5 Black Women Share Self-Care Practices for 2021 and Beyond.


2020 is gone but, the residue of the havoc it reeked, compounded with the personal and daily stressors that come with life still remain. Now, more than ever, self-care is the only way to maintain a relationship with ourselves that in return allows us to better interact with others. We interviewed five black women to share a bit about the stress factors in their lives and the self-care routines that help them remain healthy. We hope they inspire you to think of self-care as preventive healthcare.


Mary

Where do you live and what do you do?

I live in Estonia, Northern Europe and work as a supply chain manager at a global high-tech and electronics company.


What stressors do you deal with?

I deal with work stressors in general as an everyday thing. As the pandemic has kept us all home more, the demand for technology as a way to connect or escape has increased. It’s caused lots of demands at work.


What do you do for self-care?

I go to the gym at least 4 times a week. In addition, I take walks and I am a fan of hiking.


How does yourself care practice help center you?

Working out and taking hikes help me prepare for work.

Follow Mary @missmarayaklowie for outdoor adventures.


Monica

Where do you live and what do you do?

I live in Massachusetts. I’m a social worker. I provide mental health counseling to children and their families.


What stressors do you deal with?

I would say that my main stressor is maintaining work-life balance. I’m very empathetic and can throw myself into work.


What do you do for self-care?

My faith in God is a big part of my self-care regimen. I strive to pray and read the Bible daily. I enjoy writing, listening to music, and taking walks.


How does yourself care practice help center you?

When I pray or go for a walk, it helps me to “pause.” I think life can get busy and have dark moments. When I pray, I’m able to be refreshed by God. When I walk, I see God’s beauty in nature. I’m able to think, dream, and “pause.”

Follow Monica @afrotasticlady for motivational quotes.


Samaria

Where do you live and what do you do?

I live in Atlanta, GA and I’m a PhD Student.


What stressors do you deal with?

A student’s salary is abysmal, so I’m always concerned about savings being depleted. Family-school balance- I want to make sure I commit the time to my family as necessary because those relationships are more important than any degree. At the same time, I’m committed to my graduate program and want to groom myself into an excellent scholar. This takes time and energy, too.


What do you do for self-care?

I observe the Sabbath and take short naps regularly.


How does your self-care practice help center you?

I do work from Sunday to Friday so at the end of every week, I’m pretty drained. Observing the Sabbath forces, me to put anything work related aside for 24 hours and allows me to just BE. It’s a time for me to reflect on my life, give thanks for the positive, and strategize how to move forward in ways that best serve me.


Taking short naps between activities/papers/classes during the week allows me to pause and reset so I can focus better on my next task.

Samaria can be found as The African PhD on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube


Amber

Where do you live and what do you do?

I live in Columbus, Ohio. I am a mother of two, fiancé, project coordinator for CelebrateONE, a program from the Mayor’s office in Columbus aimed at stopping infant mortality and a proud owner and founder of Express Cardio Parties, a garage fitness shop(as featured on cover photo) for women who want to get fit as a part of their self-care routine.


What stressors do you deal with?

I deal with managing staff, balancing all my future plans without dropping the ball on anything that is important to me. My day usually starts at 4:00 am and ends at 10:00 pm, and I go all day! I have a bad problem allowing the issues of others to weigh me down mentally and emotionally.


What do you do for self-care?

The fitness shop started out of my love for helping others but, it has disciplined to me to stay consistent with my own fitness goals. When I’m not helping others, I like being still or walking or biking in nature. Making tire tables and seeing my daughter do things that make her happy are sources of joy for me.


How does your self-care practice help center you?

When I take walks or bike rides, it helps me clear my mind, relax and prepare for my day. There is something liberating about feeling the wind on my face and blowing in my hair.

Follow Amber at The Fit Shop with Amber Jones as she motivates women to get fit.


Jordan

Where do you live and what do you do?

I live in Atlanta; GA and I work as a chaplain and home aide.


What stressors do you deal with?

Racism, financial stress, stressors from past traumas.


What do you do for self-care?

Exercise, writing, staying emotionally and spiritually connected to my loved ones.


How does your self-care practice help center you?

These practices help ground me and remind me my life still matters and that I can handle the circumstances in my life, as long as I don’t try to go it alone.

Follow Jordan @jordanzeph to find out what she's writing.


Our self-care needs needn’t be elaborate but, they must fit the rhythm of our lives and they must be intentional. This year and in the years to come, may we develop good habits that will save our lives.