Self Care is for Everyone

I’ve been running words in my head endlessly for the last two – three days attempting to figure out the best way to word my stream of consciousness. I guess there are three big bullet points I want to organize in this blog for an easy take away – some related, some not.

Sweater by https://www.instagram.com/selfcareisforeveryone/
  1. Finding mental peace in polarized times.
    I am a loud person. Not in the terms of volume but definitely in the definition of outspoken. I feel it’s my responsibility to voice my beliefs. This doesn’t mean that I think I can change the world with my opinions, but I have seen quite a drastic shift in people around me when I do voice something. With that being said, if you are similar, I am here to say that it is OKAY if you step back in times you feel in over your head. I always look at this in the terms of longevity. Here are a few examples of what I mean:
  • I have been vegan and fighting for animal rights for 10 years. Every time a documentary comes out that shows more animal abuse I decide not to watch it. It’s not that it is not important, but I ask what it could that do to affect my life? If I am already fighting for rights, not consuming animals and speaking for their existence, what possibly could be a benefit of watching more horror that haunts me at night? I am doing already quite a bit for the beings that I love, and creating more self harm won’t necessarily benefit me.
  • I have been hyperfocusing on Taylor Swift’s re-releases right now, and I have been listening to The Ringer Dash: Every Single Album [my lordt, if you love her please listen to this podcast from beginning to end]. It’s not that I think Taylor Swift is more important than heavy shit going on in the world right now, but the lyrical parallels are interesting to me, the disputes with the record label disguised as break up songs, and the writing process are all things that give me joy to learn about. My timeline probably has annoyed my friends because I have been focusing so much on her music, lyrics, and journey. But to be fair she is one year older than me, I grew up struggling with very similar things, and I just grew with her. Even the phases she went through in her albums: love, anger, break up, destruction, rebuilding and real love [all while battling an eating disorder] was literally my life in every stage.. even her album red came out in the middle of my break up, of my now husband, and I sang many of those songs to myself about him [lol]. Is she an idol? No. But she has created a bridge with her fans that make us all feel like friends, like we know her, even if that isn’t true.
    • I guess what this means is everyone has this small joyful pocket filled with unnecessary information or small joys that give them large joy; let them have that.
    • My 30th birthday is the only birthday I’ve really looked forward to because it’s my Golden Birthday, so I am really hyperfocusing on the swift during that too – I’ll write about that later [lol]
  • It’s important to let people step back for a moment to regroup themselves. The police brutality, the murders, COVID, and everything devastating in the world is just so much right now. I know I need to speak on how I feel on this [although I have and my followers know where I stand], it’s important to keep these conversations moving [particularly in our white communities], but I just needed a few days to focus on my mind, gather the right wording, and do it in the most efficient way that I can.

2. Understanding your exhaustion and multiplying that by 10.
This is apart of the mental health discussion I really want to hone in on.
I am white and I am exhausted by all of the unnecessary death in the world. Whether that be massive shootings happening daily, or murders by the police happening what feels like daily, too – in plain sight of the public. The trial of George Floyd – the one that there is literally video proof – 8 minutes of it – yet still dragging on, is one that makes me so fucking mad – I don’t even have any words for it.

The fact is, this all isn’t new, it’s just now we have phones to capture it. But, it is exhausting to see the same shit happen over and over without any consequences – but if you are white like me, I want you to extend the hand of empathy to any black or person of color – because their exhaustion IS so much more than ours.
I know my students who are trying to finish school and are following these trials or events daily just feel defeated. This is where I literally have to say to them, it’s okay if you step back from this for a moment, focus on you, and return – only because it begins to feel so helpless – and especially if these things are happening in other states, it just feels like we are small fish getting eaten by large sharks with no way out.

3. Navigating the World with Disorders
I’m writing all of these things because recently many things have been heavy on my chest. The new dumb ass trans bill introduced in Florida [which lets be honest will just result in the sexual assault of MANY trans and cis children since they are ‘suspect for search’ for their genitalia], the recent deaths of 13 year old Adam Toledo, the murder of Daunte Wright, and the trial of George Floyd – it’s all been, a lot.

Sometimes the internet will bash when people who are usually vocal, are quiet. This is something I am always conscious of – but the truth is, if people push themselves when they are mentally unstable or are dealing with other things [for me, its my ED and my cousin’s recent passing]. it can push some of us over the edge, and then our voice will and can be gone forever.
More than anything it’s important you recognize when you have the ability to be vocal and when you need to step back for a few days to regroup your mental state. Because the most important part is first, that you are here. When you are ready to raise hell, do it.

This idea crosses over to so many areas of life. If you are vegan but need a medication to survive that happens to have a by-product in it – its okay. You are still vegan. Without it, you wouldn’t be here and wouldn’t be able to fight for animal rights. The idea of any lifestyle with compassion is to REDUCE the harm, not to be perfect.

If you are black and you feel like you need to stand up for these movements but feel tired, depressed, exhausted – it’s okay to step back for a minute. The beautiful thing about this time period in particular, is that the number of allies IS increasing daily [although sometimes it doesn’t feel like it], and we are trying to help the conversation grow in our smaller white communities. We understand we’ll never be able to understand, but we are talking, pushing, pressing these conversations. I promise. Please take care of yourselves.

If you are trans and you feel exhausted by expressing your pronouns and getting others to change their language or just understand you as a human being – your allies are also working on this change in their circles too. If you need to tap out from the conversation or following of the new introduced laws, please do that. Find things that make you happy and hyper-focus on them for a minute. All of this sadness and following of new bigoted and small minded ideas will not help your mental state.

Anyone going through a hard time right now: find people you trust to talk to. Keep yourself safe and talk in a space that will be heard and felt – and if you need help, let them help you. But more than anything please take care of yourself first, and then the rest later. It’s important you are here.

Black lives Matter bracelet by https://birdandstone.com/

Take care, friends.

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