be_ixf;ym_202407 d_13; ct_100 YES! I want to make a difference TODAY!

Self-care during hard times

How do you practice self-care? If you’re not sure, ask yourself: When do I feel my best? What makes me happy? What do I need when I’m feeling down? Self-care can be a good book, that extra skincare step, taking a shower, or spending time outside. Self-care is anything that you want or need it to be to feel like you’re taking care of yourself and that you’re aligning your actions with your inner self. This looks, sounds, and feels different for everyone, which is why I admire it so much.

One of my favorite ways to engage in self-care is exercise. Exercise helps me feel connected to my body. I grew up playing a variety of intense team sports but had to stop halfway through college which sent me to a pretty dark and frustrating place. What helped me was finding a new form of exercise that still connected my mind and my body: weightlifting. Nothing too wild here, though – I’m not competing or trying to beat a new personal record every time. The style that works best for me is where I can use weights and movements to feel stronger in my body–not trying to count how many abs I do or don’t have. Exercise that engages my mind and muscles together to move my body with intention is challenging and rewarding.

What makes this even more special to me is that I can share it with friends and peers. I’ve started an opt-in Wellness Workout program to support strength and wellbeing through adaptable exercises.

Because self-care practices are so diverse and exercise has so many benefits, I sought to make an inclusive community space where people can engage in exercise and activity in how ever they see fit for themselves. This is crucial to my self-care because: I engage in exercise that feels good for me, I am intentional in making it modifiable so others can feel good, and I can create a welcoming space where attendees can see me struggle a little bit too, rather than seeing a fitness god not breaking a sweat. I’d like to think that makes us all feel a little better. I hope my Wellness Workouts continue to provide a welcoming option for all of us here at City Year San José to find what self-care practices work best for each of us.

City Year AmeriCorps member Alissa Stauffer using weights to lead a virtual workshop.

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