BY KAYLEE DUFF
Self-care gets a bad reputation — but what’s more important than taking care of your body and mind when the world wants to see you struggle?
January 2019 is the first-ever Self-Care Issue of True Q Magazine! The idea for the first theme of 2019 to be about self-care came from a team meeting last year. In discussing our calendar and tossing around different ideas, we ended up on the topic of New Year’s resolutions — and how sometimes, those resolutions can be unhelpful or unhealthy.
Every year, it seems like New Year’s resolutions focus more and more on losing weight, “getting in shape,” and looking a certain way. So we’re re-framing the narrative. How many times have you already read headlines like “Ways to Get Fit in the New Year” or “How to Lose Weight in 2019” or “20 Things to Do in January to Look Better than Everyone Else”? We start seeing them in December, when fitness gurus start pushing us to think about losing those pounds gained during the holidays.
But have you ever given thought to how the emphasis on our body weight at the beginning of every single new year can be dangerous? This month, we’re challenging everyone to think a little bit more about their resolutions. Instead of thinking about how to better your body (which is beautiful just the way it is), think about how you can better yourself as a person. Instead of losing weight or dying your hair, dare yourself to do something you’ve always wanted to do.
Yes, health and fitness are important. But it shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all of New Year’s resolutions. It shouldn’t even be the end-all-be-all of goals in general. Health is more than just losing weight, gaining muscle and looking like a model. Mental health. Emotional health. Having healthy relationships with yourself and with others. It’s also important to remember that the idea of fitness topping the resolution charts is inherently ableist. There’s more to being a person than what we look like, and it’s important to remember that all the time.
We’re talking about the intersection between body and mind. We currently live in this moment of extreme hostility; there are people out there who believe people in minority communities don’t deserve the most basic of human rights. That causes an unbelievable amount of stress. And a lot of the time, these demographics are the people who are socialized into routines that lack the time or ability to engage in “self-care” activities, which just compounds the seemingly endless stress.
In 2019, we’re combating that stress with care. Take more time out of every day to sit down with yourself and do those things that make you feel calm and whole. It looks different for everybody. Maybe your idea of self-care is baths and face masks. Maybe it’s reading a book, speaking with a therapist, enjoying more time with nature, hanging out with friends, creating art, engaging with your community. Maybe it is exercising, because yes, there’s a difference in motivation between going to the gym because it makes you feel good and going to the gym because you “have” to.
My idea of self-care usually involves candles, taking walks and writing in a journal. Whatever it looks like to you, spend time with yourself in 2019. Spend time getting to know what takes away your stress and allows you to live the life you deserve. Because succeeding in living the life you deserve is one of the greatest acts of rebellion in a world that wants you to fail.
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