— Take a Breather

I spoke to 20 women about how they've been practicing self-care in a stressful world

Mayuko Fujino/Getty Images

As feminist writer Audre Lorde taught us, self-care is a radical act of self love. And especially right now — with the current state of our country and the world — self-care is an incredibly important thing to be doing for yourself, in whatever way works best for you.

Beauty blogger Francheska Medina (you probably know her as @HeyFranHey) once said:

“The state of the world is one thing. The state of your world is another. It’s important to be mindful of both, or you won’t be of much service to either side.”

I spoke to 20 different women on Facebook about their self-care regimens.

I wanted to know what they do when the world becomes too much, and how their self-care practices impact their day to day lives.

As one of the interviewees, Loni Fancher, said, “Find your people! There’s strength and solace in numbers.”

I hope you find some strength here.

Some people find solace in a clean home.

“I actually clean my kitchen! I turn on a podcast or music I like (nothing political, or really even intellectual), pull on an apron, and start washing dishes. It’s a nice way to quiet your mind, and you get a nice clean kitchen out of it too!”  — Rin Meehan

“I clean my room, paint, play with my animals, do hand scrubs/spa stuff, and surround myself with people who are like minded and supportive.” — Alyssa Shipman

“Podcasts, cleaning and organizing, and going to the gym. They help me to get my mind off stuff and feel in control.” — Laura Springman

Some people find comfort in art.

“Art! Adult coloring books are the best and are super easy. I’ve also taught myself how to cross-stitch. It’s a bit harder, but having to count stitches and follow patterns requires all of my focus and lets me escape. I even design some of my own patterns now.” — Lindsay Goldstein

Some people find themselves through writing.

“I’ve been focusing on making myself the healthiest and happiest I can be — I start every morning now 10 minutes earlier, make my bed, and write down one new quote.” — Kelly Reynolds

“I like to write lists — things to do, concerts I’ve been to, my favorite memories — it makes me happier and helps me feel in control!” — Kaley Burroughs

Some people love to exercise.

“I love to exercise or take a walk! It clears your head and I get a chance to listen to my favorite songs! I love to dance too if I’m home.” — Maddie Tonjes

“Lately I’ve taken to working out or doing one active thing each day to keep my mental state in check! It’s always a great time to check in with myself and see what my body and mind are needing more of. Activities like yoga and running help me expel any negative feelings and thoughts I’m experiencing as well. I’ve also learned to say ‘no’ more, which is something I should’ve done a long time ago.” — Alex Wirth

“I try to do yoga and/or pilates every day because the rush of endorphins always calms me and makes me happier. Plus, I can feel myself getting stronger every day!! I also talk to my boyfriend when I’m feeling really stressed — he has anxiety and always sympathizes, and tries to help me prioritize things.” — Winnie McNally

“Going to the gym and cat cuddles, and letting myself have an appropriate time to be sad before I bulk up and keep on keeping on.” — Paxton Hemkens

Some people escape through reading.

“I did reading challenges the last two years to force myself to unplug and get back in the habit of pleasure reading. I started using a meditation and sound soother app to sleep, and bake a lot more – and I give it away to strangers.” — Michelle Anjirbag

“I’ve been re-reading books I read growing up (Georgia Nicolson series, Series of Unfortunate Events) and it definitely helps a lot. Takes me to a more positive time!” — Rachel Charlene Lewis

Some people really love a good spa day.

“I’ve always been a big fan of a nice hot bath, a Lush face mask or bath bomb and my favorite music! Just helps me unwind and destress from the day, and makes me feel like I’m taking care of my body and my mind!” — Claire Sandberg

“I’ve taken to making ‘wash day’ a luxe spa experience (as much as one can, at home) — essential oils, fancy soaps and shea butter, Solange, phone on airplane mode. It’s helped a lot.” — Ashley McIntyre

“Face masks, positive and uplifting spiritual audio books, aromatherapy, and reading historical fiction.” — Holly Harrington Benedick

Some people just love a good nap or TV show.

“Sleeping in and not feeling badly about it!” — Rachel Marshall

“I try to watch positive comedy TV, like Parks and Rec or The Office. Right now I’m watching Arrested Development!” — Anna Freed

And some people have a multitude of great self-care practices.

“1. Washing my hair at home, twisting it as it dries.
2. Washing my face (the full routine, not just splashing water).
3. Buying books that pull me, then stacking them on my night-table like a totem.
4. Eating that chocolate because I feel like it and I bought it with my own money.
5. Paying the minimum amount for my bills so I can have cash leftover for Kickstarters.
6. Alternately, spending all my cash on bills so I can breathe/sleep at night.
7. Letting go of old friends and romantic relationships (deleting pictures, unfriending).
9. Daydreaming/escaping.”
Rachel Methods

Please know that you’re not alone. Help can be found everywhere, and your passions will protect you. Clean, paint, dance, journal, sleep, cook, read and just be yourself — always!

newsletter illustration

Giggles in Your Inbox

!