The Art of Healing: Self-Care as an Act of Feminism

By Allani Gordon

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”- Audre Lorde, 1988.

As individuals we are extremely vulnerable. Physical, emotional, political, economic, social, and spiritual factors are constantly weighing down everyone’s contentment and well-being. It can be hard, or even impossible, to set aside time for yourself. Caring for one’s self is a distinct and important means of understanding “self” that cannot be gratified through friends, family, career etc. Not only does self-care benefit the individual, but it collectively offers unity among groups. Applying the practice of self-care to the modern day feminism and activism that we know can and has positively transformed these movements.

Caring for one’s self through self-expression is arguably necessary. Whatever practicing self-care means in your life, it is an art form, a conscious connection with self. There is truth in art, and seeking refuge in these truths can give us more unity within ourselves and our communities. For feminists and activists alike, self-care is a critical part of the journey, Lorde said it herself, it’s an act of political warfare, and there is power within the process.

It’s important to emphasize the notion that self-care is in no way self-indulgent, because self-care is community-care. Maintaining a healthy relationship is necessary for healthy social-relationships to transpire. It doesn’t mean going out and buying candles and face masks necessarily, but rather taking a moment to be with yourself, for yourself. Whether that is five minutes or an hour, self-care can offer us an untapped sense of positivity and confidence. This is a major principle I have seen within myself and other feminists for achieving success and solidarity in the efforts of creating constructive and successful societal changes.