black women need more avenues that lead to healing and self care. with pervasive violence perpetrated both against us and around us, audre lorde called caring for ourselves an act of “political warfare.” this summer, i challenge sisters to deconstruct the superwoman myth and spend the season nurturing their self-care practices.
here are just a few tips that i’ve found helpful in creating my regimen:
1. do what you loved as a child: if you enjoyed it as a child, chances are it will be therapeutic as an adult. think back to the time when you weren’t worried about your job, student loans, children’s needs or relationship woes. at about eight-years old, i fell in love with reading, but as an adult, haven’t made much time to enjoy fiction. i’ve gone back to that happy place this summer and selected five books for my summer reading list (blog post coming soon).
2. travel: every year i stress myself out by trying to plan a big vacation. i stress the details, saving money and worry way too much about using my precious paid vacation days. inevitably, my self-inflicted stress takes all the joy out of the experience and the trip goes up in flames. this year, i’m over it. not only did bae and i plan weekend getaways between june and august, but i’ve also joined travel noire’s #tndistrict to get alerts on cheap flights abroad. i’m using my passport this year. you should too.
3. eat healthy: or at least eat less processed food and drink more water. there are many chronic health issues that a clean diet can help to resolve. take the the time to plan meals and snacks, eat out less and limit alcohol — you’ll feel 10 times better. admittedly, investing in my health is the hardest struggle i face, but a necessary component of my self-care regimen.
4. connect with nature: push away from your desk. go outside. take a walk, visit a park, have lunch, just take a moment to enjoy the fresh air and sun’s vitamin d. on the weekends, instead of spending all of your valuable daylight hours watching tv or surfing the internet, go for a hike, ride your bike or read a book on your front porch. mindfulness teaches us to be present in every moment, and nature is a great motivator.
5. be alone: significant others, children and friends are all great, but the relationships take lots of energy to maintain. love yourself as much as you love others, and schedule alone time each week, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. disconnecting from the needs of others and truly focusing on you is a golden experience.
for practical tips on mindfulness and self care, check out how to train a wild elephant: and other adventures in mindfulness by jan chozen bays. also, this article from the feminist wire does a great job placing black women’s self care into a revolutionary context.
be well. xo