There’s a lot going on in the world right now — well, there always is, but it’s particularly loud and overwhelming right now.
Not gonna lie, I’m writing this post in large part just because I need the reminder that it’s more than okay not to be super productive even though it seems like I have all this time, that I have a tendency to take on too much work and stress and I should stop doing this, that it’s easier to prevent than to recover from burnout.
That said, it must be noted that “self-care” is not an excuse for white and non-Black PoC folx to tune out of necessary conversations. Confronting privilege, systemic injustice, and violence is not easy, but it is necessary.
+ Obligatory disclaimer that what works for me may not work for you; everyone’s situation is different and you know yourself best; I am not a mental health professional and this is not medical advice; etc.
With all that established, I do hope you find something helpful in this post!
How I Practice Self-Care
Throughout the Week
- Get outside, even I’m literally just standing in the backyard for ten minutes. Failing this, at least open the windows to get some fresh air.
- Take a shower. For some reason, it’s one of the easiest and most reliable ways to get my hamster-wheel brain to shut up for twenty minutes.
- Remember to drink plenty of water. I keep my waterbottle on my desk in plain sight and take a drink every time it catches my eye. Occasionally I switch it up with tea or cocoa.
- Exercise, or at least stretch — admittedly I’m still not great about this one, but it does make a noticeable difference. And of course it’s (ew) good for you in general.
- Check in with friends and family. I’ve always tested as introvert, but human interaction helps me feel more, well, human.
- Journal. Life is messy and so are my thoughts. This doesn’t have to be in words, either; doodles and quotes and collages are also great ways to capture my mood.
- Cocoon myself in blankets, preferably in bed. Go to bed earlier and let myself sleep in later.
- Write blog posts and reviews when I feel up to it (often in batches, so that I have some pre-written and ready to go); forgive myself when I don’t.
During Off Days
[“Off days” as in “days that I choose not to do work” and also as in “days where I am really not feeling great.”]
- Literally tear up the to-do list. It can be cathartic to destroy something, not to mention it’s pretty heavily symbolic (LOL).
- Sometimes I’ll deliberately put on a sad playlist and read/watch something that’ll make me tear up, to jumpstart a good long crying session. I usually feel at least a bit better afterwards.
- If I have the bandwidth, try something new — such as a song on piano or a recipe — that’ll keep me physically and mentally occupied for a while and ultimately provide longer-term satisfaction.
- If it’s a low-energy low-interest day, stream TV shows or watch YouTube videos, because sometimes you just need entertainment that requires minimal thinking. I keep a YouTube playlist titled “for bad days.”
- Look through old photos and/or letters to my past/future self, and think about the good ol’ days.
- Tidy up my physical spaces: clear desk, clear mind and all that.
- Reread old favorite books and/or fanfic. Not only do I benefit from nostalgia and guaranteed comfort, I can enjoy the story without worrying about writing a review later.
- Upworthy: 101 ways to take care of yourself when the world feels overwhelming.
- Matt D’Avella: The most overlooked way to be more productive
- The Quiet Pond: How Bloggers Balance Blogging and Life [series summary]
- Cuppa Clo: Ways to Replenish Your Creative Energy
- Bookwyrming Thoughts: Why It’s Okay to Fall Off the Blogosphere Now and Then
- Have you been making time for self-care lately?
- What are some of your self-care rituals or go-to activities?