These last few months have been kind of indescribable, we are living through a time that will be looked back on by future history students. Many of us have been working from home or unable to work since sometime in March. Covid-19 has made some of us fearful, anxious, and feel as if we are trapped. From getting along with your the folks you live with and to living alone during this shelter-in-place has been challenging time for all. Each of us has our own unique experience in regard to this pandemic and it is potentially revealing a lot about who we are.
Now, as if a pandemic wasn’t enough we have had to witness the murders of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the many others who have gone “unnoticed”. To be Black in America currently is to live in constant fear or anxiety about being safe, being healthy, and being treated justly as a human being. But, let’s be real, that is what it is always like to be Black in America. So with all that being said, how do you go about caring for yourself during a global crisis?
How to help your mental health and wellness
So how can we, as Black women specifically, care for ourselves? Many of us are challenging the corrupt system and white supremacy, or even just trying to find the will to make it through the day. Whatever you are feeling, this is an emotionally draining time we are in and it doesn’t look like it’s ending soon. But self-care, self-love, and community are extremely important right now. These components are essential to us because they each allow us to heal, grow, and move forward.
What’s this about self-love?
Self-love is a big topic for me, in fact, I wrote a whole article about the radical act of self-love. It is always important, and as a Black woman, during this time I have to take extra care and be more mindful about it.
“The most disrespected person in America is the black woman. The most unprotected person in America is the black woman. The most neglected person in America is the Black woman.”Malcom X
Often forgotten but always on the front lines, Black women are the original blueprint, the creators, life itself. Though the world may try to make us feel less than, we must bring ourselves up. Self-love enables us to see our own worth and that is something that no one can ever take away. Love on some you by:
- Dressing up for yourself
- Speaking words of affirmation to yourself in the mirror
- Writing down what you love about yourself
- Listing your accomplishments (whether it’s getting dressed or reaching a goal)
- Treating yourself how you’d treat another you love
- Listening to my Black Girl, You Are Magic Playlist
How can I practice self-care right now?
Self-care is the act of mindfully taking care of yourself. It allows us to treat ourselves well which can ultimately help our physical and mental health. During this global crisis, the days all start to blur together. I can only speak for myself, but some days I completely neglect myself. So you might be wondering “how can I even begin to get a grasp on life?” Well whether you are just taking care of yourself or others, carving time out for yourself helps you show up in other aspects of your life wholly. Some ideas:
- Cook nutritious meals
- Move your body
- Get fresh air when you can
- Start a new hobby
- Dedicate time to be screen-free
- Masturbate (yes, I said it – also applies to self-love)
You can read in more detail about the discipline of self-care in my previous blog post!
What do you mean, build community?
Building community in the midst of a global crisis helps us feel less isolated. Again, personally, I have struggled since the beginning of shelter-in-place. I work in a mostly white organization and live in a white space. After shelter-in-place I realized just how many events I attended to be around other Black/Brown women.
I have been lucky enough to find many online classes and meetups that are within the community I was slowly becoming part of. I would suggest looking for community and sisterhood on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook groups. Because I am craving a sisterhood bond which is why I created Sailor Mooods Sister Circle. This is a Zoom meetup that I host Tuesdays at 4:30pm PST! In these groups, I focus on the mental health and wellness of Black women and am forming an online community and support group. We are also tackling the dismantling of white supremacy and brainstorming ways we can move forward as a community. If you want to mean like-minded women and make connections, please come join me this Tuesday, June 30th!
Together we are stronger and can conquer all. You do not have to be/feel alone. We out here and we are all yearning to be connected.
Header photo by @dazzle_jam from nappy.co