Mental Health & Wellness Mondays – Staff Self-Care

We’re excited to introduce Mental Health and Wellness Mondays, a bi-weekly program consisting of artist stories, resource sharing, workshops, and webinars that center self-care and encourage rest and resilience. Our goal is to provide a platform for Washington State artists to share the tools and resources they use to better their mental health and wellness, including how self-care might be incorporated as part of their artistic practice so that we all benefit.

This week, our very own staff team shares the self-care routines that have gotten us through 2020. Read more about how we’ve pushed through this year and stay tuned for more Mental Health & Wellness resources and content!

From top left:

Elizabeth Colzani, Communications Manager

Self-care is an active, deliberate choice to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. It can easily be overlooked or brushed off, but it’s crucial to your well-being and the well-being of those around you! Like most people, my self-care routines vary depending on my mood, especially in 2020. Sometimes I love to curl up with a good book, other days, I’ll choose to watch trash TV until my brain melts. Some days I want to catch up with family and friends; other days, I treasure having no plans at all. The self-care that never varies and that I always enjoy is the comfort that yummy takeout brings (usually Thai food), the adventure of a fun (socially distanced) day trip, and the pleasure of laughing with my husband every single day.

Kristina Goetz, Acting Director

Self-care means taking care of yourself, so you can better take care of your family, friends, and community. My self-care includes having friend time! My friend community helps me make sense of the world, helps me understand who I am and where I am going. They call me out with love, hold me accountable, and understand me. During COVID isolation it’s been critical to carve out time to spend with these extremely important peeps, and check in on folks who I haven’t been able to see in person; traveling – this summer it’s been social distance camping and squeezing a little time in at Sou’Wester Lodge on the coast; baths with Epsom salts and a good book; listening to music – shows are such a big part of my life pre-COVID, I’ve spent some time dancing to Motown in my yard (sorry neighbors) and have been lucky to get some live music in when bands use that same giant backyard for social distanced rehearsal space; most boring of all: keeping up a tidy house.

Nadia Ahmed, Development Coordinator

To me, self-care is listening to your needs and doing something good for yourself. It helps you step away from the typical notion of productivity and gives you space to self-reflect. It is a sustainable way to better your mental, emotional, or physical health. My self-care includes watching bad movies, practicing yoga and meditation, experimenting with my wardrobe and makeup, calling my mom, reading, crying, eating my favorite foods, unlearning harmful ideals, and dancing alone in my room.

Gems, Finance & Operations Manager

Self-care is about unapologetically taking the time and space to recharge and tend to your health and wellbeing. My self-care usually involves a cozy couch or curling up in bed with a good movie or TV show. I enjoy reading, especially Marvel comics and graphic novels, science fiction, and nonfiction about art and anthropology. My friends and I maintain a couple of regular role-playing games, but I miss making music with them, which hasn’t happened since the pandemic started and is normally an integral part of my self-care. I also love a good meme and a lol with my partner, and my favorite thing to do is rockhound while on hikes or walks on the beach. During quarantine, I’ve also been teaching myself small-scale gemstone carving and lapidary art as my artistic outlet.

Lydia Boss, Program Manager

To me, self-care is intentionally listening to your needs, and actively doing things that help to contribute to your overall health and sense of wellbeing. Self-care for me looks like taking a bath, being in nature, exercising, cooking, reading, laughing out loud, and listening to music.

Justine Deacon, Annual Fund & Events Manager

Self-care is any action you intentionally take to improve your mood and take care of your mental health. Self-care for me usually involves spending time on the couch reading, re-watching shows (like Parks & Rec, New Girl, Schitt’s Creek), or playing video games. Some days my self-care is as simple as taking a moment to hug my dogs.

Luther Hughes, Program Manager

I would define “self-care” as actions that have a short-term or long-term effect on your mental health and well-being. Some of my self-care rituals consist of 1.) gaming, 2.) watching anime, 3.) re-watching my favorites like Schitt’s Creek or Moana, and 4.) reading fiction.