How to Practice Self-Care for Free!

Of course, here on Tumblr and in the feminist blogosphere in general, there is a lot of talk about the importance of self care- and I couldn’t agree more! You have to put your own needs first and there’s no way to be an effective activist if your own needs are not being met. You deserve to have time for yourself and recharge!

But, a lot of the suggestions I’ve come across can be expensive, like going out to dinner or with friends, shopping, going on a trip, or even going to a yoga class (which you often need a gym membership for or have to pay anywhere from $10-30 dollars for an individual class).

Self-care shouldn’t be costly though and there are many things you can do to take care of yourself on the cheap.

Here are 20 self-care practices that you can try for free:

1. Take a long walk

2. Meditate. Here are some free guided meditations.

3. Masturbate.

4. Take a long bath or shower

5. Spend the afternoon at the library

6. Relax at the park

7. Go for a run

8. Clean your house or apartment.

9. Have a dance party in your living room

10. Go to a farmers market and try some free samples

11. Take a nap

12. Spend a day at the beach

13. Go to bed early

14. Cook something using whatever you already have in your kitchen

15. Explore a new part of town

16. Download some free apps

17. Call a friend or relative you haven’t spoken to in a while

18. Give yourself a compliment

19. Organize something

20. Create something

What kind of self-care practices do you do that cost nothing?

Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out

When I first saw this book in the Young Adult section of my local library (yes I still go to the YA section) when I went back home last week, I was delighted. Not only were teens (and pretty much all middle-class white ones, since that’s who lives in my area) seeing this book and probably having their consciousness raised, but teens who are trans are having their stories told; not something that happens very often.
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As I started this book today on the beach, I was pretty impressed. This book not only included stories from teens who are genderqueer and non-binary, but those stories were actually the majority of the stories being told. That’s pretty incredible and not something you see very often. Trans people whose stories are told are usually MTF or FTM, and those who are not either gender are usually ignored.

One of the trans stories that was included was of someone who was also intersex; my mind was blown again! Intersex people are usually, again, completely ignored and I don’t think most people have even ever heard the term in their life. It was pretty cool to see a story like this being told in a mainstream publication.

The stories were riveting and beautifully told. The author chose a great group to feature, as the identities were varied, there was racial diversity,and each teen was incredibly brave and well-spoken. The one thing I noticed though was that most if not all of them seemed to have class privilege or have access to wealth and it would have been nice to see more stories being told of those who didn’t have the same amount of resources.

The only negative thing I have to say about this book was that there was a “I’m not racist but” comment made by one of the teens that the author should have not included, as well as a few statements made by another that were rooted in misogyny that again, should have not made it into the book.

I would give this book a 4.5 out of 5 stars; you should race out and get a copy!Here is a link to the book on Amazon.

Science is Privileged

While I was in San Francisco at the YTH (Youth Tech Health) Live conference, I had the opportunity to moderate a panel on online libraries. The panelists had all been a part of organizations that created resources for either the underprivileged that have little access to scientific data or for those conducting scientific research who doesn’t have the resources nor the expensive tools often necessary to do this.

 

One of the things I thought about while at the conference and at this panel is how often data and access to information is so political and how rooted it is in privilege. There’s a reason that science is made up of mostly white men and Western folk in general and that most science that is seen as ‘real’ comes from wealthy, Western countries. Only recently have we started to view other culture’s forms of knowledge as legitimate (things like acupuncture, reiki, yoga) and as we have, we have appropriated them. On that same trip, I found a quaint bookstore that had an interesting book on acupuncture that I decided to buy. When I got back to my hotel room and examined it more closely, I noticed the cover featured the back of a naked woman. Not a naked woman with needles in her flesh or doing anything related to acupuncture; simply a naked woman. Clearly this is objectification being used to sell the book.

 

Also, the author, Peter Mole, was a scholar from Oxford and I can safely assume is a white man (probably cisgender and heterosexual too). The fact that a white man is writing a book about acupuncture (and being called a leading expert in this field), and that institutions like Oxford are considering themselves to be owner’s of this knowledge is extremely problematic. Books like these show how knowledge is rooted in privilege and power and how whatever is considered to be science is in and of itself rooted in these things.

 

I also thought about how all of this relates to feminist standpoint theory. Since it discusses how the construction of knowledge is informed by an androcentric point of view, those in positions of power have determined knowledge. All of the experiences and knowledge-creation done by women, people of color, LGBT folks, etc. historically (and presently) aren’t considered to be factual and are devalued.

 

I want to see science and empiricism be questioned and thought of in critical contexts a lot more than I do now. For many, science is held as the gold standard and is viewed as non-biased; it’s something that is usually blindly trusted. The system of science though, is rooted in patriarchy, kyriarchy, and capitalism; it is not a way of knowing that is natural. I believe that when we start to question science’s validity and force those in science to be accountable for their privilege, that a lot more equity and progress will be made in academia and knowledge in general.

Sexual Assault Awareness Month

I’m not sure if you’re aware that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but if not, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Sexual violence is one of the biggest social problems that our society has. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will be sexually assaulted before the age of 18. 1 in 5 women who attend college will be sexually assaulted during her time in college. 64% of trans* folk are survivors of sexual assault. The numbers are absolutely staggering and the truth of the matter is, sexual violence affects everyone.

That’s why this month, I’ve teamed up with Scenarios USA to create a social media campaign through I Will End Sexual Violence that will raise awareness and encourage action around prevention and education.

Every Wednesday this month, a new meme will be released. All of these memes are going to have an awareness piece and an action or resource piece, so that all bases are covered. You can see our first meme on gender here.

Make sure to follow I Will ESV on Tumblr or to like us on Facebook, if you want to be the first to see our memes.

 

Media Literacy