A Seat at the Table by Solange Knowles was an ode to the black woman experience. It was immersed in femininity; intersected with the weight of racism, sexism, and classism. It was thematically specific toward black women in the way that we experience life. It spoke of our struggle and our beauty, and for me it was the most ‘womanhood’ I have ever felt in an artistic illustration. It felt specific in that it accounted for the common-rage that we as black women feel, when black men and women are murdered at the hands of law enforcement, when we are not afforded autonomy when someone touches our hair without permission, and when we ‘weary of the ways of the world’ after all of the pain, and horror it has caused us. This album is not just music for me, but an important resource of self-care that reminds me that I am not alone.
I start everyday in self-love by affirming who I am every morning by saying:
“I am worthy, I am blessed, and I am powerful”
How do I practice self-care when I have the time?
- I listen to albums that empower and soothe me, these have been A Seat at the Table, Urban Flora, CTRL, Freudian , and War & Leisure.
- At random times during the day I’ll turn my phone off for an hour or two, and do something I love to do, which is painting or writing.
- I’ll get my speaker, turn it up all the way high, and just sing and dance!
- I listen to my favorite podcasts- them being Alex Elle (Conversations with Empowering Women) , Myleik Teele (Being a Girl Boss) , Rob Berger (Financial Podcast), and Joel Osteen (Christian Preaching).
- Taking a long bath with lavender essential oil with the lights off, and Sade playing.(my absolute go-to when dealing with f*ck shit)
- Doing things I love by myself, because there’s a necessity sometimes for isolation, right? I started going to open-mic nights, restaurants, church, and shows by myself and it feels really good.
- One of my favorite things to do when I’m just not feeling it, is doing my makeup, putting on a good outfit, doing my hair really nice, because looking good makes you feel good right?
How do I practice self-care in my decision making ?
- Creating boundaries– not tolerating any forms of abuse, disrespect, or over-stepping- AND STICKING TO THEM WITHOUT COMPROMISE.
- Ridding myself of anyone/anything that is toxic to myself- and understand that that can sometimes be myself, and my own thoughts.
- I pay attention to my mental health with a magnifying glass, I sometimes go through intense depression, and periods of anxiety, and I have to be self-aware. Sometimes this can mean going to a therapist. This is a website link to licensed black women therapists : Therapy for Black Girls. I really recommend therapy strongly.
- I practice clear communication skills to avoid any ambiguity that could lead to my disappointment.
- I choose to spend my money on things that support my goals.
Small ways to practice self-love daily :
- Write down everything that you are grateful for .
- Meditation (I’m not there yet, I can’t quiet my mind, so if you’re like me just opt for quiet time)
- Prayer. I start everyday in prayer in my car when I’m on my way to work, and if I’m having a particularly rough day, I listen to gospel & gospel only, because sad songs can really put you in a dark space.
- Cleaning your space! I find that when I clean, reorganize, and de-clutter- I feel amazing afterwards, like I cleaned up my life.
- I go to my favorite place, which for me is the beach. So during the winter I go to the closest dock, bring a book, turn off my phone & enjoy myself (sometimes for hours).
- Watching a movie/series. I am so big on sitting in my bed with a bowl of ice-cream watching Law & Order SVU until I can’t anymore! A greeeatt binge-worthy series is ‘She’s Gotta Have It’ on Netflix.
Please subscribe to my blog via email & let me know what you think, or if there’s something you practice that I left out .
Thank you, Lakota
“I have come to understand that caring for myself is not self- indulgent. Caring for myself is an act of survival.”