See that bruised nail? I’ve fixed it with pedicure magic. I’ve also learned how to do a temporary tooth filling, waxing, lymphatic drainage self-massage, even how to massage my own back. I’ve used tools I didn’t even know the names of to build things I didn’t know how to build. On the other hand, I haven’t been good with emails, WhatsApps, Zooms. Then I got injured and couldn’t run, couldn’t dance and got even worse at digital communication. Then got a bit depressed and got a social media posting block.
I think this weird balancing act between priorities which probably seems erratic to others, is an inevitable part of self-care.
I used to not get self-care and almost thought people used it as an excuse to prioritize their own idiosyncrasies, moods and emotions over attending to commitments and relationships.
But this lockdown has taught me that self-care – for me – is about cultivating awareness of all the idiosyncratic contradictory needs I have that nobody else will attend to.
I’ve had to multiply myself to become my friend, parent, doctor, therapist, entertainer, lover, advisor. I’m happy I’ve managed but have reached my limits, too – I can’t be my own community, society, country, world!
The lockdown has put a lot of pressure on individuals to be fully self-reliant and to look after themselves in isolation. Recently though, I’ve gotten to the point when I’ve started doubting if anyone actually cares or can care (given their own needs) and begun to feel paranoid about the “new normal” being driven by the idea that people together = danger.
However, when I think critically and even when I look back and read my #quaranthropology notes from before, I can clearly see how the paranoia was building up as a result of political decisions and preexisting social problems.
So I remind myself that we have to stop internalizing these problems and stop carrying them as our individual burden.