Written by Cheyanne Ratnam, @CheyRatnam, a member of our Young Person’s Advisory Council, former young person in care, CaFdn Ambassador, S.S.W., B.S.W., M.S.W. Candidate.

One of the most important things I’ve learned in my life is: Take care of yourself, #SelfCare.

In care, depending on where you live and what kind of environment it is, it can be difficult to pay attention to the “self”. Aside from the living environment, we may have multiple factors preventing us from having the time or the ability to seek and practice self-care.

Self-care can look different for everyone. I personally love yoga and meditation (and it’s been easier to practice self-care since aging out); it keeps me balanced and I feel great after a great session. I find that working out also helps release the day’s tensions and/or stresses. For others, it may be as simple as reading a book or even going to a concert.

I find quotes help ground me. I thought I’d share a few I live by, in regards to #SelfCare. Here they are:

1. “Self-care is possessing enough self-awareness to invoke repeated patterns of “being” that harmoniously correct the behaviors of over-functioning for others while under-functioning for yourself.” – LaShaun Middlebrooks Collier 

2. “Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” – Tia Walker 

3. Choose two or three words that you want for yourself or that describe you, and on the daily say them to yourself. Example: I AM RESILIENT.  I AM INTELLIGENT. I AM WORTHY.

4. “Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving. When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.” – Bell Hooks 

5. “Most of my life has been spent trying to shrink myself. Trying to become smaller. Quieter. Less sensitive. Less opinionated. Less needy. Less me. Because I didn’t want to be a burden. I didn’t want to be too much or push people away. I wanted people to like me. I wanted to be cared for and valued. I wanted to be wanted. So for years, I sacrificed myself for the sake of making other people happy. And for years, I suffered. But I’m tired of suffering, and I’m done shrinking. It’s not my job to change who I am in order to become someone else’s idea of a worthwhile human being. I am worthwhile. Not because other people think I am, but because I exist, and therefore I matter. My thoughts matter. My feelings matter. My voice matters. And with or without anyone’s permission or approval, I will continue to be who I am and speak my truth. Even if it makes people angry. Even if it makes them uncomfortable. Even if they choose to leave. I refuse to shrink. I choose to take up space. I choose to honour my feelings. I choose to give myself permission to get my needs met. I choose to make self-care a priority. I choose me.” -Daniell Koepke

How do you practice self-care? What does self-care look like to you? If you are or were from care, do you have tips for your fellow care siblings?

Tweet me or find me on IG : @cheyratnam

 Nandri (Thank You in Tamil).

Read another young person’s blog post here.

Leave a Reply