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Self-Care is Self-Expression

You’re exhausted, drained, cold, and hungry.  

You are all of these and more as your daily responsibilities begin to wear you down. Whether it’s another homework assignment due in just ten minutes, or a sick child with a fever crying for you during a phone conference with your boss, you are crumbling from society’s expectations to constantly be perfect and well put together. You are expected to be Flo from Progressive Insurance, bright and solution ready 24/7.

Because this message of perfection is persistently repeated and advertised, we are constantly in overdrive. We’re running from work to school to volunteering activities and your kids dance practice….and oh my goodness did I forget a doctor appointment?

Because being the “perfect” student or “perfect” parent is expected and sought after, we often forget what allows for us to maintain our hard work is not the red bull and extra shots of espresso in our coffee, but true self-care. The kind of self-care you deserve on a daily basis for getting through the day and the often discriminatory attacks against your identity, and not only the temporary “treat yourself” self-care.

Self-care doesn’t just have to be a kit kat, an extra iced latte, or a delicious pink box donut, it can also be the little things that you forget about during the day, like being expressive of your needs. I view self-care as self expression maintained throughout your life on a daily basis. It’s acting on your needs and wants before it affects you mentally, physically, and socially.

What does this mean?

It means being LOUD with the concerns egging at you. If you’re at work sitting on a hard chair and leaning over your desk to complete a pile of paperwork, it’s being vocal to your boss about the need to invest in better quality chairs. If you’re a student who’s struggling under deadlines, it’s being okay with asking for an extension. But most importantly, it’s being expressive about your cultural and religious needs. If you need a longer lunch break to pray or meditate, it’s telling your boss that it’s what you need and deserve.

With self-care, you do not compromise.

While your ideas and needs may sometimes be ignored, you owe it to yourself to still try to address them. Because it’s still your needs, concerns, and wants that need to be addressed and should be addressed. That is what true self-care is and it should exist permanently, and be a priority.

Because you are worth investing for.

Marwa Doost is expressive and passionate about the need to battle societal issues such as discrimination and poverty as a united and global team. Marwa is currently majoring in English with a minor in political science at Ohlone College. She aspires to be a political writer and is not afraid to question the injustices occurring against minority communities.