Self-care has been a bit of a buzzword lately, with celebrities encouraging it and companies advocating for it. What exactly is self-care and how can you incorporate it into your own routine?
Self-care is the act of empowering your own health without professional guidance – a DIY approach to mental and physical well-being – and it’s more important now than ever to alleviate the anxiety we’re all experiencing.
Only Human, a Phoenix-based organization that partners with a different nonprofit each month to raise funds and awareness for important causes, recognized the importance of self-care long before the pandemic, but it has ramped up its resources in the past few months to provide a variety of virtual self-care-centric events for those that may be struggling.
“We call ourselves a community of good humans doing good things for good causes,” says Bree Pear, who co-founded Only Human with Crissy Saint-Massey in 2016.
Only Human benefits nonprofits in a multitude of ways, but mainly it’s through apparel emblazoned with positive messages that inspire conversations around the cause, Pear says. September was Suicide Awareness Month, so the Only Human team focused on music and how it brings hope.
“We’ve done virtual yoga, we’ve done meditations, but we also held a virtual concert every week in the month of September,” Pear says. “During COVID, it’s kind of driven people apart, but we like to find ways to bring people together around causes that we feel like you should be talking about.”
In October, it’s partnering with Headcount, a non-partisan, nonprofit organization that promotes participation in democracy, to encourage people to vote.
“This year, we were set up to do 80-plus in-person events across the U.S.,” Pear says. “When COVID hit, it was this big pivot we did. All of a sudden, we were this big community about finding each other and being with each other, but then we kind of stopped and were like, ‘Why weren’t we virtual before? Why weren’t we doing more of these things?’”
Only Human has expanded its repertoire to include book clubs, HIIT workouts and a weekly virtual meetup called Soulful Sundays, where people from all over the world sign on and share their story.
“We’re trying to find ways where our causes align with events that we hold online,” Pear says. “We want you to feel connected and a part of the causes that we’re supporting and educating people on.”
Saint-Massey says everything about Only Human is based off of its impact model, which “always starts with one individual.” Practicing self-care, which is subjective to each individual, is at the heart of what the organization stands for.
“Self-care means really looking inward first before you look outward and doing things holistically with your mind, your body and your spirit to really be the best version of yourself,” she says. “The human experience is so varied, there are lows, there are highs, and it’s all about really being in tune with yourself and paying attention to your body and your mind and giving yourself what you need.”
Pear adds that establishing a routine, even something as small as eating breakfast and brushing your teeth every morning, is crucial to self-care. In an era where working from home is the new normal, she also suggests separating the workspace from relaxation and recreation areas.
Whether it’s practicing being present, Pilates or listening to a podcast, Saint-Massey says finding something for you and incorporating it into your daily routine is paramount.
Though dedicated months such as Suicide Awareness Month allow people to readjust their focus to causes that matter, Only Human aims to bring awareness to these important causes all year long.
“These topics are so important that they shouldn’t only exist within a given month,” Saint-Massey says. “Holding space for humans and inviting them into a kind and welcoming community any day is important.”