We were listening to Solange’s song Borderline (Ode to Self Care), mulling the lyrics and commentary about A Seat at the Table, the extraordinary album it’s part of, that Tavi Gevinson of W Magazine  perfectly described, an expression of the right to feel it all… 

The song describes the pull the singer feels between activism and political engagement and the need to retreat from the relentlessly dark news to take care of herself and her family. Everyone we know feels it.

You know I have the world to think
And I know I gotta go ahead and take some time
Because the last thing that I want
Is thinking that it’s time that I leave the borderline

In the illuminating W interview, Gevinson asked Solange:

What does self care look like to you?

S: You know, I probably wrote that because I need to manifest it more in my life. Even in the midst of this last week with the multiple murders of young black men that occurred, I chose this time not to watch. Just for the sake of being able to exist in that day, to exist without rage, and exist without heartbreak. To be able to get up and tell my child to have a wonderful day and know that he’ll be protected and nurtured and loved and treated like an equal contributor to society, I sometimes have to choose to not look. My husband and I share a lot in common in our yearning to see equality in this country. Sometimes throughout that, [self-care] becomes a mission within itself. That song was an ode to how our home becomes a safe space, where we can just love and not deal with some of the intensities that go along with existing in these spaces. That means so much to me.


Self care” has become fraught expression as so many people have realized how little they know about really taking care of themselves, from their physical health to their spirit. The dilemma is that it is easily confused with superficial acts — binging on Netflix, cute self-care kits, massage chairs, carefully curated Instagram images, buying stuff we think will fix us — what Arwa Mahdawi of the Guardian described: “a destination in itself“, rather than a practice essential to being engaged in the world.


Jenny Holzer


We like Gevinson’s question to Solange a lot and ask it of ourselves:

What does self care look like to you?

For us, self care has much to do with dismantling harsh opinions of ourselves when we compare ourselves to others, and in the process view ourselves as “less than”…

Sally Schneider

Self care can mean slowing down and taking the time to treat ourselves and our friends gently:


Sally Schneider

Self care can be practicing gratitude, to really take in what we have that is good…

Sally Schneider

Self care can be forgiving ourselves, or someone else, for messing up, being afraid, human…

…As wise old Anne LaMott said:

Earth is Forgiveness School.

We can apologize to ourselves as well as anyone else.

Self care can be taking a nap, to shut down our brain, relieve it from worry, resting our body, recharge…


Or just giving ourself or someone else permission to do whatever we want/need for a while…

Sally Schneider

What does self care look like to you?

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3 replies on “What Does Self Care Look Like To You? (Solange)

  1. Wow, you always amaze with the ability to blog exactly what I need at the time.

  2. My thoughts exactly Niheala! Living through a lot of changes in my love, work and home life over the last few months and hearing “take care of yourself” from friends and family has left me feeling deeply frustrated! All this time, I thought I was! Reflecting on what we really need to take care of ourselves whether that be “time out” or more concentrated “time in” has been a theme for me this month. I like what is written here about forgiveness and never considered that fear is something we should forgive ourselves for but at this time it’s what I think I need the most. Instead of blaming myself for being afraid (and consequentially watching things shift in an uncomfortable way), maybe I should try forgiving myself or even applauding acting on the intuition that something was not quite right. From that place, I can move on in celebration of the fact that sometimes my own emotions can in fact guide me in the right direction.

  3. I find that forgiving myself is the way to soften, and let whatever big dark emotion is looming, shift. We hold so much against our selves.

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