By: Kryss Shane, MS, MSW, LSW, LMSW (she/her)
Columbia University & Brandman University
“I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability." -Ruth Bader Ginsburg
At a time when many of us were already struggling with trying be our “best selves” and to live our “best lives” and to do our very best, covid-19 hit. Suddenly, not only did the world around us change, so did our daily tasks and so did our access to many of our favorite pastimes. As a result, many felt like they were drowning while others lost their beloved coping skills, including our self-care favorites.
The idea of “self-care” isn’t new; however it has long been argued that most of the media’s ideas of self-care come from a place of extreme privilege. Need some self-care? Go to a spa! Need some self-care? Give up cooking and just order meal kits from now on! In some cases, the need for self-care was really just a sign that a person was overworked, underpaid, and exhausted. No amount of self-care can fix systemic problems, right?! Certainly Ruth Bader Ginsburg taught us about how to work toward long-term changes, lessons so many of us are taking more seriously than ever during the upcoming elections when everyone finally seems to be paying attention to the sanctity of voting and to the need of choosing federal, state, and local representation who support shared interests and values. But what about right now? In the midst of a pandemic, what about self-care for today?
Here are some recommendations from fellow educational leaders:
--Be kind. Give yourself grace. Set boundaries and stick to them. - Katherine Brossard, PhD. Lummi Nation School Instructional Coach; Adjunct Professor
--It’s okay not to be okay. When you are able, concentrate on the things that may be positives like spending more time with kids and pets or whatever it is that makes your life better! -Bryant Horowitz, PhD, Assoc. Professor, East Los Angeles College
--Make a list of what you can do in 24 hours...that includes devotional, yoga, coffee/wine on back porch. -Jo Langston, PhD, Assoc. Prof of Practice, Texas Tech University
--Remind yourself that this is a marathon of unknown length, and pace yourself; manage your expectations. It’s okay to be steady, but slower than usual. -Claudia Janssen Danyi, PhD, Associate Professor and Program Director, Eastern Illinois University
--Remember those things that bring you joy and love and make them a priority in some small form every day. -Ceceilia Parnther, PhD, St. John’s University, Assistant Professor
As for my own recommendation?
--I encourage putting on the music you bopped to when you were a teen and enjoying the flashback along with the flood of lyrics that come back to you! -Kryss Shane, PhD student; Adjunct Professor, Brandman University; Teaching Associate, Columbia University
While covid-19 is certainly giving us cause to pause, to mourn, and to become more mindful of how we spend our time, it is also offering us a chance to think about the amount of effort we put into our own needs. This new opportunity for each of us to focus on self-care might not be a bad thing…
"So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune." -Ruth Bader Ginsburg
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