Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who's about to become the youngest Congresswoman ever this January, is taking some time for self-care. The Congresswoman-elect took to her Instagram stories on Monday to let her followers known she'd be starting a week of self-care, though she admitted she doesn't really know how to do that or what it entails.
After describing some of the self-care tips she's heard in the past (drink wine and watch Netflix, go to Cancun), she showed a photo of Amnesty International's signs for burning out, writing, "Self-care is important for activists because without we WILL burn out and walk away."
She continued, writing, "Confession time: I am so bad at this. Even though our story exploded 5 months ago, I’ve been campaigning nonstop for two years: through multiple jobs, double shifts, morning commutes on the subway, etc."
Ocasio-Cortez explained that before the campaign, she would do yoga multiple times a week, eat nutritiously, and take time to read and write for leisure. Then, once her campaign began, she says all that went out the window and instead, she found herself eating fast food for dinner and falling asleep in her jeans and makeup.
Love @Ocasio2018’s honesty here about taking care of yourself, avoiding burnout, and challenging the misconceptions and double standards inherent in the idea of “working hard.” @AditiJuneja3 @SelfCareSundays pic.twitter.com/Q328sXIQCj
- Billy Freeland (@policyjunkie) December 17, 2018
"We live in a culture where that kind of lifestyle is subtly celebrated as 'working hard,'" she wrote. "But I will be the first to tell you it’s NOT CUTE and makes your life harder on the other end (you wake up worse, energy all over the place, etc)"
She explained it's important to her to be honest about these more vulnerable aspects of her life because, all too often, public servants pretend to be perfect, making it difficult for people who aspire to be in those positions to feel like they're prepared. "You don't have to be perfect, but you do have to be 100% committed," she wrote.
Self-care is also a complicated conversation for Ocasio-Cortez, who says she finds the topic to be emotionally challenging for people who come from an immigrant, poor, or working class background.
"My mother was a housekeeper and worked herself to the bone so that I could go to college," she wrote. "She denied herself a lot - so I feel a lot [sic] GUILT thinking about taking a day off, doing a face mask, or having a nice dinner with friends. My dad would hang out with his friends all the time, though! They both worked just as hard."
In the end, Ocasio-Cortez revealed she'd be spending her self-care time in upstate New York with some books, epsom salt, lavender oil, notebooks, pens, and music. But she's also opening up the conversation on Twitter; find even more suggestions and resources for self-care on her thread, here.
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