It’s so tempting to become all business, all activist, all seriousness, and to dismiss anything that’s not directly contributing to the struggle as frivolous.

That would be a mistake.

You can’t be a serious, committed activist all the time. You have to fill your well, so there’s a place in you that you can work from, give from, sacrifice from.

This is also going to look different for everyone. For me, one of my main loves is live music, particularly blues and jazz. And when I and my spouse are out of town, no matter where we go, that’s where you’ll find us most nights – out hearing live, local music. But when we’re in town, it’s way too easy to say: “I’m in my sweats and fuzzy socks, and I have a good book and purring cats – I’m not putting on real pants and going out.”

Well, not this year. We’ve committed to go out, and not just to big, expensive venues that bring in national acts, but to the little tavern around the corner with the weekly blues jam and to the church a few blocks away that features jazz players from the local arts school and to the $5 cover, bare bones joint in the next neighborhood north of us that provides a space for up-and-coming local artists.

We’re in for the fight of our lives. Nurture your body, soul, and mind, and fill your well. You’re going to need it.

Image by the author. If you copy, please credit appropriately.

Like what you read? Follow me on Twitter @MrsWhatsit1

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3 responses to “On the Importance of Self-Care

  1. I’ve been meaning to say something along these lines for a while, and now seems as good a time as any.

    Thank you. Thank you so much.

    I’ve been reading this blog for years. I grew up on the west coast, and will likely spend most of my life there, but I am currently in Georgia on a scholarship to a music school as a grad student. The school part is working out well for me, but being in a red state while this mess is going up in flames? It’s kinda brutal.

    The most brutal part is when I go home to visit, and I have to explain. I have to explain to my never-Hillary/green party/anarchist friends that some people around here are actually unwilling to pay for health care costs for veterans and children. I have to explain that some people around here don’t even know that neo-pagans exist. I have to explain that some people around here really do believe everything tangerine ball bag says, including his rhetoric about the “lying media.” I have to explain that some people are happy about the possibility of some states encouraging motorists to run over protestors (I guess that’s what happens when you never bother to open a history book)

    However, reading this blog makes it easier. You might say it’s one of my forms of self care (along with plenty of other activities that don’t involve looking at a screen=)

    Thank you for doing what you do. Thank you so much.

    • Song Spider,
      Thank you so much for your kind words! Mrs. Whatsit’s post is a good reminder to all of us to take some time to rest and renew. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to live in the world you describe! And then to have to translate it to people who can scarcely believe what you’re saying. Politics is the art of the possible, not the perfect. I’m all for primarying Democrats from the Left. In the 2016 campaign, it helped Hillary move — and stay — significantly to the Left of where she started. But after the primary, it’s time for everyone to be a grownup. Holding out and not voting for Hillary — either by just not voting or by voting third party — swung the election to the monster in the WH. Hang it there!

  2. Pingback: Sunday Collection: about love | Pilgrim's Moon

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