I think we can all agree: this week has been a long one.
When the week begins with tragic, heartbreaking news, and you go reeling into Monday with the weight of the world on your shoulders, it is impossible to feel on track. Maybe that’s just me, but most people I’ve spoken with this week have had the same undeniable burden of grief and sadness bearing down on them.
As Monday went on, blurred by breaking news and consumed with a devastating sense of loss, the shock wore off and the anger set in: anger at the state of our broken world, anger at the undeniable truth that something in our system is wrong, anger at the general divisiveness we see even on a day of overwhelming grief.
Tuesday came and suddenly reality hit again. Our world has to keep turning even in the wake of tragedy, and for many, that means pulling our bootstraps up and plodding along through work and the things that may have been on pause as we reacted. For others, that means diving even deeper into tragedy as they continue to cover, investigate, and rebuild. (I’d like to take a moment here to thank them for their resilience and bravery.)
This week has gotten me thinking about self care; in particular, how we often neglect it when we’re dealing with heavy things. Whether it’s on a national level or a more personal one, it’s easy to keep yourself busy and distracted rather than pause to process and protect yourself from further damage by taking the time to mend, rest, and heal.
But it is ever so important — perhaps more so, in times of great loss, than ever.
We each have our own idea of what self care looks like. For me, it often involves a large glass of wine and a good book, or a British baking show, and probably some chocolate. It involves long hugs from my boyfriend and time spent with loved ones, just to remind myself that there is good in this world and they are my favorite example of it, and cuddles with the cat, who (feisty as she may be) is a regular reminder of the innocence all around us. It involves reflection and prayer. It occasionally involves a long, hard run to sweat out all the toxins and frustrations I’ve got pulsing through me that day.
So as this long, heavy week comes to a close, I implore you: take a time out. Take a moment and take a breath.
Take care of yourself.