The Quest for Ongoing Self-Care

Let’s get the usual suspects out of the way.

  • Long walk
  • Soothing bath
  • Social media hiatus
  • Exercise and healthy food
  • Spa day
  • Weekend getaway

There’s nothing wrong with these items, taken on their own. A quick Google search will pull up a plethora of lists that focus on continual self care, the kind that prevents semi-annual meltdowns. These tend to be the kinds of practices I might try for a week before getting distracted.

I don’t always know when or how to institute self care. I’ve never been great at scheduling breaks for myself—my typical method being to work until my body contracts a virus just to get me to collapse in bed for a few days. For teachers and students, breaks can rarely be scheduled; they’re defined by a calendar. Self-employed folks feel pressure to work nonstop in order to bolster or maintain business.

These days, every peek into Twitter seems to demand a social media hiatus (and I speak from a privileged position—it’s worse for marginalized communities), and many of our checkbooks ache for more hours on the job— forget manicures or weekend getaways. The calendar’s demands can be just as restricting.

This series will explore the quest for continual self care: the why’s, how’s, and common positive practices, discussed by counselors and workplace wellness experts, students and teachers, writers, parents, meditation devotees, volunteers, and gamers. I’ll be journaling some of my own adventures on the side, too.

Here’s hoping for more self care that doesn’t require my body to dissolve into a puddle of germs first.

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More in the self-care series