We are living in a time where black girl magic is breaking barriers and overcoming obstacles. Women of color are slaying their 9 to 5s, building their own businesses and chasing their dreams. However, we are also living in a world full of uncertainty, racial tension and…political ambiguity. Add in the ongoing pressures of meeting deadlines, family obligations and the everyday woes of “adulting”, and it’s very easy to forget about self-care and be weary of the ways of the world (shout out to Solange).
Generally, women are known to meet the needs of others (children, boss, spouse) before taking care of themselves. When women spend more time nurturing others more than themselves, it causes their own needs to take a back seat.
Self-care refers to activities and practices that can be done voluntarily in order to maintain physical, mental and emotional health. According to the University at Buffalo, practicing self-care helps manage and reduce stress, elevate physical and psychological health, honor emotional and spiritual needs and enhance general well-being.
Neglecting self-care can lead to unhealthy habits, low self-esteem and feeling burned out. In order to keep your melanin poppin’ at optimum level, it’s important to set aside time to nurture the mind, body and spirit. Here are four simple tips on how to incorporate self-care into your daily routine:
Disconnect from the “Interweb”
Studies have shown that the millennial generation has developed a very evident addiction to the World Wide Web. We often feel the need to be connected 24/7, whether it’s answering work emails as we climb into bed or mindlessly scrolling through Facebook timelines when we first wake up. Research also suggests that having an unhealthy connection to social media can lead to feelings of jealousy, loneliness and FOMO (fear of missing out). Unplugging from technology will not only ward off Instagram envy, but will also create more space for creativity, tranquility and actual face time (and not the kind on your iPhone) for family and friends.
Jumpstart Your Health Journey
It’s no secret that eating well and exercise are two of the best things you could do for your body. Regular exercise not only helps to tone your shape and snatch your waist, it can also uplift your mood by alleviating stress and releasing endorphins. Proper nutrition regulates blood sugar levels, which aids in increasing energy and staving off fatigue. When combined, healthy eating and working out can help you achieve body goals, reduce your risk of chronic diseases (like heart disease and cancer) and increase your overall health.
Practice Daily Affirmations
Affirmations are basically positive self-talk that have to power to combat self-doubt, self-sabotage and negative thoughts. Reciting “feel good” mantras will reinforce encouraging beliefs about your body, your proficiency and your potential. Research shows that adapting powerful affirmations can sharpen your skills at work and school. A study, published by Carnegie Mellon University, proves that self-affirmation can protect against the damaging effects of stress on problem-solving performance. Following strong self-talk with proactive behavior can boost your confidence while creating beneficial habits that can assist in achieving short-term and long-term goals.
Get in Tune with You
Oftentimes spiritual wellness is downplayed as less important than physical, emotional or mental wellness, but tending to your spiritual wellbeing will enable you to feel at peace about all the other parts of your life. Taking the time to pray, meditate and/or reflect on your life are all exceptional ways to strengthen your spirituality. Exploring your spiritual core promotes positive thinking, a positive mentality and a deeper sense of purpose.
In order to continue flourishing in your magical ways, it is necessary to take care of you. By treating yourself with daily compassion, you will reduce stress, increase productivity and live a healthier lifestyle. Practicing self-care behaviors will give you the mental strength to tackle any challenge and approach life with a fierce and confident outlook.