Caring for yourself when stuff sucks! by The Quarto Staff

We are living in a time where unthinkable acts of hatred are occurring everyday in the news. It’s a time when the safety of our bodies and identities are currently under pressure. A few of our editors have put together a list of the ways that they’ve been caring for their physical and mental health and well-being. We hope you enjoy our self-care habits. Please let us know the way you care for yourself in these trying times.

Illustration by Charlie Blodnieks

Illustration by Charlie Blodnieks

  1. First, I usually cry, because crying is cathartic for me. I typically need to completely break down before I can form coherent thoughts about a stress-inducing situation. Sometimes while I'm crying I write, in an attempt to purge my feelings as messily and quickly as possible. I might reach out to a friend to distract myself from whatever hurts by soaking in the presence of another person. Occasionally I immerse myself in TV, or a book, and try to be fully present and focused on that activity. Ultimately, I usually find it most valuable to speak with others directly about what's causing me anxiety or pain, and to work through those feelings together, because it is reassuring to know that others are going through the same thing as you and that you are not alone in your emotions.

  2. I surround myself with the people that I love, whether that includes calling my mom or brothers or drinking tea/coffee with friends. Also, music always makes me feel more calm or at peace, so often I'll just turn on one of my favorite Spotify playlists.

  3. I try to meditate in the morning because it helps me clear my head. Throughout the day, I’m always thinking and worrying about classes, friends, etc., but those 5-10 minutes in the morning are a chance to just be rather than do.

  4. Sometimes I don't know the answer to that question, and I think that can be what makes the times tough. Because I know I can't always figure things out/feel better on my own, I try to be in the presence of those whom I care about and who I know care about me. I usually feel more positive energy afterwards to get through the obstacles I'm facing.

  5. I get out of New York and go home, or to a friend’s house, or into nature (urban parks, man). I take a really luxurious shower.

  6. Journaling, writing poetry, being alone and rejuvenating, calling home.

  7. I try to find moments to let myself breathe and get away from things that are causing me stress. I'll take a more scenic route to or from something, go on a walk to listen to some new music I've found, or take a few minutes to just look out of my window and appreciate where I live and why I'm here. I think taking little moments for yourself is a good way to center your thoughts and put things in perspective. A few minutes for yourself can never hurt.

  8. During times of high stress I buy a bag of Hot Cheetos, take off my pants (because I hate pants and find them oppressive towards my environmental vibe), and do something wholesome on my laptop. My personal choices are usually either watching Game of Thrones or reading terrible queer Harry Potter fan-fiction.

  9. Being okay with isolating myself when I need it. Even from politics, which tends to make me feel socially irresponsible.

  10. My therapist has encouraged me to think about what I value doing, rather than what I "should" be doing, when I'm feeling stressed. For me, this means prioritizing time for self-care (which often means sleep, well-cooked meals, Netflix, exercise, solitude, or time with friends), communicating with and spending time with family and friends, exploring NYC, and then finishing the schoolwork that brings me some joy (usually creative writing or reading). While of course sometimes it's crunch time and you just have to get stuff done, I try to give myself rewards for working hard and spend time planning ahead so I don't get into situations that are too stressful. Plus, music! Listening to music can make any difficult time a little bit easier.

Answers from our staff were collected and compiled by Blog Editor Alison Peebles.