The truth about self-care is that sticking to it absolutely sucks. No one is inherently good at self-care and I am certainly not going to say that I follow what I tell my students, peers, and sometimes even supervisors.
Self-care is conflicting with our nature to help. As people in the helping professions we are often the last people we help in our lineups. We have priorities, responsibilities, and often times we have more than conflicting archetype to fit under while struggling to manage these dichotomous and child-like notions to not help ourselves. In reality we must always help ourselves because we cannot do what we do when we can barely stand to function physically, emotionally, socially, etc! Be your own helper and help yourself. Take time during this break to just be present and have some you time. You deserve it.
It is surreal for me to believe that I am eight weeks done with my Master's program. It is unbelievable for me to recognize that I have over 750 pages of peer-reviewed, edited, and authored literature ranging from topics within higher education, policy and education, critical theory, criticality in international higher education, and even higher education as it stands for different groups of people like students with disabilities, Students of Color, and faculty/staff.
We live in a world where we expect and acknowledge that education at its core is becoming privatized and commoditized at a growing and alarming rate. Despite efforts from educational administrators, the grasp of big business is slowly becoming tighter on the frail fiscal being that is higher education. Plain and simple: Educational institutions do not have the funds to do what they were designed to do. Looking at primary schools, there are schools that are shut down for simply not having some type of break time. Is this important? Yes, but schools sacrifice this time for more instructional time because the students crave the knowledge more than anything else. When we look at secondary schools, we see the relationship between public schools and public people and that if there is no money in the public, very little is going to be reinvested in the school district. This is an unfortunate reality that many people will not face but for those forced into these gentrified districts they are given under-resources schools and expected to thrive when no one is expected to give them the resources. Looking at higher education, we see academic faculty being denied grants, tenure, and promotions simply because they are writing information that makes them happy and excited about their work. Why would a faculty member spend 5-7 years working on becoming an expert in their career to simply just let it be and use their bare research skills to do research for companies that are fueling the commodification that faculty are trying to prevent.
At any level of education, there is a cost. The more and more I read about education at any level, the more I see the cost and its impact on students. The cost is real, not transparent, and rarely benefits the student. How do mitigate the cost then without sacrificing the educational experience? Only time and active resistance will tell.