The surprising generosity of self-care

Dara Laine Murray
5 min readJul 4, 2022

As we step into this brave, new, slightly post-apocalyptic world, I'm very aware of the tension, the way my skin feels pulled too tightly over my bones, and how our defaults as a group have become more defensive and fearful and less curious and soft. I can’t help but be affected by the raging upheaval and grief, but I also know somehow that these are a necessary part of the wrenching transformation that is surviving a global pandemic. It can all feel so pressurized, this expanding and contracting and stretching into our new selves, our shifting communities, our redesigned relationships, and our reimagined workplaces.

Because really, there’s no escape from this seismic cultural shifting, no playbook for navigating such a time as this. We’re charting a course through unfamiliar territory, and sometimes the best I can do is stumble around and figure out how to take care of myself and how to get my footing in such an unsteady time. It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it.

Budgeting for self care
Photos of Arianna Valle by Emily Wilkerson at Harvest Retreats

Where To Start

One thing I’ve learned for sure is that in order for me to have the energy to care for others or live my life the way I prefer, I need to start by taking care of myself. And this is no abstraction. I know now more than ever that it is only by caring for myself that I can create the world I’m so desperately longing for. For those of us conditioned as women to prioritize the needs of others above ourselves, it can feel quite counter-cultural, uncomfortable, even revolutionary to honor our own needs and prioritize our own wellbeing. And yet, it’s only by choosing to invest in myself that I am able to fully show up authentically and sustainably in my home, job, and community.

In this way, budgeting for my self-care becomes not a luxury, but absolutely essential to showing up wholeheartedly in a world desperate to be healed. And for me, this starts with the cumulative effect of everyday choices, and this starts with the power of generosity.

Budgeting for self care
Photos of Arianna Valle by Emily Wilkerson at Harvest Retreats

The Power of Generosity

In working towards replacing our culture of fear and scarcity with a culture of abundance and…

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Dara Laine Murray

Multi-passionate sobriety writer on Medium. Day job: Director of Research at a nonprofit. Stories = sober + stats. Editor: https://medium.com/modern-sobriety