Taking time for yourself does not mean you’re exercising societal avoidance.
These self-care tips will allow your peace and sanity to become a priority.
Women, especially Black women, have mastered maximizing their time and putting everyone else’s needs first. How often have work, children, family, significant others, church, and philanthropy taken up all your time and energy? This superwoman theory that we can do it all at all costs has many sufferings from stress, depression, fatigue, anxiety, and the fear of missing out. If this is you, it’s time to implement some self-care tips.
People sometimes run into bouts of depression and anxiety because of not putting their health before others’ needs. Instead of letting it spiral out of control, people can begin to practice self-care.
Those who don’t understand it think it’s selfish. Self-care does not have to be selfish. Check out the tips below to start your journey.
Going to brunch
I’m not sure why eating chicken, waffles, eggs, and potatoes and drinking bottomless champagne-infused orange juice between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. makes people so happy, but it does. There is no scientific reason for this. No stats to report. Just do it.
Many suggest meditation to disconnect, but that doesn’t work for me. Dancing, singing, cleaning, and decluttering do. So, on Saturdays, my neighbors hear off-pitch Beyonce verses, emotional gorging of SZA, and a little ratchetness from Megan The Stallion and Saweetie.
Workouts can be more therapeutic than you think. Getting your blood pumping through cardio, weights, yoga, or TRX and devoting 30 to 60 minutes daily to your mind and body will help prevent stress and promote focus and weight loss. If possible, turn off notifications on your phone or use a separate device to listen to music to avoid distractions. Check out these Cincinnati Black trainers to start your journey.
Plants are the best listeners that don’t talk back. All they need is love, water, and sunlight. Sound familiar?
Setting healthy boundaries
Just because you aren’t booked doesn’t mean you must become busy. The only way self-care works is if you take the time to practice. Learn to say no to friends, family, and even your job if it means keeping your sanity. I would distance myself from negative people.
Related Article: Ways to practice self-care and feel rich
Using mirror mantras
Adapting a practice from Gabriel Union’s character in Being Mary Jane, I write positive and motivational quotes on colorful post-its and stick them on my mirror. Whenever I need a pick-me-up, I find one that resonates with the type of day I am having and repeat it. This allows me to be more optimistic throughout the day. Check out these Mary Jane quotes to start.
I challenge myself to read one book a month. It allows my mind to wander into a reality that is not mine constructively. Here are some Cincinnati Black authors you may like.
Snacking and streaming
You can find any and everything online now. Calm your mind and watch your favorite current or childhood TV shows. Grab your snacks and find movies and TV series with strong characters of interest. A couple of my favorites are Imposters, and She’s Gotta Have It. Add these Black Netflix movies and series to your watch list.
Connect with a higher power and keep a journal. Write about what you are grateful for, so you can continue to see what makes you happy. Write what makes you tick so you can figure out what sparks any anger, sadness, or loneliness you may have.
Although my gut shows me no mercy, baking sugary treats makes me smile from ear to ear. Sugar cookies, pound cake, and brownies are my favorites! PS- Baking a whole personal pizza and eating it works too!
Frequently Asked Questions About Self-Care and Mental Health
How many Black adults are living with a mental health condition?
The National Alliance on Mental Illness reported that 18.6% of Black adults have a mental health condition. This can be anything from bipolar and schizophrenia to anxiety, depression, and more.
How do I know if I am possibly living with mental health issues?
There are six signs to know if you or someone you know may be experiencing mental health. Those signs are anxiety, hopelessness, irritability or being easily agitated, isolation from the core group or a previously enjoyed activity, stress, and self-medicating with food, alcohol, drugs, or other substances.
What is the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)?
The Fear of Missing Out is general or social anxiety characterized by a continuous need to be connected with activities with friends and other people. It’s the idea that other people may have fulfilling experiences without you.
Are there any Black therapists in Cincinnati?
Search to find an African American therapist in your area.
How can I help others that may be experiencing mental health?
Mental Health FirstAide helps you assist someone experiencing a mental health or substance use-related crisis. In these courses, you learn risk factors and warning signs of mental health and addiction concerns, strategies for how to help someone in both crisis and non-crisis situations, and where to turn for help for adults and youth. Find a course near you to learn more about mental health in Black Cincinnati today.
Related Article: Black self-help books to expand your thinking
Hopefully, this list helps blossom everyone’s dedication to self-care. What are some ways you practice self-care? Let me know in the comments. If we have missed anything, please let us know at The Voice of Black Cincinnati.
Written by: Marissa Staples
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self-care tips photo provided by © [javiindy ] /Adobe Stock