June 20, 2021 marks the first day of Summer – and after two years of navigating life amidst a global pandemic and massive injustices – this widely anticipated season has many of us eager to get outdoors and back to normal.
But what exactly is normal anyway?
Let’s be real for a moment.
By definition, ‘normal’ is conformity to a typical state or condition. As a society, we’ve always been subject to following the rules, but this wake in history has allowed us to recognize a number of flaws within our systems. Here are three things I noticed:
- Capitalism destroys individual and communal value and trust.
- There are not enough adequate provisions for individual and familial care.
- Labor and productivity do not determine personal worth.
The truth is that ‘normal’ has us rushing life – and our neglect for the present moment lessens our ability to experience it fully.
But perhaps it’s the slowing down that seems most frightening. A lot comes to the surface with more room to think. Over the last two years, many of us have lost loved ones, have battled with financial instability, or have simply become exhausted by the endless trauma propagated in our neighborhoods or in mass media.
And in all the silence and alone time, many of us came face-to-face with tough personal revelations we’ve been too afraid to admit.
We’re in the thicket – how will we see ourselves out?
If anything, my hope is that this time has taught us that self-love and self-care is a serious priority. We all deserve healthy “me”-first moments, so here are three ways we can take care of ourselves this summer:
- Make room for grief. Yes, the very thing you may be trying to bypass or ignore. Our emotions are meant to be expressed and processed, and if we do not hold space to honor them, we are dishonoring ourselves. By allowing yourself to properly grieve, you can release things that no longer serve you and fill your cup with things that do.
- Find a safe-space. Whether it’s journaling, talking to a friend, or spending time at a park – we all need a place where we feel welcome to show up fully, without fear of judgement. As humans, one of our primal needs is an environment that begets safety and encourages freedom. We can create this space on our own, but don’t ever be afraid to ask for help. The support is always there if you seek it.
- Do what brings you joy. This may come as a challenge, especially if we’re accustomed to putting others before ourselves, but let’s create new habits. Write that book, sing that song, call a friend, start that business! We deserve to experience goodness and it begins from the inside out. In fact, in order to fully be there for another person, you must take care of yourself, so why not prioritize you?
This moment is asking us to create a new ‘normal’ and it starts with taking care of you.
It’s never too late to begin – and as the saying goes, “Time is of the essence.” – so fill it with yours.
What does your self-care Summer look like? I’m rooting for you!