Your home is your oasis. This I know without a doubt. It’s the one place where you can go and be yourself and reset. I believe every woman of color should treat her home like a sanctuary and fill it with things that are bound to bring her happiness and joy. It should be a space that eradicates negativity and embodies self-love. Now your style or interests may be different from mine, but I have no doubt the shared experience that these products will exude will be nothing of sheer joy. Here are my top eight recommendations of items that every woman of color needs in her home to slay her self-care goals.
1. Pastel Nail Polish
A self-care at home must is nail polish. I recently got the Deborah Lippmann “undressed” nail polish set from Sephora and at $34 for six beautiful nude, pastel shades, packaged into petite glass bottles, it has reunited me with the act of manicures and pedicures. After many trips to the nail salon to get gels, then later acrylics, and thereafter seeing the aftermath of damage caused by the harsh chemicals, I took a break from any manicures to regrow my nails. After three months, they have become stronger, and this set has gotten me in the mood to keep up my manicures! Because the set has six colors, you can use one color for one week, and you’ll have beautiful, pastel, (and work friendly) colors to rock every week! PS: These shades are WoC friendly. I’m in my third week and Bare It All is my favorite so far!
We are knee-deep into graduation season, and as lovely it is to see all the new grads walk across the stage and celebrate with their friends and family, the physical separation that occurs after graduation is super real. More often than not, you’ll find that when you and your friends become geographically separated, you’ll begin to hold significant life experiences in for the “perfect time” to tell them face to face. When you are feeling lonely and can’t jump on the next flight to your BFFs location, hop on Skype instead and have a [digital] face to [digital] face conversation with them. You’ll find that simply talking out what you’ve been up to for the past two months can be quite relieving. Plus, you can spend twenty minutes trying to make a Skype heart in four states, three time zones, and two continents like my friends and I did!
3. Peppermint Pure Castle Soap
I’m not too big on body washes and I think bar soap was actually made to strip every inch of moisture from our bodies, but my friend recently introduced me to the Dr. Bronner Castile soaps made with hemp. First off, no, you won’t get high off the lather, but you will become instantly addicted to the pureness and potentness of the soap. One bottle can last you up to a year. I am in my third month and I have only used ¼ of the bottle (and I also use it to wash my hair as well). I started off with the peppermint scent and the tingling feeling you get after taking a bath in this soap is perfect to get you rejuvenated and ready to begin your day squeaky clean and rejuvenated!
4. A Pretty Journal
Just like it’s good to catch up with your friends about what’s been going on in your life, it’s also equally as important to catch up with yourself about what’s been going on in your life. I use my journal is a way for to record important events in my life. For example, when I decided to ditch the Nigerian stereotype of becoming a doctor, lawyer, or engineer, it took a lot out of me and I had to record precisely what shifted within me that enabled me to come to that decision. Furthermore, when I decided to invest in a creative path instead of following the assembly line of the college to corporate pipeline, I also recorded that in my journal. I don’t write in my journal every day or every month—I only write when I have something significant or a shift in my life and so it doesn’t feel like a “chore”, nor do I feel bad if I missed a day of journaling. Self-care is different for each woman, and thus, you get to define how you want to take care of yourself through journaling.
5. A Tidy Bed and Scented Candles
I don’t know how many of you actually make your bed everyday, but I am most definitely not part of that crowd—until recently. What’s even nicer than coming home from work is coming from work to a nicely made bed! Yes! I finally realized what my mama has been saying for all these years. When you step into your apartment, take off your bra, and pop yourself on a nicely made bed, the feeling is indescribably heavenly—anointed from the skies by Jesus himself. But don’t stop there, before you even take off your work clothes, light up some of these lovely scented candles from Posh Candle Company in your room, then make yourself a nice dinner (or microwave yesterday’s leftover), and then pop yourself on your bed for some Real Housewives of Atlanta catch up session. The sayings on the candles will have you sporting a cheeky smile while you do it.
6. A Fiction Book
That’s right. Grab a mason jar and pour pink lemonade in it, pick an interesting book (I recommend, I, Tituba, Black Witch of Salem), put on some comfy clothes, add some funk with a pair of chunky clear aviator glasses, then read your heart out. If you do not have access to a park, grab your blanket and spread it wide in your living room, and begin reading. Reading a fictional book is a quick way to administer self-care because it allows you to temporarily transport yourself into another world—sometimes teaching you a thing or two on how to handle your own real-life problems when you close the last pages of a chapter or the whole book.
7. A Creative Hobby
Lay off social media, Trump news, or any news that tends to stir your inner activist-self, for a few hours. Being on all the time eventually takes a toll on your body, mind, and soul, and it helps when you realign yourself and priorities by taking a few hours break from the news or scrolling through social media. In this time, focus on your hobby instead— sing, write, paint, dance (I typically go this route because I simply can’t help myself when it comes to Naija music. Even Peakmill can’t help herself). Do what you spend your work hours or your study hours dreaming of doing and let lose. Relaxing creatively is a great way to unwind and free yourself of the stress that often encages us.