As nice as it would be to spend your evening soaking in a bubble bath totally worry-free—phone on airplane mode in the other room—that’s not exactly the reality for most people. When you’ve worked your butt off your entire life to make your #girlboss dreams come true, taking the time for some self-care feels…wrong. In fact, it might even make you feel straight-up guilty. And no one knows that unfortunate problem better than Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
In a recent Instagram Story, Vogue reports that the Congresswoman-elect told her followers she’s taking the week off to focus on self-care. While the thought is nice, there’s only one problem: Despite being fully deserving of some much-needed time to herself away from the craziness of Capitol Hill, she just can’t shake the guilt that comes along with doing so—something she knows so many other women experience as well.
“I’m starting a week of self-care where I’m taking the week off and taking care of me. I don’t know how to do that, though,” she said. “My mother was a housekeeper and worked herself to the bone so that I could go to college. She denied herself a lot—so I feel a lot of guilt thinking about taking a day off. It’s not okay that women subconsciously perpetuate unequal burdens for generations, just because we’re made to feel guilty if we don’t. Notice how much of this guilt is self-reinforced and internalized via social norms.”
Despite the shaming that comes along with self-care, Ocasio-Cortez knows it’s crucial for your well-being. Instead of it being seen as a luxury when you have time, it should be something you schedule in regularly to get the relief you need to continue pushing toward your goals.
“Before the campaign, I used to practice yoga three to four times a week, eat nutritiously, and read and write for leisure. But as soon as everything kicked up, that all went out the window,” she wrote. “I went from doing yoga and making wild rice and salmon dinners to eating fast food for dinner and falling asleep in my jeans and makeup. We live in a culture where that kind of lifestyle is subtly celebrated as ‘working hard,’ but I will be the first to tell you it’s not cute and makes your life harder in the end.”
If Ocasio-Cortez has anything to do with it, everyone will make self-care a resolution that sticks in 2019. Because if this absurdly-busy political superstar is making it a priority to take care of herself again, it’d be crazy not to live by her example, right?
This new year, get back to basics by creating your own definition of self-care. Or find out three ways Nicole Kidman squeezes self-care into her schedule.
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