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SELF-CARE AS WARFARE

One woman’s quest to love herself and help you do the same. // Samantha Sanker

T

hroughout my life, I have real-

75 percent begin by age 24. Young workers,

I feel stupid and ugly, I make others feel

ized that self-care is vast and

students and youth in general must learn

this way and we as a collective are much

meaningful. Self-care can play

the value of taking care of themselves in

easier to tame, control and sell products

a role in how anxiety, low mood

their teenage and adolescent years. It’s such

to. Think of Instagram weight loss teas and

and stress affects your personal

a great sight to see Millennials know how

waist trainers; Literally everybody can ben-

and professional life. Self love is a wonder-

simple and significant self-care is com-

efit from self-care. men, women, LGBTQ+

ful component of self-care as well. Having

pared to our parents and their parents before

folks, people of color, elders and youth

them.

of all cultures. Think of self-care as your

you feel about who you are and in turn what you think you’re deserving of. Self-care is as diverse as we are. Some people need to allow themselves private time while others can benefit emotionally from being a social butterfly and forming bonds or connections with others. We have different reasons for self-care. I practice self-care in order to function better at school and work. I practice self-care to make myself feel less scared or panicky. Proper self-care helps me realize that I have the right to say no to things that make me feel uncomfortable or unsafe. I feel like more of a self actualized person because of self-care. I know who I am, what I love and that I don’t owe anybody anything for being myself. Self-care helps me cope with the terror of the Trump administration and its supporters. The time and space that you allow yourself to cope with life can function as warfare against anxiety, phobias and sadness.

Why It Truly Matters The first step can be identifying what selfcare works best for you, whether this is books, music, conversation, nature or all of the above. Self-care can be as simple as designating time to answering emails or as complex as ending toxic/abusive relation-

contribution to your community as a whole. To quote Audre Lorde “caring for myself is

I know who I am, what I love and that I don’t owe anybody anything for being myself.

a negative self concept can damage the way

Self-Care Outside Of Yourself

not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” Take the time that is yours for yourself, breathe deep breaths and consider some of these useful tools that I have discovered to be valuable.

Hygiene A long soak in a tub can work wonders for the soul. If you consider yourself more of a shower person, that’s great, but soothing accessories like candles and wine are better suited for a bath. I wouldn’t want you to catch on fire or have your wine glass get filled with water when you’re in the shower. I prefer playing F.M 91.5 which plays what I swear is the earliest recorded music. Slow swing or soft jazz can combat the loud obnoxious sounds from work or school. Also, sudsy bubbles are a must. You’ll look shiny, clean and brand new. After a good hygiene sesh like a face wash or foot scrub, you may not feel as dissociated or on edge. Also, please don’t let anybody tell you that baths are “gay” if you’re a boy. Baths are for everybody, except homophobes. So many at-home scrubs and moisturizers can be done with inexpensive items already in

ships. An act of self-care can be putting a

Self-care is a healthy part of maturing and

stop to self criticism. Sometimes, I have to

developing as a person. Whenever I engage

tell myself that I am valid and worthy of

in an act of self-care, I envision DJ Khaled

Drive

attention. My internal monologue has an

cheering me on! Saying things like, “they

I recently got my first car, and I find a drive

obnoxious voice and she’s often too mean.

don’t want you to love yourself and be

down a long road is so peaceful and calm-

According to NAMI (National Alliance on

emotionally intelligent!” This is true. The

ing. I have improved in my driving anxiety

Mental Illness) 50 percent of all lifetime

capitalist patriarchy wouldn’t want me to be

which used to hold me hostage and cause

cases of mental illness begin by age 14 and

enlightened to my self worth because when

me to avoid the road at all costs. I commute

41 VINDICATOR | OCTOBER 2017

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