For me

Self-care is curling up into a ball and allowing myself to cry

Self-care is listening to Bossa Nova

Self-care is buying myself an Orange Fanta even when I know that it’s not healthy

Self-care is dancing

Self-care is remembering that my family loves me and is proud of me

Self-care is getting under a blanket

Self-care is petting a dog that probably doesn’t know English

Self-care is talking to friends

Self-care is calling my mom

Self-care is taking a Friday night for myself

Self-care is calling my dad

Self-care is praise dancing in bus seat on the way to Potosí, because I didn’t know how else to talk to God in that moment

Self-care is singing Gospel songs

Self-care is reading my Bible

Self-care is being silent and making time to be alone

Self-care is watching “A Different World” or “Al fondo hay sitio”

Self-care is taking a nap

Self-care is saying I don’t know

Self-care is walking slowly with no destination

Self-care is making sure that my curls are defined and melanin still pops

Self-care is praying

Self-care is making sure that my friendships last

Self-care is getting enough sleep

And Self-care will be watching movies with friends.

This week has been a tough but necessary one for our study abroad group with many hard (and problematic) discussions. It brought up a lot of pent up emotions and hurt that had not been properly dealt with. It was hard to work through it all, but now that we are on the other side, it’s time to recover. That’s why I am posting this list now. I think that sometimes we can forget to take care of our spiritual, emotional, or relational needs in tough discussions, academic environments, or even daily life. However, though it all, we need to cultivate a knowledge of self that allows us heal ourselves in the face of systemic violence, exhausting discussions, and cultural differences. The above list includes things that have taken me years to learn about myself, and there is always more to know. The journey towards emotional, spiritual, and relational knowledge of self is not the same for everyone. Not all of us process things the same way, and it is so important to know what works for us. We need to learn how we engage with the world (and each other) in order to properly prepare ourselves for the energy it requires. What spiritual, emotional, and relational do we need to address in ourselves as we continue to deal with oppression and marginalization? What do I need to do to ensure that I can always continue fighting for justice and peace? Personally, I owe it to the next generation to fight against structural oppression in all of its forms with all of my strength. However, that can only happen if I take care of myself emotionally, spiritually, and relationally.

So inspired by this week, the people in my study abroad group, and the state-sponsored murder in the US, I offer up my list of what I do to take care of myself in hopes that this will help other people’s self-care journeys.



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