RADICAL SELF CARE: 25 TIPS FOR BLACK PEOPLE
July 15, 2019
By nature, Black people are beautiful and resilient. Thus, it is necessary that Black people treat themselves accordingly. Most Black people grow up learning to cope rather than acquiring the tools to heal and take care of themselves. Learning to cope too often means learning survival mechanisms which breed dysfunctional codependency on external sources. Truth is, all the care that Black people need lies within.
Healing and self-care are all about achieving inner peace in a chaotic world. Self-care can never just be a one-time thing. The key to self-care is discipline and consistency. You have to get to a place where you love yourself so much that you decide that you are your first priority every single day; you have to allow this to become natural. When you practice self-care you are able to achieve more clarity, find a stronger sense of purpose, and you are able to show up healthier in your personal relationships.
Racism isn’t going to end tomorrow, but this doesn’t mean that Black people should live in pain. Black people must actively seek ways to bring more self-love and peace to themselves, to the entire Black community. Black people should not perceive themselves as forever submerged in white supremacy. To believe that you have no control over your life is to possess an inferiority complex. Black people must realize that self-love and liberation comes from within, and at any moment you can choose to say yes to taking care of yourself.
Wellness allows you to heal through holistic practices. Holistic practices present an opportunity to trust yourself, and for the environment to pour back into the human body and psyche. Believe it or not, self-care is not consumerism, self-care is not materialism, Self-care does not have a look, self-care is not classicist, self-care does not have a body type. Self-care does not have a gender. Self-care does not have an age. Self-Care is not exclusive. Self-Care is for every human being on this planet. Black people are a brilliant people who must begin to take care of themselves not just on the outside but also within.
Here are 25 self-care tips that will help you to achieve inner peace and healing:
1.Disconnect from social media
Social media has been directly linked to low self-esteem and sleep deprivation. Constantly seeing videos and images of Black people being killed and attacked may also take a toll. Unplugging from social media allows you to detox from a controlled environment, reconnect with the present, and help increase focus. Bonus: You can delete your apps for several hours or days at a time, you’ll be amazed at how much you get done when you’re not plugged in.
2. Develop a healthy relationship with food
Allow yourself to eat food that nourishes and energizes you, rather than food that depletes energy from your body.
We’re living in a time when the Black body is over-sexualized. Abstinence and celibacy, however, can be incredibly empowering and healing. Challenge your body to seek pleasure in ways other than sex, and create a deeper sense of self through celibacy. You can try it for a week, a month, or as long as you please.
4. Eliminate stressful situations
Society has taught us that intense stress and life go hand in hand, but this is a myth. Stress is a normal factor in our lives, but it should never feel like you’re being drained or depleted. Start pinpointing the reasons for your daily stress, and create goals to eliminate or resolve what’s depleting your energy. If something has taken a toll on you, don’t be afraid to move forward. Eliminating stressful situations allows space in our lives for better things to come.
5. Buy Black-owned
There’s no better feeling than knowing that you have contributed to Black economic structure. Buying Black-owned means supporting the economic freedom of black people. Whenever you are in the market for something, seek a black-owned company before opting to purchase outside of black and brown communities.
6. Attend a local yoga and meditation class — or do it at home daily
The assumption used to be that the brain gets older with age. However, meditation has been proven to increase a sense of well-being. Meditation changes DNA expression in our cells; it can alter responses to stress to provide peace. There are thousands of yoga and meditation apps that can get you started.
7. Zen your home
Ambiance is essential to peace and self-care. Grab some candles, burn your sage, and anoint your home with aromatherapy and the delicious smells of essential oils. Listen to jazz and just breathe. Calming your personal environment will create a huge sense of peace.
8. For vs against
Make a conscious decision to stand up for something you believe in instead of fighting something you are against. Pursue activism without doing so in adversity. Activism does not mean you should be without peace, in fact, activists need a huge sense of peace. As activists, black people must come from a place of logic rather than just emotion. When you are fighting against something that is evidence that you need to pull yourself out of the battlefield, you need to take time to love yourself and not be too attached to the outcomes you are trying to promote that you disregard your own healing.
