A Self-Care Guide

Note: The Exhale Pro-Voice After-Abortion Stories Hub includes people’s stories of their experiences and emotions, exactly as they have written them in. We do not edit these stories at all, and the content that follows this message is exactly as we received it. We know that people’s experiences are complex, and these stories reflect the many emotions they may be feeling after their abortions. From relief to grief, and everything in between, and all at the same time, we’re here for you.

Rox Curiel and Susan Chorley hosted our final webinar for 2019, centered on self-care and wellness and the abortion experience. After the call, they put together some highlights for community members who couldn’t participate.

1. Self-care is not about spending money 

This is often a myth we have been taught or bought into due to capitalism and all the ways marketing pulls us in. Self-care can be meditation, deep breathing, taking a walk, talking with a friend, joining a community, drawing, or writing in a journal

2. Sometimes self-care is about setting up your life to go well

Sometimes self-care is getting the mundane things done for your week, your month, your year. It could be going grocery shopping, balancing your checkbook, doing laundry, scheduling, making a list of priorities, creating a plan to pay down your debt, getting sober, or prioritizing your sobriety

3. Self-care AND Community care

In a time when there is so much emphasis and promotion of individualized care, reframing our healing journeys to include a community focus may be the medicine we have been looking for. Remind yourself you are part of a web of connections and we need you. Organize in your community, volunteer with local organizations, reach out to those who inspire you, offer guidance and support to those who might be having a hard time. Stay connected and grounded. Your wellbeing is important to the people, plants, and pets in your life. There is only so much we can accomplish alone. We got you. 

4. Some of our favorite resources for self-care


Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown

The Body is not an Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor


12 Self-Care Playlist Ideas


Insight Timer

Stop, Breathe and Think


Liberate (by and for the Black, Indigneous, and People of Color community).


Chanel Miller’s poem “I don’t give a damn” is a magnificent message for survivors and for people with abortion experiences.


Call or text Exhale, read or post to our community blog, or read our page on self-care

5. Remember your body is sacred and deserves lavish love and care

We all get lots of negative and shame-based messages about our bodies throughout the context of our lives. It is a revolution to prioritize loving your body, paying attention to where it hurts, to move your body and to remember what brings you pleasure and joy. 

The webinar concluded with a challenge to each individual to make a commitment to self-care between now and the end of the year.

Here are commitments that folks shared:

  • Singing more
  • Limiting myself to doing fewer things
  • Re-defining my relationship with food
  • Being clear about my boundaries with toxic people/family members
  • Finding hobbies that make me happy
  • Get off of my phone more, especially at night
  • Be present and in the moment
  • Embrace this mantra “I am worth more than people think” 

What are your commitments? Share them with us below!

You deserve nonjudgmental
after-abortion support.

Text Exhale Pro-Voice:


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One response to “A Self-Care Guide”

  1. Jessica

    Creating alone time by taking a bath each evening.
    Expressing genuine gratitude and appreciation for gifts received.

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