Editor’s Letter, April 2021: Take Care of Yourself

Maybe we need to open ourselves to every possible avenue for taking care of our body, mind, and spirit. And maybe we need to stop being so hard on ourselves for seeking a little help.

Illustration by Lars Leetaru

Self-care always seemed self-evident to me. Take care of yourself, eat right, sleep enough, and stay active in some way. Then came a wave of “as seen on TV” products offering self-care in a bottle, a shoe, or a scent, followed by experiences like beach vacations and spa treatments branded as self-care.

Just another attempt to take advantage of human insecurities to sell us stuff we don’t need, right? We’ve seen it before with businesses promising solutions for our beauty, weight, and sex issues; now they’ve rolled up every potential personal shortcoming under the all-encompassing umbrella of self-care.

The year-plus pandemic has altered a lot of our assumptions, including my skepticism about the self-care industry. Some of us got sick with COVID, and some lost family and friends to it. Everyone’s school, work, and home lives got turned upside down. Instead, we’ve been isolated in small pods or, worse, alone, with our main outside connections a Zoom meeting or a food delivery driver.

Maybe we need as much comfort and positivity as we can find these days. Maybe we need to open ourselves to every possible avenue for taking care of our body, mind, and spirit. And maybe we need to stop being so hard on ourselves for seeking a little help.

This month’s “Calm, Cool, and Collected” offers numerous ways you can start caring for yourself in this uncertain time. Yes, there are products (wine and cheese, astrological charts, indoor plants) and experiences (yoga, pole dancing, mental health therapy) from local sources. There’s also advice from life coaches, starting with the practical reminder to accept our limitations on controlling everything around us.

In “The Meaning of Finding Meaning,” Lisa Murtha describes her own journey of self-care leading back to the basics of holistic health—a balance of her body, mind, and spirit working together—and her rediscovery of how turning inward can take you only so far. Humans thrive on connections with each other? That seems pretty self-evident to me.

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