9. Reconnect with family
Connecting with family members can be an uplifting source of ancestral love and unconditional support. This doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be boundaries or family members you have cut ties with. Find a family member that you call weekly or monthly. Black families have a magical ability to give a kind of love and encouragement that no one else can give.
10. Make a “you” day
Dedicate one day out of the week, or a few days, as your own personal day. Set aside one day per week as “you” time. No work, no obligations — just a day to spend time with yourself doing whatever you want to do. That can be spent cleaning, reading, taking in a movie, going to dinner with your friends, or anything you want. Just make sure you come first that day to create the breadcrumbs for this ideology to become a daily practice.
11. Attend a retreat
Retreats are a place where you get a chance to get away from large crowds, alcohol, and daily “turn-up” culture. Retreats are intended to help you slow down, reflect, and love yourself. Additionally, retreats offer guilt-free food, healthy changes to your lifestyle, and encouragement to allow positivity into your life.
12. Volunteer or donate
Servicing others not only yields personal fulfillment but everybody wins! Healing begins when we all realize that we all have purpose and we are all part of the solution. Contribute to humanity by signing a petition or donating and volunteering your time at Black-owned establishments.
13. Release an old habit that does not affirm your humanity
It is always a good time to self-reflect and notice habits that may perpetuate an internalized systemic de-humanization.
14. Become a plant parent, or bask in nature
Go outside! Nature is your friend, and everything in nature is here for your evolution. Scientifically speaking, our endorphins tend to flow when we are in nature. If you aren’t able to frequent nature, Adopting a plant and tending to it can be therapeutic as well.
15. Take personal responsibility
Taking personal responsibility for the roles you play in your life is incredibly healing. Once you understand the role that you play and acknowledge your faults, you can begin to truly work on yourself. The world is a better place when you are your best you!
16. Read more books
Reading can take you to all sorts of worlds and dimensions. Reading can also put a spark in you to generate new ideas. There is nothing like curling up and getting lost in a good book. Head to a bookstore and purchase self-help books and books that empower you.
17. Identify negative-self talk
Identify when negative self-talk begins and stop it dead in its tracks. In that very moment, choose to say something positive about yourself.
To create is to give birth, to give life to all the things you want to see happen. Go wild with your imagination and give your energy to a creation that gives you purpose. Make art, create a film, or try writing. Writing allows you to express every and anything without judgement. Write for you!
19. Say yes to more positivity in your life
Say yes to transformation and change. Understand that everything happening in your life is ultimately for your growth and evolution. Align with the universe and understand that everything is happening for you not against you. When we understand that things are always happening for us, our consciousness shifts. We begin to see our manifestations bloom, and we are able to see the beauty of life.
There are thousands of exercise classes from Muay Thai, Functional Training, to Jogging. Find a class that works for you and stick with it. Challenge yourself to attend a class for a certain time frame until it becomes a habit. Exercise increases your self-esteem, promotes better stamina during sex, and is overall fun and healthy.
21. Make time for solitude
The best way to truly know what you feel is by having alone time. Whether you are in a relationship or a parent, make time for individual alone time. Introverts are misunderstood, as solitude allows you to regain clarity. It allows you to figure out answers to your questions without interference. To be in solitude is to experience a moving meditation.
Buy a flight to the country you’ve only visited in your dreams. Go backpacking and try different foods from around the world. Meet the locals and immerse yourself in the culture. Traveling gifts the traveler gratitude and a universal connection.
23. Use crystal healing
Crystals, scientifically speaking, have energetic vibrations that can heal. Try black tourmaline to balance out negative and positive energy, rose quartz to bring more love into your life, caracola to calm the stressed hardworking spirit. There are thousands of crystals that you can work with.
24. Give yourself a makeover
When you change your appearance, it can launch a re-birth. Get a new hair cut, or try a new look. You’ll be amazed at the confidence that follows.
25. Realize Your Worth
Know that you are worthy of dignity and respect at all times. Your job, your education, nor your class determines your worth or value. Your worth is your birthright. You are worthy of honor and respect simply because you are a human being in existence. Love on yourself, and always know that you are beyond valuable.
(Photo: WCHR Images)