3 Easy Steps for Self-Care
how to maintain your magic
What’s in this buzzword “self-care”? If you’re anything like me, you may not jump at all of the latest “trendy-to-do” things but you’ve seen this “self-care” expression floating around and wondering exactly what it is. Like, of course, I care for myself!
I was in conversation with my mom about writing this article and she said “Oh, yes! That’s a new thing – it’s a good thing! I remember when I first started seeing a therapist, and she asked, ‘What have you done for yourself, lately?’. I couldn’t understand what she meant?! Doing for my kids was doing for myself!”. This is not an uncommon belief – many of us are nurturers and therefore find ourselves pouring endlessly from our cup to give to others. In fact, there is nothing wrong with giving and doing for others, the trouble starts when we do not take the time to replenish.
In recent years, we have seen a shift in the Black community in terms of what wellness and wholeness look like. With this shift, we are choosing to change the course of how we deal with stress, anxiety, and trauma. Many of our parents and grandparents did not subscribe to the idea of seeking help in regards to therapy or even taking time away to focus on their own needs. We are a resilient people who have endured undue portions of trauma, and in that, have been conditioned (or conditioned ourselves) with the idea of “pushing through” despite what is happening within, around, or to us.
Self-care is simply, being purposeful in taking the time to pay attention to your own personal needs and well-being (mental, emotional, and physical). Self-care is not an option for Black Women but a necessity. We often carry the load for our significant others, families, friends, children, within our work and in our communities. Self-care is not a selfish act, but a self-preserving act as we are unable to operate in our magic when we are depleted.
3 Easy Steps to Maintain Your Magic:
We underestimate the power of a nap and a good night’s rest. In an effort to get it all done, we often push ourselves to complete tasks wherein, if we took the time to nap, it is likely we would have more energy and focus. On occasion, I mix in some meditation music or sounds to help my body relax and my mind from buzzing about.
Ground yourself: the ocean water and nature help ground me – it’s the place where I meet God in a different way.
Unplug: Put. Down. The. Phone – this is one of the best ways to eliminate distractions.
Get a massage or take a hot bath.
The saying “Black don’t crack!” is only partially true. It is important to moisturize too! In this case, we are talking hydration. Water is the only natural substance that cleanses and heals, so it’s important to drink enough water, daily.
Maintain a balanced diet: This does not mean you can’t have the warm chocolate chip cookie from time to time. Giving your body the fuel, it needs to keep running is important. Do you want your car running on octane 87 or 94? I’m sure you would choose the premium – we should be as attentive on what put in our bodies.
Exercise: Yes, I know, who has the time, right? We must make time to move our bodies 3 times during the week for a minimum of 30 minutes. At work, I often make it a point to slow jog to my meetings, to the copier, to the restroom. I also try to take the stair or a brisk walk to break up the day. Whatever you choose, (yoga, walking, running, bench-pressing) your body will thank you – endorphins are activated during the activity which feeds your brain positivity signals.
Find Your Joy
I have a friend who inspires me because on days she’s not feeling herself, she takes sexy selfies! What a great way to remind yourself that you are magical?
Write down or read positive affirmations. Saying them aloud is the icing on the cake!
Spend time with those who add to you. Babies tend to remind me how precious life is so, occasionally, I’ll spend time with my nieces and nephews.
Utilize your creativity/do things that charge you (cook, write, read, run, paint, puzzle).
Seek therapy if needed. Healing from the inside out doesn’t only help you, but those connected to you.
While it doesn’t take a Voyage to India, it is important to take some time to ground yourself and find balance.
What are some self-care tips that you’d like to share?