A Radical Act of Self-Care


“Self-care.” We talk about that a lot. (Maybe we don’t practice it as much as we talk about it.) What is it? What does it look like?


The truth is, self-care is anything that makes us better outside of a “system” - economic,  educational, or anything else. It’s meditating on what is good for ourselves and taking steps to pursue it. Going to bed early. Drinking more water. Spending one night a week at home instead of out, or spending one afternoon a week out instead of at home.


For me, no singular act has ever encapsulated self-care for me like how I spent the evening of December 13, 2018.


I had just completed my last final exam. The following morning, I would drive home from school and begin my winter break. But tonight was for me.


I drew a bath. I began an episode of the Earwolf podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! on my waterproof Bluetooth speaker. I unwrapped a strawberry glitter bath bomb and sat it next to the tub. I heated up a leftover tupperware container of Hamburger Helper stroganoff in the microwave.


I ate Hamburger Helper in the bathtub.


Nobody has ever once made a rule that you cannot eat Hamburger Helper in the bathtub. Nobody’s really talked about it if they’ve done it before.


It didn’t have to be Hamburger Helper that I ate in the bathtub. It could’ve been other leftover pasta we had in the fridge, or instant oatmeal, or Goldfish crackers, or fruit. But it was Hamburger Helper. It had to be. It wouldn’t make sense otherwise.


In 2019, I challenge you to do one silly thing for yourself that just feels good. It shouldn’t be harmful, but don’t make it be too productive either.


Take a break from expecting too much of yourself every once in a while. Before you get back up on that grind, take a bath. Make yourself food from a box. Life doesn’t have to be high-brow and pristine all the time.


Let simple things make you happy.