I really appreciate the moments in life when someone stops and asks me: “So, what are you doing for self-care these days?” It highlights the fact that I oftentimes put my physical and emotional well-being on the backburner for the sake of midterms and schoolwork. Self-care is something that can look really different for different people, but some things that consistently help me get through hectic times include communication, self-expression, self-pleasure, and down time.
-Communication: In SHEP we like to say that communication is lubrication. What we mean by this phrase is that open communication, much like lubrication, can act to reduce friction and tension in ones’ life and increase pleasure. This saying applies to hooking up and relationships as much as it does to self-care. Communication for the sake of emotional well-being can come in numerous forms. Talking to friends, family members, and partners is one way to let the people that you are closest to support you in whatever ways you might need. However, I also find communication through writing to be very powerful. Whether writing in a journal or on a blog, jotting my ideas on papers helps me calm down and come to conclusions that I might not have if just thinking about them.
-Self-Expression: When I think about self-expression I think about music, poetry, and dancing. No matter how you express yourself, putting yourself in an environment outside of school, midterms, and stress can be a powerful way to put things into perspective and get yourself feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
-Self-pleasure: Self-pleasure can be an effective form of stress relief and a great way to get to know your body and what feels good for you. From exploring your body with your hands to exploring the world of sex toys, self-pleasure is an easy and sometimes overlooked aspect of self-care. Not used to incorporating self-pleasure as a form of self-care? Start slow and see if it’s something that might help you during times of stress. You may just find out that you’ve been missing out on an accessible and exciting form of pleasure!
-Down time: No matter how hectic life can sometimes get, be sure to schedule in some down time! Recharging your mind and body can make getting back to work much easier and much less painful. Whether it’s watching a movie, hanging out at a coffee shop, or picking up that book you’ve been meaning to read, you and your brain deserve some quiet time alone.
Stay healthy and stay happy!
~ “Vulvacious” Victoria