Self Care Sundays

A new weekly column for your soul: featuring Kat Heartwell

Image courtesy of Kat Heartwell
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” — Audre Lorde

Femmes and womxn of color are often expected to put everyone else’s needs before our own. I still battle this idea in my mind that I should feel guilty about my “guilty pleasures” and that prioritizing myself is somehow selfish or damaging. In reality, those harmful ideas are a part of us because systems of oppression: patriarchy, white supremacy and capitalism, rely on us valuing paid and unpaid labor over ourselves.

What I want is for us to learn how to dismantle the negative feelings that we have attached to caring for ourselves. Self care for womxn and femmes of color is an act of resistance and it is vital for us to learn how to be kind to ourselves, not necessarily for the benefit of others, but for our own benefit.

I want us to thrive, I want us to be well-rested, well-hydrated, moisturized, glowing and in love with ourselves despite a world which tells us not to.

All of this being said, self-care looks different for everyone. Mine involves many face-masks, epsom salt and lavender oil baths, Netflix marathons and deep, delicious red wine. My goal with this weekly column is to show you that self care isn’t some monolithic concept, it is reflective of your experiences and who you are because of them.

This week I am happy to feature one of my favorite people, Kat Heartwell (@KatHeartwell).

Image courtesy of Kat Heartwell

What does self care mean to you?

We spend our whole lives learning how to love everything but ourselves. Self care to me means self awareness. Practicing good self talk is a key to self care. Defining your own reality despite what society conditioned us to believe about ourselves.

Self care is self love, self awareness, defining your own idea of what it means to respect yourself. Self care is forgiving yourself for your many mistakes. Self care means to be honest with yourself despite how bad the truth may hurt. We learn how to hate ourselves before loving ourselves. Self care is decolonizing your mind of societal norms.

Self care is taking care of my mind , body and environment!

What are some of the things that you do for self care?

The thing I LOVE to do most is write. Writing helps me feel like I’m undoing some of my wrongs. Writing helps me fit in when I don’t belong.

I like to think a lot too. Talk on the phone with people I can help or people who help me. My self care regimen includes expressing and feeling my feelings. I live with a mental illness so I make sure to speak kindly to my mind.

Image courtesy of Kat Heartwell

What advice would you give to womxn and femmes who are just learning to put themselves first?

Forgive yourself. Forgive yourself for not learning to love yourself sooner. Forgive your ignorance. Forgive your mistakes.

Forgiveness of self will help you put you first. Learning that weakness is the first step to strength is what gets you closer to putting you first.

We grow up in a world that favors masculinity/cishet men so it’s important as femmes we learn to take space in a places that favors cishet men.

It’s okay that you don’t know everything. You can still learn and grow. It’s okay that you feel lost, you may be just wandering. It’s okay not to be okay today.

Being selfless doesn’t mean to love yourself less. If you can save yourself from yourself? You can help others. Learn how to critique yourself without beating yourself down.

Thank you Kat!

This column will be back next week! If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to contact me: larawitt@gmail.com

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