By Haneen Ahmad

Let’s face it. Most of us are not truly practicing self-care in the ways we should. We find it difficult to get adequate rest, we make convenient instead of healthy food choices, and we are always going, going, going. 

The importance of self-care among womxn of color cannot be stressed enough. I don’t know about you but I wasn’t taught self-care growing up. I was taught you work hard, and when you are near a breaking point the answer is pushing through. Never rest, always resilience… and while there are lessons to be learned and skills to be taken from that, there’s also a void of the importance to rest, recharge, and re-energize.

Society has been stacked against us. With the depth of the level of work we are doing today, fighting for equality and our place in the workforce, to the way media is portraying WOC, to fighting patriarchy… all that shit is exhausting. In addition, we have had traumatic and toxic experiences.  We need to take impeccable care of ourselves in the process of all this. Relentless self-care.

I call upon you and challenge you to intentionally meet the needs of yourself socially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. This is what I mean by relentless self-care

It’s time to start tuning into yourself and paying attention to what lights you up. I am not here to give you some BS list revolving around face masks, bubble baths, and sipping wine. How do you want to practice self-care? Unapologetically? In restorative or affirming ways? Let’s dive deep into a variety of options we have…

Refreshing Ways to Practice Self-care

Affirming: Write a love letter to yourself,  listen to a guided meditation, participate in a self-love challenge

Creative: Painting workshop, creating something with your hands, writing 

Invigorating: Sunrise hike, boxing, late night out dancing

Inspiring: Kick back and listen to a good audible, take a class, learn a new skill/hobby

Luxurious: Make a splurge purchase, wellness retreat, spa day

Restorative: Yoga nidra, journaling, social media detox

Simple: New notebook, flowers, paint your nails at home

Unapologetic: Quit your toxic job, fill your own cup before helping others, simply don’t apologize, release guilt you may carry

I encourage you to further explore the things you can cut out of your life as a form of self-care. How can you set up healthier boundaries? Booting toxic relationships whether it be a family member, friend, coworker, or framily. Detoxing from social media and news. Put a halt to purchasing less than affirming beauty products, clothing, and materialistic things. Define what self -care truly means for you and apply it.

If we look at the history of self-care, it comes from radical roots, activism and institutional shortcomings. Communities of color, womxn, and the LGBTQ communities. After all Audre Lorde said: “Caring for myself…is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare.” And she is right. Let’s make the time for self-preservation, and support other women in doing the same.  Let’s be there for each other. Help each other feel less alone.

For centuries society has failed to take care of us, it’s time we take care of ourselves as womxn of color. It’s time to stop holding our tongues and holding ourselves back. We need to start treating ourselves like the sacred human beings that we are. Maya Angelou has said, “When you know better, you do better.” Well now you know loves and I want to hear from you!


Clearing.

Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.

-Martha Postlewaite


Unapologetically,
Haneen


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