With February having been Black history month, and March being Women’s history month, what a better time, than now to discuss the importance of self-care for the brown girl. This month I will be focusing on content towards just that, in hopes of inspiring at least one person to indulge in the practice. To be completely honest though, I didn't truly understand what self-care was, and didn't begin practicing it until a little over a year ago.
Self-care at its most basic level is taking care of yourself, and all of what that encompasses. Even though that concept seems so basic, we as Black women still forget to do this often, until we go through something traumatic that calls our attention to it, i.e. our physical, mental or spiritual health. As Black women, we spend our entire lives being everything for everyone, yet neglecting to be that to ourselves.
One mantra that I have that brings this to my attention is, "you can't work, if you don't work." Meaning that with all I have on my plate, none of it will be able to get accomplished if my health is not up to par. Below I have gathered a list of self-care resources to help aid you in three facets of your self-care journey: mental, physical, spiritual.
Depression, and any other negatively perceived aspect of mental health has been taboo'd in the Black community. We are told that we are strong, and that we can handle anything. But the fact of the matter is that sometimes we just can't, and that doesn't take away from our strength. However, we cannot continue to think that we can go through everything along or without assistance. Therapy is an unbiased third-party way of receiving relief, and healing internally. However, you don't have to be in the middle of a crisis to utilize therapy.
Talk Space is an online and mobile therapy company based in New York City. It was founded by Oren and Roni Frank in 2012. Talkspace users have access to licensed therapists through the website or mobile app on iOS and Android. This is a discreet, quick and easy way to utilize a therapist.
Even though I don't practice it often, there is something so refreshing about clean eating, drinking tons of water and sticking to an exercise regimen, or even simply starting your day early. Beyond remaining healthy, I have found this to give me a boost of energy, and does away with that eternally tired feeling that I've experienced at times. I haven't been too keen on documenting this journey, but I began practicing yoga since January, and it has completely changed my life. I'll talk more about it in a later blog, but beyond noticing changes to my physical appearance, I've noticed that I have more energy, I've experienced less headaches and the other physical effects of stress.
Yoga Rachael is an African-American yogi who has been practicing Hatha + Vinyasa yoga since 2012 and teaching yoga since 2015. She offers classes in New York, and also offers online classes. I love yoga because it is not only a physical workout, it is also one of the mind, and is spiritually calming.
Meditation is one of the things that I discovered through yoga, and have allowed for it to bleed over into my everyday life with hopes of bringing it into my daily schedule. The first time I meditated was the first time that I found pause. So often in our complex lives, we fail to find pause. We are so busy living that we forget to take time to reflect, or clear our minds. Meditating is something that has brought me great peace, and I absolutely encourage others to take part in.
These are all ideas and resources that you no matter where you are on your journey can incorporate into your regimen. Below are some additional resources for Black girls practicing self-care.