January is the month of "Self-care at all costs!" Literally. We're flooded with social media posts and newsletters suggesting products that will make us all feel better, function better, and relax better. While I'm sure we all love our self-care routines, it might also feel like a privilege we shouldn't use to take these moments of care and rest.
On the heels of welcoming a new year I love leaning into caring for myself. This year however, feels very different. Less than 6 days into January we are all in the process of reacting to an attempted violent coup, wondering what this might mean for the year.
As we scroll through the news and social media, we must understand that no part of the events on January 6th should come as a surprise. Nazis attempted to overthrow the government as a Black man and Jewish man won their run-off elections, flipping the US Senate.
Something that comes charging at me right now is a lesson in balance. We must find balance. This is certainly easier said than done, but it's crucial. With this in mind I advocate for radical self-care rather than a perceived notion of self-care. Social media will try to shove bubble baths, lotion, face masks, spa time, massages, and naps your way, as if these are the only way to care for yourself. Truthfully, caring for ourselves needs to be restorative and in line with our bodies needs. Focusing on mainstream forms of self-care keeps us functioning in a body hierarchy, distracting us from real needs so we can return to our communities ready to support each other.
A bath like this sure does look lovely, but is it truly what your body needs?
So to answer my own question, yes of course we can self-care right now! We must care for ourselves and each other, radically! Radical self-care is truly honoring what you need. These needs may not always be in line with what you want, but they will always be restorative if you truly return to your body and listen to both the wants and needs.
Can radical self-care be a bubble bath or that fancy new candle? Absolutely! Radical self-care asks you to look beyond the messages we receive outside of ourselves and focus on what our bodies are saying. Radical self-care may also be reading that book you've been putting off because it's fiction or taking a walk around your neighborhood. It could be reading that article, or even just sitting at a window in your home, doing nothing. Be intentional about your self-care. That's what makes it radical, it's about you and only you.
Don't be afraid to listen to your body, it's really good at telling you what you need, all you have to do is listen. How do you listen to your body? Start moving, stretching, simply paying attention to pain- no matter how small.
For me, part of radical self-care is scar care with my Roots & Crowns scar salve.
Need help connecting? Don't hesitate to reach out, I'm an expert at helping folks connect to their bodies! We can work together to get you connected, find those needs, and start caring for yourself radically!