I've been listening to a lot of feminist podcasts in the past several months and an overarching theme that they all delve into is the benefits of self-care, and how it is especially important for activists. Whether you are fighting for racial justice, gender justice, animal justice, environmental justice or fighting any other form of structural oppression so many of us face in big and small ways - you gotta keep taking care of yourself. Devoting your time and energy to political and social reforms is inspiring, admirable and awesome but it also takes a lot out of you and can be damaging to your physical and mental wellbeing at times. I don't exactly identify as an activist at this point in my life. At best: I am doing activism in a very non-confrontational way via my blog and books, petitions I sign, opinions I share and events I attend. At least: I am simply going through the oft disturbing process of learning about the various kinds of injustice in the world and simultaneously trying to unlearn problematic behaviours and ideologies. It can be really difficult to feel happy about anything - or even get out of bed - when I know that so many people and animals suffer for merely being born in a different body than me, while I am so disproportionately privileged. But ultimately I always remind myself that these oppressive systems cannot be torn down if I keep lying in bed all day.
I need to do my part, stay positive and be strong. And in order for me to keep going I must make sure I am OK first, mentally and physically. I cannot help anyone else if I'm not watching out for me, checking in with myself periodically and practicing self-care. So I take bubble baths. I eat chocolate. I listen to podcasts. And I pamper my skin. My fave way to wind down at the end of a busy day and give myself some love is cleaning my face. Maybe that sounds really mundane but it's what works for me.
I'll have nice warm shower, scrub my body down with some moisturizing soap and gently massage my muscles a little. I also cleanse my face with Luminance's facial cleanser, a handmade mix of soap and oils that leave my skin clear and soft. After drying off I spray some rosewater toner on my face and arms - it smells SO GOOD. Often I'll be done at this step because the cleanser and toner are so moisturizing in themselves, but when I feel like I need a lil extra sumthin sumthin I use Luminance's hydrating facial moisturizer, gently rubbing it onto my cheeks, neck, nose and forehead until it is soaked up into my largest organ. I use their body butter on the rest of me, wrap myself up in my fave fluffy black robe and head to bed with a book or podcast ready to go. I dim the lights and eventually fall asleep on my own time. The next morning I am always amazed how glow-y my skin is, even if I at an entire XL greasy vegan pizza the night before (life happens). I've tried making my own cleansers, toners and moisturizers but none come close to the effectiveness of Luminance's facial care line. I highly recommend it. It's a fun routine that makes me feel taken care of and it keeps my skin happy. For me, it's little things like having clear skin and time to relax that keep me motivated and give me energy to continue trying to change the world.
Now I wanna know: What do you do for self cafe? Is pampering your skin an important part of your self care regime?
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