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Prioritizing Yourself: The Importance of Self-Care for Black Women in Every Aspect of Your Life

As a Black woman, it seems as if the bulk of the world's load has been dropped on our shoulders. The expectation of being responsible for everyone but herself used to be the mantra, but times are definitely changing. So many women want to start prioritizing themselves, but they don't know where to start. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's easy to get caught up in the chaos and forget to prioritize our well-being. But taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it's a necessity. To function at our best, we need to nurture our mental, physical, social, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and recreational vitality through self-care practices. Rest is the primary source of care that impacts all pillars of holistic well-being! Never underestimate the power of getting enough sleep.

Mental Well-being

Our minds are powerful tools that require maintenance and care. Engage in activities that promote mental clarity and relaxation, such as meditation, journaling, or engaging in hobbies that bring you joy. Taking time to unwind and destress is essential for mental well-being. Taking baths and getting massages are helpful ways to lessening the amount of stress, and luckily there are other modalities that can assist. Some of my favorite activities that assist with my daily practice of self-care include breathwork. Having the ability to bring things back into homeostasis within my body at anytime, anywhere is priceless. Intentionally utilizing my breath has been my saving grace. We all have to breathe, yet there are many techniques with this automatic activity that can completely transform your life. Talking with a mental health professional is essential, especially for Black women. Finding a great therapist can be so important on your road to total wellness, as everything is connected. If your mind is not right, nothing else will be. You are a whole person with each part depending on the next, to be holistically well.

Physical Health

Drinking water is one of the most important self-care rituals that actually effects each pillar of self-care. Using toxicant free personal care items is a must. Read your ingredient labels on everything and stay away from parabens and the myriads of other really bad ingredients in the majority of mass-produced products. Exercise, eat nutritious foods, and get enough rest. Physical health is the cornerstone of a balanced life. Get your labs done regularly. You need to know how your body is functioning, and what your needs are. It doesn't make sense to take a supplement and not know if that is truly a need for your body or not. You have to know where you are, in order to know what direction to go in. I highly recommend getting a vitamin deficiency test. Movement is essential. Move your body. Whether it's going for a walk, practicing yoga, or hitting the gym, prioritizing physical well-being will not only benefit your body but also your mind. Herbal preparations are our allies and understanding how to properly use them for bringing homeostasis into your life has been one of my greatest joys. Making tonics, cordials, tinctures, healing soups, herbal infused oils, floral vinegars, plant-based cleansing bars and healing hair products are only a few ways that I prioritize self-care and honor myself and my community. We all deserve to have access to all forms of ingestibles that are clean and safe.

Social Connections

Humans are social beings, and nurturing relationships is vital for our emotional health. Make time for friends and family, engage in meaningful conversations, and seek support when needed. Building strong social connections can significantly impact your overall well-being. I love hosting dinner parties and having friends over for great conversations and gut busting laughter. I also enjoy gathering and connecting others, whether an herbal meetup or a sound bowl presentation to honor the people that I love. I am a super social being and thoroughly enjoy in person events over anything social media can ever offer. Invite a friend over for a beautiful yoga practice or for a cup of tea. Start a healing circle or find a fitness group, but whatever you do, everything doesn't have to be done alone. I am all about community and couldn't imagine life without social connections.

Intellectual Stimulation

I will forever be a lifelong learner. As an herbalist, the constant humbling that comes from the more you learn, reminding you how much you truly have yet to know, is astounding. My mind is often blown, and I love it. Keep your mind sharp by challenging yourself intellectually. Read books, learn new skills, or engage in thought-provoking discussions. Intellectual stimulation is key to personal growth and development. Learning a new language, picking up an instrument and watching a YouTube video or actually taking lessons is a wonderful way to pour into yourself. I listen to a lot of podcasts on a variety of subjects and love how informed I can be and then turning around and sharing that information with others.

Spiritual Fulfillment

Whatever your spiritual practice is, know that you will never be whole without that component being strengthened and nurtured. There are many ways to connect to your source, whatever name you call it, we all know it to be the ONE greater than ourselves and the reason for everything. Nurture your spirit through practices that align with your beliefs and values. This could include meditation, prayer, spending time in nature, or volunteering. Cultivating a sense of spiritual fulfillment will definitely provide a deeper sense of purpose and inner peace.

Emotional Balance

Emotions are real and we all have them, whether expressed or not. Acknowledge and express your emotions in healthy ways. Whether through journaling, therapy, or simply allowing yourself to feel, emotional balance is essential for overall well-being. Practice self-compassion and self-awareness in handling your feelings. Aromatherapy is a great tool for assisting in enhancing your emotional wellness. So many amazing natural botanicals whose multiplicity of benefits just keep on giving. Spending time enveloped by trees; forest bathing has been proven to have tremendous benefits on emotional wellbeing. Gardening and having houseplants are great hobbies that help you feel more connected and can be a true indictor of where you are. I always feel like when I am doing well, my plants are as well. They feed off of my energy and I of them.

Recreational Joy

Don't forget to have fun and indulge in activities that bring you joy. Whether it's watching a movie, painting, dancing, or simply spending time in nature, recreational activities are essential for recharging and finding happiness. I love finding a park and running to the swings and swinging as high as I can go, such an instant pick me up. Hanging out in my hammock is great as well, the cradling and flow of the sway is soothing and instantly puts me at ease. Skating is a great pastime as well, especially when done with friends. I like to remember the activities that I enjoyed as a young girl and incorporate them as much as I can. Anyone down for a kickball game?

Self-Care is not optional

Prioritizing yourself through self-care practices is not selfish; it's a fundamental aspect of leading a fulfilling and balanced life. By nurturing your mental, physical, social, intellectual, spiritual, emotional, and recreational well-being, you invest in yourself and set the foundation for a healthier and more vibrant life. Remember, self-care is not a one-time task but a lifelong journey of self-discovery and personal growth. Take the time to prioritize yourself because you deserve to thrive in every aspect of your life.

In a world full of demands and distractions, self-care is the compass that guides us back to ourselves. By incorporating practices that nurture our holistic well-being, we can cultivate a life filled with vitality and joy. Prioritize yourself and watch as every aspect of your life flourishes in ways you never imagined.

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