When you think of self-care what do you think of? Once you get past the face masks, manicures, target runs, and amazon orders what else refreshes your soul and energizes you as you navigate all things Black womanhood and motherhood? Self-care should be a daily love offering to yourself. While we can certainly enjoy the things mentioned before, self-care is an essential daily practice that Black moms should take seriously as we navigate all things life and all our various roles, relationships, and the stressors and anxieties that come with them. Self-care should be preventative and restorative. It should refresh and renew you daily. Self-care allows us to take off the armor off that protects while we navigate living, working, and mothering while Black. When we take down that protective layer we can reconnect and discover ourselves.
Here are some unconventional self-care ideas to consider:
1-Let someone else do it!
Resist the urge to volunteer your time and mental energy whether at home, work, your child’s school, or in your relationships. Put your hand down and let others take the lead on projects and in their own lives. Do not be afraid to let others know when you might not have the emotional bandwidth to be a listening ear. You do not have to do it all or hear it all! This also includes outsourcing household tasks that eat away at your time like cleaning, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. and cultivating age-appropriate independence in your children as they grow for things they can take care of own their own to take things off your plate.
2-Celebrate your accomplishments!
When was the last time you paused to celebrate where you are now? What is something you’ve done in the last six months to a year that you let slide by instead of pausing and reveling in how far you have come and what you are doing?
3-Mourn your losses!
The past few years have been full of losses like no other. Take time to mourn your primary and secondary losses as often as you need to. These include things like death, financial security, relationships, health, physical connection, plans for the future, support, confidence, etc. The sadness and pain associated with your losses matter. Keeping this in can negatively impact your sleep and ability to function. The goal is not to stop grieving but to live fully while grieving.
4-Walk, stretch, and move!
We carry a lot of trauma, stress, and tension in our bodies that often kills us slowly. Movement is release. You do not need a gym membership or any fancy plan, simply moving your body in anyway everyday matters. You do not have to be trying to lose weight in order to move your body either!
5-Go to therapy!
Resist the temptation to go at it alone mama! A culturally affirming therapist that understands the unique experiences of Black womanhood and motherhood can positively impact your mental health and well-being. They can hold space for you, help you through life transitions, support you in managing anxiety, help you establish and maintain boundaries, and a wide variety of other things. If you needed a sign to go to therapy, this is it!
Black moms are the most beautiful, graceful, and strongest human beings I know. However, this often comes at the high cost of our mental health. While it would be amazing if our partners or society would do take care of us, it is really our number one job to love on ourselves. It is time that we make self-care a daily priority as a way of pouring out the same love on ourselves that we so generously give to others. What we need for self-care may look different each day and that is okay. The most important thing is to be in tune you with yourself, so you know what you need each day.
Therapy For Black Moms exists to be a safe space for Black moms to be able to get real and heal. We deserve more than survival. We would love to partner with you as you add therapy to your self-care toolkit. We want to support you in finding the line where motherhood ends, and you begin. Who are you in addition to being a mom? What are your hope and dreams that are only for you? What do you need to talk through in order to feel secure in moving forward? You are so deserving mama! Your mental health matters. YOU matter mama! Sign up for a free consultation here today!