Over the last month we have been talking about self care and what that means for BIWOC. As we move into September, which is self care awareness month, I think it’s a good idea to keep the conversation about self care going. In my last two blog posts we heard from some amazing womxn who had invaluable insight about how to center ourselves, and I recently led a virtual workshop for BIWOC to teach womxn self care principles and to encourage us to center ourselves. Luckily the workshop was recorded, so I thought I would create a post about it for those of you who missed it.
*If you would like to attend my next self care workshop, “A Guide to Practicing Self-Care and Centering Yourself in Times of Crisis” Click here to RSVP! I will also send an email out about it for subscribers.*
Let’s Jump In!
The workshop, A Guide To Practicing Self Care and Building Habits To Thrive, is centered around BIWOC and our daily struggle as the caretakers of the world. During the workshop I challenged the attendees to center themselves and let go of the burdens that society makes us carry. I talked about how releasing those burdens would free up space for us to tap into creative pathways, build confidence, and eventually lead to self actualization.
Because our society teaches us that success is built on hard work and sacrifice, a lot of us are not taught how to center ourselves and prioritize self care in our daily lives. We have to learn to shift our mindset away from those self sacrificing habits and begin to instill new habits into our routine that promote a self-centered lifestyle.
Once we learn to shift our mindset, we start the process of creating a healthy self care routine. The goal is to find what helps you center yourself and keep you balanced. We want to be happy, have a healthy amount of eustress (good stress), and not feel weighed down by the things going on in our lives. This routine will look different for everyone, and I can’t tell you how to practice self care because it’s a personal journey. What I can do is give you the tools you need to begin the process of building a routine that works for you. I have come up with three principles to practicing self care that should help guide you as you explore different outlets.
Awareness of Self
This is the first step on your journey. Becoming aware of yourself and your needs helps you decide what kind of care you need to give yourself in order to feel balanced. Start by checking in with yourself. Make sure you’re eating enough, drinking enough water, and getting enough sleep. Then take inventory of your body and your feelings. Do you have a mental or physical ache? If so what’s the source of that ache and what do you need to do to to fix it? Knowing what you need is the most important step because if you don’t know what you need then you can’t be sure you’re incorporating healthy self care practices into your life.
The second part of this is introspection. Now when we talk about introspection I want you to picture Issa Rae from Insecure standing in front of her bathroom mirror giving herself a pep talk. It’s all about reflection and honesty. When you check in with yourself and take inventory of your feelings, you have to be honest with yourself and others about it. Don’t try to convince yourself or others that you’re okay if you’re not. It is normal to not be okay sometimes.
Embrace The Trial & Error
The road to self actualization is not linear, so there will be many bends and turns along the way. As you grow and change so will your self care routine. Be open to trying new things and keep in mind that not everything you try will work out the way we want it to.
Also remember that self care is both internal and external. Taking care of your mind is just as important as taking care of your body. We want to be balanced and healthy all around. There are a lot of stigmas and stereotypes surrounding mental health and some holistic self care practices. There are even stigmas around womxn spending money on themselves. Remember that you are the center of your universe, so don’t feel guilty about splurging on yourself or trying a self care method that might seem taboo. Do what you need to do to keep yourself happy and healthy, that is your priority.
Hold Yourself Accountable
This is your journey, nobody can do the work for you. Self actualization is a process that begins within, so it is up to you to see it through. That means holding yourself accountable for making sure you stick to your routine. The process can get hard but you have to remind yourself why you’re doing this and motivate yourself to keep going. You have to love yourself enough to stick to your self care routine even when it seems impossible. Give yourself a pep talk if you’re feeling low. Recite words of affirmation to yourself in the mirror to give yourself the confidence boost you need.
Your self care journey will challenge you in many different ways. You will come face to face with all your flaws and insecurities. It will suck, but the end result is so rewarding! You will have life where you love yourself unconditionally, have a deep awareness of self, and can do anything you set your mind to. That’s so worth the journey, trust me. Remember that you are the center of your universe. This life you were given should be what you want it to be. You deserve happiness. You deserve freedom. You deserve love.