Self Care Is Revolutionary
Hey guys, I've been MIA for a bit but based on what has been going on, I had to do it.
I really can't put into words how painful and draining the past few days have been not just for me, but for the black community as a whole- so I won't. I will say this though, for the first time ever, I have really allowed myself to feel what happened last week. It was like all the months and years of desensitizing and being numb to the headlines and the hashtags just washed over me and I. COULD. NOT. DEAL.
As a black woman, it is so hard tackling these topics. On one end, I am hearing and seeing hateful comments justifying the death of the two men who were killed last week and then on the other end, I feel the disregard of the fact that black women are killed by cops as well. Another part of me doesn't want to talk about the fact that black women go ignored as not to take away from the issue at hand. Guys, this issue is more complex than what meets the eyes.
I'm sure there have been so many things distracting us all from taking care of ourselves but Self-Care is so important, even more so during these trying times. Everyone, whether you are on the frontline of a protest or you are at home, I know you are hurting and here whats I think:
In general, when we think or talk about selfceare often times, we are thinking about doing yoga and drinking green tea and while that's cute, I want to be really real here.
First, what exactly is self care?
Self-Care- Actions that people initiate and perform on their own behalf in maintaining life, health, and well-being. (source: medicaldictionary.com)
My process of self- care usually is in two steps or phases:
Phase 1: Deal With The Pain (Emotional& Spiritual)
Talk about it
For some people talking and letting things out is how they release their pain. If you're this person call someone, talk to yourself, scream, post on social media. If that't what it takes for you to deal with what has happened, do that.
Don't talk about it
If you're like me, a lot of times, talking about things that are painful magnify the issue and make it even more painful. If you need to collect your thoughts, you DO NOT have to talk about it. Don't let people guilt trip you into speaking when you don't want to. There may be people who expect you to speak. They are just going to have to deal. Talk when you're ready, if at all.
It's okay to do this. You're not "weak" if the burden is too heavy for you to hold in. If you have to cry for five minutes or five hours, do what you need to do.
If you believe in a higher power, lay your burdens there. For me, prayer brings peace and assurance, whatever prayers does for you, tap into that.
Phase 2: Take Care of Yourself (Physical&Mental)
Take A Shower
Go Off the Grid
Stay on the Grid
Whatever will help you move forward, do it.
Keep The Process Going:
Protect your joy
Since the beginning of time, our resilience as black people has come from our JOY. Our ability to make the most out of situations that were meant to kill us. From having The Continent looted and having our people separated, we are still here. From the attempts to silence us and hold us back, we are STILL HERE. That gives me great joy and I know that there is still hope, even in these trying times. Tap into your joy, black joy (yes it is a thing) and no matter how long it takes, get to the point where nothing can separate you from that joy. Black joy matters. Period.
Love Your Melanin
I have come across so many awesome initiatives over the past few days to remind us just how amazing we are and here are a few of my favorites.
Created by Heben Nigatu. The whole purpose of this hashtag was to encourage us and put a smile on our faces as we are all dealing with this pain.
I came across this video this morning and I can't stop watching.
While doing all of this, we however, forget those of us who find the above things impossible to do. You guys should know by now that this blog is not a utopian escape but I do hope I can help and empower. It's so important (if you can) to use your pain to push you into action.
We have to keep moving forward and here is one way you can:
On Friday, the #YellowTapeChallenge begins and this is a little different from the Kylie Jenner or Cinnamon challenge. Follow TheLoop24/7 on all social media outlets to get information on why this challenge is taking place and why I will be participating. Post your pictures and tag me (@afrikanrising) with the hashtag #YellowTapeChallenge, as I will be reposting the pictures.
I love you all more than you'll ever know.