Self-Care Tips for Trying Times

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently. And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal. And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

Kitty O’Meara

I want to take a moment here to acknowledge that in light of recent events, we need each other more than ever. While everyone is in this together, some folks are suffering more than others, and have been suffering for a very long time. Those in abusive households, those who are unable to work and have been unable to work due to disability/inaccessible transportation, etc. For those who are free-lancers, artists, dependent on events and community. For sex workers, people of colorLGBTQ+ individuals, for those getting paid minimum wage being forced to jeopardize their safety, for single parents who have to work, indigenous groups who have been denied rights continuously. The list goes on y’all. Now is the time to understand improving the system is NOT enough. We need a political revolution and we need it NOW. With all this being said, I don’t want to harp on policies, media, or create any more panic in the world than what already exists. However, we cannot deny the structural and systematic issues that are being highlighted more than ever.

Now is the time to dive deeper into ourselves. Now is the time to analyze our privileges and our power. Now is the time to reflect on who you are, what you are attached to, and who you want to become. How can you use what you’re going through to help you better navigate this world in the future?

I know personally, I’ve been struggling with the unwavering uncertainty—feeling without purpose, fearful, and unsteady. It has been very hard for me to ground myself and come back to the practices I know make me feel best. Technology feeds into my desire to tune out, making it all too easy to get consumed in mass information dumps, forget the time of day, and even neglect proper hygiene. So, this is a reminder to you and me that self-care is presently CRUCIAL. Living without structure can be uncomfortable and scary, but I am so sure that many beautiful things can and are arising from this stillness.

If you’re not in an ideal living situation, I feel you. I see you. The glorious thing about self-care is a lot of practices are free and require little space. Stay thankful for the opportunities present at this given moment; technology allows us to stay connected and access an abuncance of resources, but we must be mindful of our usage.

Be gentle with yourself. We got this.

Here are a list of things that others, including myself, have shared on how to be okay right now:

Reading more, practicing gratitude, learning how to play an instrument, having a dance party (alone, virtually, or with loved ones), playing with animals, writing letters to friends or face-timing them, painting, creating any art form, exercising, drinking extra water, loving-kindness or walking meditations, watching Ted-Talks or documentaries, catching up on personal projects, having a self-care tracker, being a part of a virtual support group, curating collections of happiness out of photos and videos, making a tentative schedule, finding pleasure in the little things, and trying to shift my perspective among the chaos. I’d love for you to comment any other tips or tools you’ve been using to support yourself and share them with others!

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ZERO SHAME IF YOU’RE ENDLESSLY SCROLLING: I just spent 60 solid minutes on Instagram. A whole hour. Didn’t matter that I had plans for a bath or that I needed to defrost the fridge because it’s only at 60 degrees right now. Instead I got sucked into the vortex of COVID-19 posts. As I kept scrolling, I could feel myself sinking further into a dysregulated state in my nervous system… and I couldn’t seem to pull myself out. A thing about trauma is that the bigger momentum wins. So, for example, if I am working with a client in a trauma response and their dysregulation is bigger than my blueprint of health and/or regulation, the momentum of their emergency will win. This is why I value my own health / wellness / rest / care / healing as an important and non-negotiable aspect of my work. This momentum applies to our bodies, too. Once we begin that spiral into dysregulation—a fear or worry or shame response—and keep feeding it, it becomes harder to root into a regulated place, a sense of safety in our systems, a place of self-trust in our bodies. This is normal. This is okay. There’s nothing wrong or bad about us feeling alllllll the feelings and/or getting our nervous systems hijacked. And, if and when this happens, we can start asking ourselves: what is the smallest doable step I can take towards shifting my momentum right now? What is one thing I can do to nourish my system? Where is one place I can go instead of this device? How can I spend my time / energy / resources in a different way that feels more aligned and coherent with my needs? I stopped scrolling. I realized the reason I was scrolling was because I felt lonely. I was afraid of being trapped in my house all by myself with no friends and no support. I sank into that fear and allowed myself to feel it. I sent some voice memos to some friends. And I remembered the joy I used to experience spending time by myself. And I made myself this list of all the things I can do instead of scrolling. If you’re scrolling, it’s okay. There’s room for it. I wonder what else there’s room for though, too? (I wanna add to this list: create a free breathwork offering for all of us worldwide hanging at home!)

A post shared by Assana Rae Halder (she/her) (@erotic.earth.embodiment) on

Assana Rae Halder (2020, March). Retrieved from https://www.instagram.com/p/B9qCirHnvoj/?igshid=12d5w50tnlxek

Here are a few journaling prompts I’ve created to hopefully guide you into self-reflection and making a plan of action:

Below are some links to my current favorite playlist, podcast, and online yoga teacher!

Yoga With Adriene: https://www.youtube.com/user/yogawithadriene

Check out other Shout-Out articles related to similar content:

https://shoutoutjmu.com/2020/03/18/the-world-is-not-ending/

https://shoutoutjmu.com/2016/02/11/pt-1-a-shimmy-into-self-care/

https://shoutoutjmu.com/2016/03/26/pt-2-seriously-radical-self-care-practices-by-and-for-feminists/

4 thoughts on “Self-Care Tips for Trying Times

  1. This whole post! Thank you, thank you, for encouraging us to little revolutions right where we are ❤

    Like

  2. Yas! So important to take care of yourself FIRST! thank you for this compassionate and inspiring post. 👏🏻

    Like

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