Making Space For Yourself

There are many things that those of us with a uterus do extremely well. We are fierce and fabulous, strong and smart, intelligent and innovative. We are amazing friends, lovers, family members, students, and co-workers. However, we often struggle when it comes to identifying and prioritizing our own needs and making space for ourselves.

We care for and comfort others, but when it comes to being compassionate toward ourselves, we somehow twist the whole narrative and tell ourselves that caring for our own needs is self-centered. But practicing self-care is far from being selfish.

Self-care is about renewing and re-energizing YOU to live as your very best SELF.

Taking your needs and desires into account more fully can feel at odds with what you have been taught or conditioned to think. An onslaught of judgmental messages about our bodies and decisions come at us from family, our community, the media, and so on.

But what would it look like for you to tend to your own needs? How might you create space for yourself that values your own intuition and wisdom, your sense of self-acceptance and self-worth, above all else?

All human beings require care. Caring for yourself can take many forms, and only you know what you need. However, just realizing that your emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual needs are worthy of attention is a meaningful step toward self-care.

Making space for your own needs doesn’t look the same for everyone, nor do we all have the same access to resources. However, we can be intentional about identifying what will make us feel more comfortable, safer, more confident, less alone, and more peaceful.

Give yourself permission to use practices of self-compassion and care as “routine maintenance,” as well as a way to create sacred space and healthy energy for your journey through your abortion process. Speak to yourself in the loving ways that you would speak to a close friend who was experiencing the mixture of emotional and physical sensations you may be experiencing right now.

Self-care can look like:

  • Laying down for a short nap
  • Stopping to drink water
  • Sitting down rather than eating on the run
  • Asking a friend to sit with you
  • Asking folks to give you some time to be alone
  • Swapping childcare (if you have kids)
  • Stepping outside for some fresh air
  • Taking a few deep breaths with long, slow exhales
  • Singing or yelling at the top of your lungs
  • Asking for help with a chore
  • Taking a shower
  • Allowing yourself to say “no” even when it may disappoint someone 
  • Crying until you are all cried out
  • Imagining yourself surrounded by light
  • Singing softly to yourself
  • Rocking or swaying gently
  • Closing your eyes for 5 minutes and imagining yourself in a favorite spot

Being aware of your reactions and trusting your instincts about what you need is a critical component of self-care. Making and preserving space for yourself is sacred and vital to your health and well-being, as well as to those around you.