When I thought of creating an advent calendar of self-care on my blog I asked myself why. How does it fit within the overall purpose of the site? But that question is the very reason why I decided to do it. Taking care of yourself is often shunted to the side. Particularly during holidays there are so many other commitments that might feel like they are a higher priority. But not taking care of yourself has significant consequences including both physical and mental health.
The short version is we aren’t evolved to deal with things like long term stress with no outlet. Many of the foods that we turn to in times of stress also aren’t ideal for providing our bodies with what we need. This isn’t a biological need either, it’s likely more the way food is presented in Western culture.
Then there’s the sustainability connections. This includes that it’s harder to confront huge issues like climate change if we are barely hanging on. But it’s also about a change in perspective. What does well-being look like? What do we need and what do we want? How does learning the difference help us be more sustainable? How does making connections with people or non-human nature make us more capable of helping others, seeing connections, or changing how we interact with the world.
Self-care is scientific. What isn’t scientific is always putting yourself last. Remember, you have to put on your oxygen mask before helping others.
At the end of this series I’ll post all the references I’ve used to build it, so if you’re curious, stay tuned.