By Sarah Frank
School can be ruthless. Sometimes school demands we make space in our schedules where there isn’t any, that we push back the clock hands to make more time since there never seems to be enough.
Personally, I’ve found that since there is barely time to take care of my responsibilities, there is even less to take care of myself. I seem to forget that I, too, am one of my responsibilities. In fact, I should be the most important one.
So, with this realization in mind, I tasked myself with a two-part goal: to do self-care more frequently and to find multiple forms of self-care that work for me. Lately, writing has been best for me. I use prose (stories) for an escape, poetry for expression, and journaling for a combination of both. Depending on what I need in that moment, I can write it into existence.
Another thing that I’ve found to be helpful is clearing time in my day to do the little things. I needed to put it in my Google calendar to make it happen but I always abide by my calendar. Last night, I did the small things that make me feel like I am taking care of myself: washed my hair, tweezed my eyebrows, painted my nails, used my rose quartz roller, etc. Self-care doesn’t have to be this big event: it can be a combination of little things or even just one. Self-care can be small, it just needs to be.
As I’ve been trying out different forms of self-care, it led to an ironically stressful brainstorming session but it led to a list of ideas.
The body, mind, and spirit are inherently connected but I split my list by category. This way, I can evaluate what I need to look after and then determine how.
Caring for the body is important because our body is, in a way, our home. Taking care of it allows us to feel better physically, which makes it easier to enjoy life in other ways.
Caring for the mind is like watering a flower: it helps sustain it, helps it grow. Long-term sustenance through present care is something we all need but frequently undervalue.
Caring for the spirit is giving yourself what you need in that moment and for that moment. It makes you happy in the present. That happiness doesn’t necessarily last into the future, but that’s okay. Never feel guilty for prioritizing the present over the future: do what you feel you need most. You’re the only one who knows what that is.
Essentially, treat yourself like you would want a friend to treat you. After all, self-care is a form of self-love.
With love, Sarah