Self Care Sundays

A weekly column for your soul: Featuring Esperanz

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

I stretched myself too thin this week and pushed myself to do everything that I was asked to do by others. I struggle with saying no to new responsibilities, tasks or projects. I often end up doing labor for free because I don’t want to disappoint people who ask for my time.

An important element of self care involves putting ourselves first so that when we do work on the things we love, we’re ready, we’re rested, we’re confident.

Anyone who grows up in a capitalist state learns that our value as people is tied to how productive we are. Womxn and femmes of color are taught that our value is linked to what we can do for others instead of for ourselves. I’m hoping that this column can challenge that destructive ideology.

We are valuable. You are valuable. You are not just amazing because of what you do for others, you are amazing for simply existing in a world that pushes against you.

This week I am thrilled to have been able to interview Esperanz (@TheRadishBabe) for the second edition of Self Care Sundays 💕

What does self-care mean to you?

Self-care to me means taking the time, energy, and love to heal and take care of yourself in whatever way seems fit for your personal self. It also means acknowledging your needs and prioritizing them, despite the stigma behind it i.e. looking selfish. Self-care is so important, especially given the political and social climate. Do whatever you can to take care of yourself.

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

When I am feeling down, I really like to apply on makeup and paint my nails. Even if I have no plans to leave my bedroom, there’s something special about spending time and energy on yourself and feeling cute and femme (not that one needs to use makeup / nailpolish to feel femme or cute). Other things that I do for self-care involve naps, running, listening to my favorite soft pastel music artist Kali Uchis, stay in bed and ignore emails temporarily, cooking with friends, and so on. I also am a musician and so being involved with music ensembles is a go to of mine! Though in most cases, music ensembles tend to be very white and cisheteronormative. My dream is to one day be a part of a queer femmes of color woodwind quintet; how lovely would that be?

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

I believe the first step is to reflect on why womxn & femmes feel resistant to putting themselves first. A lot of people would assume it’s to avoid being seen as selfish, but it goes beyond that idea, *cough* the patriarchy *cough*. After reflecting, don’t feel guilty for putting your mental/physical/spiritual well being first! You are entitled to feeling good so find ways/activities that do just that! Do you and don’t let others yuck your yum!

Thank you Esperanz!

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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