Story by Mariah Cowsert
I’m writing to you from the theatre after making a to-do list for the next few days, weeks, and academic year while I have some spare time at work before I perform in a show downtown. Mapping everything out is just increasing my stress levels while making me hyper-aware of my stress eye twitch, slight shaky feeling from too much coffee this morning, and regretting not bringing more for lunch.
I am always ‘busy’, my friends are always ‘busy’, family has become a luxury to see since the ever growing world has been engulfed in busyness. We even let the busy consume and creep up on us and we then add more coffee, less sleep, and excessive stress to our daily checklist as college students and young adults.
I found myself re-evaluating the glorification of being constantly busy versus being productive last school year when I attempted to balance 18 credits, work, theatre, relationships both romantically and family orientated, writing, and whatever else life threw at me. Self-care was put on the back burner and I was more aware of other students on campus that were struggling to find time for themselves until I started purposefully adding self-care into my schedule.
Self-care can be defined as the act of caring for oneself without oversight or assistance but asking for help when needed. Methods of self-care include taking yourself out for coffee, going for a run or drive to clear your mind, having a sit down breakfast alone, taking a bath, simply clearing time to work on a project you’ve been wanting to start, or just taking a damn nap for once instead of grabbing a third cup of coffee.
Babe Vibes, an online collection of work by creative women, is a powerhouse of encouragement and support, and is founded and ran by the self-care queen herself, Kara Haupt.
Haupt explains in her collaborative zine entitled Methods of Self Care that, “self-care, and the methods that facilitate it, are unique to every person. Self-care is a practice, just like art-making or athleticism, it has to be exercised and it has to be customized” and that “self-care changes the way you see the world and yourself. You deserve to treat yourself with the kindness and the care you exercise toward others.”
Incorporating time for self-care gave me the freedom I needed to stop the bullshit excuses we give ourselves as to why we’re too busy to care for the only body and mind we are given and start to embrace our flaws and stick up for ourselves. Self-care means not texting your ex but allowing yourself to miss them, self-care means getting ice cream on a hot day, self-care means actually sitting down for coffee before work, self-care means not doing a damn thing and staying in sweats til noon, self-care is exactly what you make of it.
I challenge you to start using the hashtag self-care sunday, babe vibes, and methods of self care on social media to document your progress and stick to your damn word on giving yourself the break you need to re-energize even if that means doing absolutely nothing. Go to the Babe Vibes website to check out the Methods of Self Care and 45 Pep Talks publications, purchase a digital print for your wall or workspace, look out for Haupt’s upcoming project, and know that there is a community of support for your strides in self-care. Self-care is not selfish care, so kick some ass and smash the word busy, take care (of yourself).
About the Writer…
Mariah Cowsert is a junior studying Communication with a Theatre Emphasis and English. She has been writing for The Saint since last fall and is excited to continue doing what she loves. In her free time she enjoys running, acting and technical theatre involvement, painting, talking in third person for bios, and reading.