“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare”
– Audre Lorde
Being Black in America is no easy feat, but to be Black and a woman is a unique dilemma.
African American women bear the double disadvantage of racism and sexism, making them prime targets for both racial terrorism and gender-based violence
According to a report by The Black Women’s Roundtable, no woman is more likely to be raped, beaten or murdered in America today than a Black woman, a point proven sadly accurate in the legion of tragic headlines in 2015. Whether it was Sandra Bland on a Texas highway or Dajerria Becton at a Texas pool, we were bombarded with images of Black Women as victims of senseless violence this year. And with each reported incident, we experienced the trauma anew, persistently picking at our blistering wounds.
As race and gender bias intersect to threaten the lives (and sanity) of Black women in America, it is more important than ever that we prioritize both our physical and psychological well-being. In 2016, there is one resolution Black Women should definitely make: Self-care.
Here are 5 simple ways to treat yo’self in the new year — as told by Beyonce ;).
MAKE YOUR BODY YOUR TEMPLE
Whether you make a choice to eat right, exercise regularly or prioritize sleep in your schedule, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is crucial to becoming your best self. Your body is your temple. Treat it accordingly.
WORK HARD, PLAY HARDER
Don’t be so consumed with your responsibilities that you forget build a life of your own. Be sure to set aside time to turn up and celebrate your accomplishments regularly. If you’re more of an introvert you might prefer to visit an exhibit you’ve been meaning to see or simply set aside time to read a chapter in a new book. When it comes to self-care, it’s the small things count.
Creative arts can be a mindful way to express yourself and, more importantly, DESTRESS. Start a journal or invest in an adult coloring book, but whatever you do, quit consuming and start creating.
STOP AND SMELL THE ROSES
It is easy to get distracted with the everyday mayhem of bad news, but it’s important not to let it overwhelm you. Take care to find moments to relax and center yourself. Try meditating or signing up for a community yoga class. And, if you’re feeling really fancy, book an impromptu massage or spa date.
While self-care is primarily about your personal well-being, you don’t have to go at it alone. It is essential to maintain connections with the outside world in order to foster a sense of support and belonging. Spend some quality time with your friends and family in the new year. You wont regret it.
How do you practice self-care in your life? Share your routine in the comments below.