What does your self-care practice look like?
Ed. note: This post is by Jeena Cho, a Legal Mindfulness Strategist. She is the co-author of The Anxious Lawyer (affiliate link), a book written by lawyers for lawyers that makes mindfulness and meditation accessible and approachable. She is the creator of Mindful Pause, a self-paced online program for creating a more sustainable, peaceful, and productive law practice in just 6-minutes a day. Jeena offers actionable change strategies for reducing stress and anxiety while increasing productivity, joy, and satisfaction through mindfulness.
I love having my own podcast because it offers an incredible opportunity to speak with interesting people, learn, and share their insights. I interviewed Aditi Juneja. She is a lawyer, an immigrant, and a feminist who formerly led/co-created Resistance Manualand OurStates.org. She’s also the host of Self Care Sundays podcast.
You can listen to the entire episode here. We discussed the role of privilege, self-care tips, and other topics. Here’s a short excerpt.
Jeena: What does self-care mean to you?
Aditi: Self-care is about having the tools, the resources, the time, the practices that allow you to thrive in this world. A big impetus of the Self Care Sundays podcast was whenever I would see people talking about self-care — it was often like stuff that required money, like go get a massage, go do a manicure. The pictures were always of, white women with blond hair doing yoga. I didn’t feel like the resources that were available was speaking to someone like me.
The work that I was doing, it was really about elevating the voices of those most marginalized and vulnerable. I wanted to have space where we could talk about self-care not just for people like me but also for people with less privilege than me.
Jeena: What does your self-care practice look like?
Aditi: My self-care practice is constantly evolving. I try to set new goals. It’s about re-visiting what I want it to look like.
I meditate, which I find helpful. I write, which helps me to think more clearly. I’ve done therapy, which helped me to be less fixated on things, helped me to realize there are things that I can’t control and I need to let stuff go because I have lawyer type-A personality. I always think I can do anything, I can fix anything — that’s not true.
Boundaries are really important. I started making frequent use of the word “unsolicited” much to my parent’s chagrin, where I say, “That was unsolicited, I did not ask for your advice on that. I do not want your advice. No thank you.”
My therapist and I were talking and I said, “Men just feel that they can just tell us stuff.” And she said, “Yeah. But we also allow them to tell us stuff.” And I said, “You’re right. We should just start telling them that their opinions are unsolicited.” And so that just became like my favorite word.
And I think for me, the boundary component of it, the meditation, the quiet time — I’m often really just going, go go go mode. So learning to sit in quiet has been a big change. And then writing to kind of get some clarity of thought.
Jeena: Yeah, right. And I think it’s important to emphasize that self-care can look very, very different for everyone.
Aditi: I stopped drinking a few years ago and I have, maybe one drink every now and then. And that was great self-care to me. But for other people, having a bottle of wine with a friend or while watching a TV show or a movie, that’s self-care to them. And so I like that as an example because you can really see the starkness of how what works for someone just doesn’t work for somebody else.