Earthlife Africa share some personal tips this international self-care day

Today, International Self-Care Day, we are reminded about the benefits of effective self-care. Self-care is when we deliberately take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health, which many of us very often overlook. The team at Earthlife Africa Johannesburg have compiled a few tips to share with activists, in an effort to help others cope with their everyday work.

 “Switch Off All Gadgets. Unplug!” says Nthabiseng Matsoha, ELA Researcher, “Since the lockdown, I spend too much time on my laptop and phone. This has often contributed to feelings of anxiety and being overwhelmed, either through news or work, etc. Choose at least 1 day a week, Saturday works for me, and unplug from the world.”

Sabina Taderera, ELA HR and Finance Manager says, “Think ahead and improve your peace of mind. This lockdown has given me a peek at what my retirement might be like. So much time, and not much money. That is why I am now more committed than ever to save where I can, toward the retirement I want.”

Self-care does not have to be expensive or extravagant. ELA’s Senior Programmes Officer Noma Xhoma says that it is important to take some time, even a few minutes, to just unwind. “To calm myself down, after a particularly stressful meeting, I walk around my yard drinking water for 15 minutes. I find that the fresh air, sunshine and nature helps boost my mental and physical strength.”

On the other hand, Sibongile Ndlovu says that she takes breaks by spending time in her vegetable garden at the back of her home.

Rifqah Tifloen ELA’s Organisational Manager says it is important to also make time to activate your senses. “In the morning when I’m setting my intention for the day, I burn oils at my workstation for sensory consumption. Mint or Karoo scents are great! It helps clear the mind, with a pleasant fragrance for the nose.”

“I like to relax to my favourite music,” says Jabulani Mtsweni, ELA’s Assistant Programmes Officer. “When I feel stressed, I calm myself down by listening to classical music.”

ELA’s Director Makoma Lekalakala says, “I do two simple things to help lift my spirits. I love singing along to clap and dance music, and I am not shy to have power naps during the day.’’

ELA Programs Officer Thabo Sibeko says, “It helps to take a break, when you feel overwhelmed and exhausted. But, just don’t quit. Add some Vitamin B to your diet, to keep your energies up.”

ELA Nuclear Campaigner Ulrich Steenkamp says, “One of the ways I make sure that my emotional and mental health stays tip top shape is to have someone or something to interact with or care for. The personal interaction does wonders for lifting your spirits. It will keep depression, due to isolation, at bay.”


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