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Sister Check-In #1: Practicing Self-Care in Our New “Normal”

Sister Check-In #1: Practicing Self-Care in Our New “Normal”

Sister Check-In #1: Practicing Self-Care in Our New "Normal"

Okay, Lovelies, let’s be honest. 2020 was one test and trial after another, and so far, 2021 hasn’t necessarily been any better. But one thing we can credit to such a tumultuous year (and some change) is that we have begun to put us first. If you get nothing else from this post, understand that your health — mental, physical, and emotional — is and should remain the highest priority. 

So…we’re checking in. Sis, how are YOU doing? The better question is, what are you doing to protect your peace? As women of color, we take on and carry the weight of others. It’s in our genetic makeup to carry and to nurture. (Ask our ancestors if you don’t believe us!) But you can’t pour from an empty cup, sis. When you’re on empty you can’t show up for yourself, let alone other people. So whatever you’ve been — or haven’t been — doing since the start of the pandemic, make sure you fit some self-care into your new regimen because we all know remnants from the coronavirus are going to be lingering for a while. And if you need some help identifying what self-care may mean to you, keep reading for a few tips and tricks on how to love on yourself in our new “normal.”

Remember to cut yourself some slack. We are not perfect, and no one should ever ask us to be.

Engage in and practice mindfulness. Take some time to focus on being present, mindful, and mentally sound. Meditation, relaxation techniques, and even emotion-focused therapy can help you achieve these states of being. In an interview with Allure, licensed clinical psychologist and emotion-focused therapy specialist, Ayanna Adams, explains that there’s “power in stillness and silence.” “Mindfulness is often misunderstood,” she says. “It’s a practice I highly recommend to the clients I work with because it increases your ability to stay in the moment, in the present.”

It is okay to stay connected, as well as disconnect from media platforms. Try to find a healthy balance of staying informed without letting that same information consume you. Take a break, sis. Limit your news consumption and take periodic breaks from social media when needed. But don’t become so disconnected that you isolate yourself from those who love you the most. We may not be able to brunch and chill in person, but we can still combat isolation with virtual meet-ups.

Set professional, personal, and emotional boundaries. Have you set any boundaries, sis? Identify them, define them, and communicate them unapologetically. Also make sure to establish consequences for those who cross your boundaries. Don’t feel the need to over explain yourself. Your boundaries are your own. Period.

Stick to a routine. Many of us are working from home or have different working hours in the office than usual. But that doesn’t mean you should break the routine.  Don’t skip the basics. If you usually workout on Tuesdays and Thursdays, make sure you keep at it. If you usually take your in-office lunch break at 12:30p, take your lunch break at 12:30p at home…or on the patio….or at your favorite restaurant. You’ve got options! It’s easy to get consumed with work and other tasks while working in a remote environment, but make sure you take your breaks and unplug every now and then. 

Process strong emotions in a way that feels safe to you. Have you been experiencing an emotional rollercoaster these last few months? Don’t worry…we have too. In the same interview with Allure, licensed psychologist Samara Toussaint explains that self-preservation is critical. Being mentally and emotionally healthy means acknowledging our feelings and emotions, and understanding we are validated in experiencing them. It’s okay to be angry, sad, confused, indifferent…or all of the above.

Remember… self-care is not about being selfish. Instead it’s about ensuring you put your physical, mental, and emotional health at the top of your priority list. It’s about being your best self, and giving yourself grace when you’re not. So…give yourself permission to indulge in some self-care and take care of YOU for once.

Remember to cut yourself some slack. We are not perfect, and no one should ever ask us to be.

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