things first: Are you eating, sleeping, and drinking water?
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Self-care can definitely mean Netflix, ice cream, a facial, and
bonding with your dog. But before you can tend to your
emotional needs, you really just need to make sure you’re
physically OK, Rashad says. Like, when was the last time you
ate? Have you been drinking water? How has your sleep been
lately? Keeping yourself well not solely for the purposes of
activism but also because you need to live your life — go to
work, study, run errands, commute, babysit, whatever — will
enable you to meet those next-level emotional needs that
require tending to.
Rashad says you can really only function in a state of
heightened anxiety for so long. That thing where you chug
coffee and run on adrenaline because you have to attend
back-to-back protests and then study for your test and then get
through a shift at work — you can do that for maybe 48 hours.
After that your body will demand rest, food, water, and just
general TLC. And your mind will, too.
“There’s a point at which you cognitively hit a wall. You
actually have diminished effectiveness,” if you don’t find time
to rest and, at least temporarily, take a break from being so
engaged, says Rashad.