“When your hair shines, you shine.” While this statement is very true, the reality is that sometimes YOU just need some extra care. As Black women we often get burnt out taking on the needs and stresses of not just ourselves, but our friends, family, co-workers and significant other, often all at the same time. In the process, we end up neglecting our hair goals, heath goals, personal goals and ultimately, ourselves. But not all hope is lost. The best way to get back on track is by practicing self-care.
What does practicing self-care look like? Well, depending on what you want to achieve or improve, it can look like several different things. However, it almost always looks like unplugging from the world around you and spending time in solitude. Some of us want to be more spontaneous, to overcome a fear or to tap into our creativity. While these personal goals aren’t things that can happen overnight, they can all be achieved by practicing methods of self-care.
If you’ve recently taken on a lot stress, suffer from anxiety, or have been having trouble staying focused, meditation is a great place to start with self-care. Most people who have tried meditation for the first time describe it as something that is very difficult to do, but it doesn’t have to be that way for you. If you’ve never tried meditation before the first thing to keep in mind is to have no expectations; going in with a clear mind can help you find your center and relax. Also, try the mobile app “Headspace” which helps guide you through meditating even if you’re at the beginner level. Meditating for at least 5-10 minutes a day will help you regain focus and be intentional about your goals.
Have you ever had so much on your mind that you couldn’t find the words to communicate them? We’ve all been there. But instead of allowing those thoughts to fluster and overwhelm you, why not just write them down? Journaling is calming, stress- and anxiety-relieving and inspiring. And the best part about this self-care practice is that it requires no training, guidance or direction. Write down your worries, your dreams, your hang ups, your ideal relationship, career or house. Share what you wrote with your best friend or significant other, or keep it private. It’s completely up to you. Clear your mind and give your aspirations more power by journaling weekly.
Try Something New
No, meditation and journaling don’t count, nice try Seriously, how often do we really take the time to try something we’ve never tried before? That weird dish that kind of sounds good you’ve been eyeing at your favorite restaurant, that metallic gold nail color instead of your normal go-to when you go in for a color change, or that painting class your friend has been begging you to go to for months, the list goes on! Trying something new can help you overcome fears, boost your confidence, and even help you discover things about yourself you never knew. Who knows, maybe you’ll even get into skydiving!? No? Ok, we tried.
Taking care of yourself means spoiling yourself from time to time. Say no to eating Chipotle for the 3rd time this week and yes to sushi, turn off Gossip Girl if you’ve been binge watching and turn on sounds of the ocean to meditate to, tell your friend you’ll call her back to hear about Soulja Boy’s latest rant later and open your journal up instead. Treat yourself to some TLC, you deserve it.
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