Why Self-Care Is Important For Greater Community-Care
I’m currently sitting in the dark. It’s close to midnight, and I am wondering how on earth I loaded so much onto my plate for the week. It’s Sunday, and I already feel burnt out and overwhelmed. It seems like an ironic time to be knocking out a post on self-care. Or perhaps it’s completely timely, like all the signs are pointing me towards this one thing: “Hey honey, slow down.”
All I can do in this state of wanting to scream like a cicada is be here, present with the moment that is. In this moment, nothing is pressing. All is quiet. All is calm.
I can breathe. I can relax.
What we carry internally will spill out when we are jostled.
If you feel like you can’t afford to take a moment for yourself, it is absolutely necessary that you take a moment for yourself. Exhausted, burnt-out you will only spill the internalized exhausted, burnt-out feels when bumped. And there’s always a bump.
When you put yourself first and take time to fill yourself up, you’ll then be ready to face whatever comes ahead. If you’re needing permission to take a moment, go ahead.
Take a moment.
Tuning into your breath is the first step. The next is checking in with yourself. What do you need? What are you feeling? Write it down and be honest with yourself. From here you can find your boundaries and practice self-care. It might be some small changes or it might be a big shift. Either way, it’s worth it.
Self-care looks different for everyone. It’s all about finding what works best for you. Some daily self-care practices I have in place are:
- having an earplug around when I start to feel overstimulated and irritable (popping an earplug in helps immensely)
- taking time at the end of a work day to lay down or shower or zone out before starting anything else
- knowing my boundaries and standing up for myself when they are crossed
- making myself three nourishing meals a day and keeping snacks handy
“Self-care is how you get your power back. Community care is how you share your power(s) for the collective good.” – Drew Bathory
When you feel like you have the capacity to hold space for someone else, you can then channel your energy and pass your goodness to others. This can look like:
- giving someone a call
- checking in with your family, a friend, or someone in your community
- sending a neighbour some take-out for dinner
- being present with someone who is having a hard time even when you don’t have any answers
- standing up for someone
- speaking up when you see someone being harassed
- bringing empathy and support to those around you
- advocating for practical solutions to bring change in your community
“Practicing self-care does not entirely resolve the trauma that comes with living in a world of ignorance and injustice. But creating a space where we are allowed to take space and collectively uplift, support, and stand up for each other can offer a safe space for healing and also galvanize change.” Kajal
Wherever life finds you in this moment, claim your space to breathe and relax. Putting yourself first and making sure you’re in a good space helps you and helps those who are in your life. Fill up, baby! And spill out the goodness that is your authentic self.
Jade is a freelance writer and copy editor, living in a sleepy town in Northern Ontario. She loves growing plants, playing with dirt, and staying cozy.