Self Care as Radical Acts of Love
This time, this unprecedented moment in time, that we are all collectively in and all experiencing separately, calls for fierce love and deep healing. Life as we know it is unraveling, and we do not know if or when things will return to "normal."
Several people have asked me what herbs to take, what to do? There is so much I want to say that I've broken it down into a series; six parts on self care in the era of COVID-19. To organize my thoughts, I offer the structure of the five elements I work with as a witch*: earth, air, fire, water, spirit, plus the short list below.
*witch: as defined by myself, a person who holds a spiritual relationship with the earth.
My intention is to make the next few weeks feel easier and less overwhelming. My hope with the words that follow is to encourage love, and kindness and mutual aid in my community, and any community these words reach. I want us to be ready to fiercely love each other, no matter what happens.
Below is my short, quick list of how to get started. You can check back later for more ideas and details within the five elements which will weave together my love of plant medicine, anarchist principles, and energetic practices into manageable, practical suggestions.
Remember, care-work starts with yourself. Self care is a radical act of love. You have to put your own gas mask on first, if you want to help others. If you are going to offer care-work, to a loved one or community, you must first care for yourself.
The Short List
If you are not exhibiting COVID symptoms, the best thing you can do is to prioritize keeping yourself happy and healthy.
1. SLEEP Prioritize rest. Most people in the dominant culture don't get enough sleep on a daily basis and this really takes a toll on the body and mind. It does wonders for the nervous and immune system too! Resist the need to feel productive, and instead take naps, sleep in or get to bed early.
2. DRINK WATER A very simple way to keep your immune system in good working order is to stay hydrated. A general rule of thumb is to take your weight in pounds, divided by two, and then drink that amount of water in ounces. So for example, a 160 lb person would want to drink 80 oz of water per day, or 10 cups of water, or 2.4 liters.
3. MEDITATE A great way to iron out your worries, fears, stress and anxiety is to sit quietly by yourself. Notice your thoughts. Try not to be attached to anything in particular. Since we don't really know what is going to happen on a global or local scale in the coming weeks and months, we can work on getting our minds quiet. We can work on noticing when difficult emotions come up.
4. EAT VEGGIES / AVOID SUGAR They're so good for you! / It's just terrible for you. For your nervous system, for your immune system, for your digestive system. Aim for 1-2 servings of veggies per meal. Try to skip desert, and if you must, go for fruit or something with cinnamon, as this culinary herb helps to regulate blood-sugar levels and reduced the spike.
5. GET OUTSIDE Walk around your neighborhood, get to the top of a hill. Find a patch of trees, notice flowers. Admire water, find a new path, bike to the beach, go for a run. These are all ways to break up your day, get in some exercise, find connection and take some deep breaths. Sunshine, via vitamin D production and movement, supports lymphatic system, both support your overall immune function, too.