The author of the poem below intended it for academics. I’m reprinting it here for all of us, educators, parents, basically if you’re human you might relate. My Dad and children exchanged terrible poems that they’d composed. It was a wonderful tradition I hope to continue with my own grandchildren. I’d suggest you use this as inspiration to write your own manifesto and send it to someone via old fashioned snail mail preferably, but whatever works.

Title: Self-care for academics: a poetic invitation to reflect and resist.

Author: Siobhan O’Dwyer

Self -Care: A Manifesto

Eat apple pancakes smothered in Nutella.
Practice yoga
Watch The English Patient
Turn off email notifications
Walk.

Drink wine
Have a massage
Eat fish and chips
Swim.

Bake cookies
Eat cookies
Read to small children
Meditate.

Drink coffee
Buy flowers
Watch RuPaul’s Drag Race
Gossip.

Eat hot cross buns
Read Pride and Prejudice
Plant seedlings in the dirt
Dance.

Drink champagne
Watch Pitch Perfect
Stand in damp grass and name the constellations
Breathe.

Drink gin
Buy new shoes
Walk around a lake
Laugh.

Remember that this is what you do, not who you are
Drink tea
Stroll among olive trees
Watch slam poetry on YouTube
Sleep.

Go to the beach
Eat toast
Read The Shipping News
Cry.

Have a bath
Watch The Bachelor
Bake a German cherry cake
Run.

Abandon bad books
Savour good ones
Turn your face to the sun
Cook.

Turn off the internet
Watch fog rise from a mountain in the morning
Watch fog descend on a mountain in the evening
Sing.

Take a holiday
Buy a puppy
Go to an art gallery
Love.

Read To Kill A Mockingbird
Sand a piece of furniture
Clomp around paddocks in warm socks and gumboots
Relax.

Remember that this is your job, not your life.

Buy a newspaper
Spend the day in bed
Watch chickens poking in the dirt
Create.

Write a novel
Stand at the edge of the ocean
Roll dough with a heavy wooden pin
Browse.

Eat dumplings
Drink cherry beer
Ride a motorbike with a beautiful man
Play.

Watch Friends
Watch Survivor
Watch The Walking Dead
Read.

Wind wool around needles
Survive a spin class
Go to the movies in the middle of the day
Exist.

Write a list of self-care activities
Publish it in a good journal
Encourage your colleagues to reflect on their own self-care
Resist.

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