Scholar Check-In: "How are you currently practicing self-care?"

With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, economic instability, and public murders of multiple Black individuals (including Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd), our community has been and is going through trauma. We are committed to supporting Spectrum Scholars and providing multiple spaces for individuals to process, grieve, and express the ways these events and systems are impacting them as Black, Indigenous, and People of Color in LIS. The Spectrum Advisory Committee (SAC) has collected stories and responses from Scholars and we share here to provide space for individuals to express a variety of emotions. Some Scholars have chosen to remain anonymous; others have consented to have their names published.

One question SAC asked Scholars was, "How are you currently practicing self-care?" Below are selected responses.

"Following the social distancing and mask wearing rules when I go out. Staying away from looting locations." -Anonymous Scholar

"Eating better, exercising 4-5 days a week, stopped drinking alcohol." -Anonymous Scholar

"I've limited how much news I watch - I keep it to 30 minutes a day. I've been reading novels and doing Zumba several times a week. Both of these activities give me joy so I make it a point to make them part of my regular routine." -Priscilla Delgado (2007 Scholar)

"I read a lot, talk to friends, go on hikes in the nearby hills." -Anonymous Scholar

"Since the beginning of the pandemic I have been reading like my sanity depends on it. I have also been journaling, reading motivational books, listening to podcasts, and working out, preferably outside if I can. Although since Ahmaund Arbery and everything that's happened since then, my outdoor runs are sticking to the track. It just feels safer." -Heather Posey VanDyne (2018 Scholar)

"Yoga, dog walks, phone/video calls, focusing on what I can change." -Anonymous Scholar

"Trying to stay off social media and talking to people who won't force me to spend most of the conversation listen to their self righteous indignation, or talking to people who will listen, even if they don't always understand. Journal writing is stressful, but important and taking up embroidery has been surprisingly relaxing." -Anonymous Scholar

"Daily exercise and meditation, watching tv and taking days off." -Anonymous Scholar

"I'm not sleeping well. I'm not doing well. Frankly, I'm a bit shocked and disappointed in myself. As it only took a few days or months to start to unravel. I know I'm strong and community and purpose will serve and guide me, but as I mentioned I'm disappointed in myself for not being stronger." -James Soucé (1998 Scholar)

"Remembering to drink water and take breaks while working throughout the day." -Anonymous Scholar

"Staying indoors with two new kittens." -Rosa Cesaretti (2012 Scholar)

"I'm good at this on some days and awful at it on others. Managing how much news I consume and when I consume it is crucial, as are getting regular exercise and eating well. Sleep matters more than ever, too." -Julie Varee (2018 Scholar)

"I do reach a daily point where I need to disconnect from the news. Working full time again and walking to and from my work site every day has been good. I watch movies or documentaries, listen to podcasts, relax with my girlfriend." -Ana Elisa de Campos Salles (2011 Scholar)

"I've disengaged from much of social media. I've muted words on Twitter and also have determined to only check the news about once a week. I have also picked up yoga and am trying to engage in a mindfulness practice. Most importantly however, I have learned to be forgiving of myself when I am 'not productive.'" -Sheila Garcia (2016 Scholar)

"During this pandemic, I have increased my self-care activities. First, I have had to learn to limit my time on social media a lot in the last six months. I have also taken to writing each day (short writing prompts) that have made me focus, breathe, and look inward. This has helped take the edge off my anxiety and clear my mind. Sometimes I listen to an audiobook and take walks or sit and listen while coloring in my adult coloring book. In addition to that, I have found short and effective workouts that have helped me burn energy, maintain my physical health, and help manage stress. Finally, I bought stress-relieving cream that I have become ritualistic about using nightly to try to relax and sleep more fully." -Elisa Cruz (2018 Scholar)

"I'm baking a lot, doing home projects, and we just added a puppy to the family so there's been lots to do to keep busy. When I can I like to slip away for a long walk and listen to the Hamilton soundtrack which I find really empowering." -

Maria (Pontillas) Shackles (2002 Scholar)