Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.American writer, womanist, radical feminist, professor, and civil rights activist.
Experiencing, re-living, having dialogs, and focused exposure through content like the 21-Day Equity Challenge on oppressive systems that impact people daily based on their identities (race, religion, gender, citizenship, language, sexuality, etc.) can be a deeply personal, challenging and emotional process. It often requires individuals to confront and dismantle their own biases, face internalized lived experiences and unpack systemic privileges.
To achieve equity for all, we need each person to take actions that center equity every single day and be in community with one another to offer support and share this collective work. To have the resilience and stamina to keep working toward social progress, we must prioritize ourselves and take care of our mind, body and spirit. This means that our holistic health is an essential component of our equity journey.
Today’s challenge quote comes from Audre Lorde’s 1968 anthology “A Burst of Light.”. The full quote reads: “I had to examine, in my dreams as well as in my immune-function tests, the devastating effects of overextension. Overextending myself is not stretching myself. I had to accept how difficult it is to monitor the difference. Necessary for me as cutting down on sugar. Crucial. Physically. Psychically. Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” Lorde’s work stressed the importance of Radical Self-Care focused on fully taking care of our bodies while in community with one another to keep pushing for change (Black Feminist Origins of Self-Care).
You can create and prioritize a routine of self–care that is sustainable and meaningful for you. Like change work, self-care should also have a community center where we work to support and care for one another.
Here are some tips to help you take care of yourself while learning, advocating and living through equity-centered work: