It’s been a desperately bad week. Yesterday, most of the country woke up to news alerts, social media videos or, worse, real-life accounts of the (new) deadliest shooting in U.S. history. In the wake of all of this pain and heartache, I’m adamant that it’s important for you to take care of your mental health, namely through small acts of self care.
I certainly don’t mean to detract from the pain, loss and extraordinary need for reform in our country. However, in order to fight and create the change this country needs, whether through discussions, protests or social activism, you have to feel balanced and at peace with yourself.
Here’s 7 acts of self care I rely on to pull myself back together.
1. Solange Pandora
I talk to my Amazon Echo like she’s my actual roommate. It isn’t really surprising that “Alexa, play Solange Pandora please,” was one of the first things I said yesterday. It doesn’t have to be Solange, I guess, but you should listen to music you love.
In my experience, music has a tendency to remind you why you’re here.
Inspired, I threw together a quick Apple Music playlist of songs that make me feel calm and safe. Click here to listen.
2. Face Masks
There’s just something about smearing stuff all over your face that makes you feel like you’re taking care of yourself.
I’m a fan of mixing honey, cooked oats, half a ripe banana and an egg yolk together for a natural and non-expensive self care treatment.
Pin or ‘Gram it!
3. Veggie Pasta
If you’ve lived more than 18 years on this Earth and have yet to spiralize some zucchini and make a veggie pasta, you’re truly missing out. I include veggie pasta on this list because it feels healthy and indulgent at the same time, like acts of self care should.
What I Do:
- Spiralize zucchini with a handheld spiralizer. Sprinkle salt throughout noodles to draw out moisture, then let sit for about 15 minutes while you prep the rest of the dish.
- Prepare ground turkey in a large skillet. I like fresh garlic, italian seasoning and olive oil. Drain excess fat (if you use lean meat, there shouldn’t be much).
- Wrap the noodles in a cloth and squeeze out the water from the zucchini.
- Add noodles to the meat and add in pasta sauce of your choosing.
- Mix everything together, then cover in a cheese of your choosing. I like an italian mix and some fresh mozzarella pearls.
- Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown.
4. Alex Elle’s Poetry
I’ve been a huge fan of poet Alex Elle since I first heard her on the Issa Rae-produced series “First” (which I also strongly recommend). I have all of her books, including her most recent Neon Soul, a breathtaking collection of poetry that makes you feel at home in yourself.
5. Deleting Your Twitter App
This is a big one, especially after a tragedy. There’s no real reason why, after being aware of the issue, you should need to watch videos of massacres. There’s no real reason why you should need to read comments that are completely displaced from your ideological worldview. In doing so, you only ignite feelings of anger and hatred in yourself.
I believe the strongest act of resistance is to love people, to listen to personal experiences, to take in art from people who have lived differently than you. When we focus on the good, the positive, the moving, we enlighten ourselves. Empathy is the most important thing. Ever.
6. Wallace Mack’s Newsletter
If you’re anything like me, you woke up yesterday and one of the first things you saw was people being shot at. I don’t mean to state the obvious, but that’s really not good for your psyche.
Luckily, one of the second things I saw was this email from Wallace Mack’s newsletter, Play It Cool This Weekend Reading List.
You can subscribe to Play It Cool This Weekend Reading List by clicking here.
7. Watch A Funny Movie
I chose How High, but you can do whatever you want.
I want to know: how do you practice self care? What did you do for yourself today?
Feel free to comment below or join the conversation on the Pretty Decent Instagram.