Added: Kehaulani Lorentz - Date: 11.11.2021 08:19 - Views: 12844 - Clicks: 7155
As a black woman, practicing self-care hasn't always come naturally. I've had to teach myself how to do it, and how to prioritize it. And it hasn't been easy. When I was an undergrad, I scheduled every moment of every day except for the five hours I slept each night. This mountain of responsibilities left me little time to care for my mental and emotional health. Initially, my do-it-all mindset paid off: I graduated with a 4.
But then I burned out. I crashed spectacularly in May , unable to even drag myself out of bed to eat. The way I was living and pushing, pushing, pushing was unsustainable, and something had to give. My emotional and physical crash in brought me to a reckoning; after picking the pieces of myself back up, I made the decision to start centering myself and my needs.
It was an intentional and serious decision to start practicing self-care. And I'm not alone in making this conscious choice—other women are beginning to do the same. Women have been tasked with being caregivers for centuries.
Self-care—intentional actions that prioritize our own mental, emotional, and physical health—is the radical shifting of this aspect of womanhood. Because of this, "self-care" has become the buzziest of feminist buzzwords.
It's a national phenomenon, with articles in Cosmopolitan , The Atlantic , The Washington Post , and elsewhere covering the trend. For the first time, she says, women are ready to put their emotional, mental, and physical health first. Practicing self-care gives me the confidence to say "no"—and mean it. While self-care has recently evolved into a national concept, for black women in particular it has tangible historical roots. In this context, self-care is still often regarded as revolutionary and an act of political warfare, as Audre Lorde, a black feminist writer, poet, and activist , once wrote.
For Cooper-Owens, this is exactly why black women, many of whom still hold a place as primary caregivers both at work and at home, must engage in self-care. Jace Harr , a freelance writer and mental health activist, says self-care has been especially important for him as a transgender man.
So what does self-care look like, exactly? No matter who you are, it can mean many different things to different people. It could be anything from taking a bubble bath after a long day, having a glass of wine with dinner, having sex, getting a pedicure you can't afford, [or] buying a deer bag just because. For Boylorn, self-care is about recognizing when to take a break. My life sometimes feels so fast-paced that I can't keep up, so my favorite self-care act is just to stop. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I have learned to take a break, to walk away, to go for a walk, or take a nap.
I do something to rejuvenate myself and re-focus my energies. I am no good to others when I am not good to myself has become the guiding mantra of my life. And for me, at least, that feels like a revolution. Evette Dionne is a black feminist culture writer, editor, and scholar based in Brooklyn, New York. SELF does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Any information published on this website or by this brand is not intended as a substitute for medical advice, and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional.
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The Self-Care Revolution