Hate the policies—don’t hate the person. That’s the motto I’m choosing to live by when it comes to all things Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
On Monday, the New York liberal Democrat got real with her Instagram followers about "burning out" and the importance of “self-care."
“I am starting a week of self-care where I am taking the week off and taking care of me. I don’t know how to do that though, so I would appreciate any and all self-care tips,” she wrote.
“Sometimes people are like, ‘top ten tips for self-care: go to Cancun,’ and I’m like [shakes head]. Is it a face mask? I just don’t understand.”
Prior to being one of the youngest women ever elected to Congress, Ocasio-Cortez said she used to practice yoga three to four times a week, eat nutritiously, and read and write for leisure.
Now, she said, “I went from doing yoga and making wild rice and salmon dinners to eating fast food for dinner and falling asleep in my jeans and makeup. We live in a culture where that kind of lifestyle is subtly celebrated as ‘working hard,’ 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.”
Writing this from a café in New York City, sipping on my third cup of coffee simultaneously with a Diet Coke—and not having gone to yoga in a week—I have to admit that I identify with the self-proclaimed Democratic socialist. She continues:
“I keep things raw and honest on here since I believe public servants do a disservice to our communities by pretending to be perfect. It makes things harder for others who aspire to run someday if they think they have to be superhuman before they even try.”
“I also find conversations about self-care emotionally challenging when you come from an immigrant, poor, or working class background,” she added.
The post is worth reading in full.
Sure, the idea of “self-care” is inherently arrogant and easy to mock, but in the modern-age, digital world, it’s hard to fully turn off.
This doesn’t give us a free pass to complain or wine about our difficult lives, because being “busy," is a first-world privilege.
But it does mean that detaching and recharging from the day-to-day takes an additional effort that it perhaps didn't in the past.
So this holiday season, consider spending some quality time with yourself. Put your phone on airplane mode and pick up a book.
Watch Netflix. Drink a glass of wine with family and friends. Kickstart a new diet or exercise routine focused on increasing your energy. Or, if you’re like me, spend hours on end snuggling with your adorable dog. “Self-care,” it turns out, can really be that simple.
We all need it in some form—including, if not especially, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez.
Now, if only we could convince her to get behind policies that would make life easier, and less stressful for everyone.