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4 Ways Black Women Are Practicing Self-Care

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Sep. 7 2021, Published 4:30 a.m. ET

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1. Yoga And Meditation

Research tells us that yoga and meditation practices originated in 5000 BCE. Meditating is to “think deeply or focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation.” Some benefits of meditation include sharpened attention, a greater ability to resist stress, and more.

“African Americans experience a disproportionate rate of stress-related health conditions compared to European Americans. Mindfulness meditation has been shown to be effective for managing stress and various stress-related health conditions,” says UNC’s Distinguished Associate Professor Cheryl L. Woods-Giscombé & Duke University’s Research Associate Professor Susan A. Gaylord. 

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2. Activism

Activism is defined as the policy or action of using vigorous campaigning to bring about political or social change. This past year the world has witnessed the transcendence of women in politics. This can be considered a part of self-care due to the clear motive of representation which is self-pleasing and externally beneficial to a Black women’s community. “I used to protest a lot back in the day—I think the last protest I attended was for Eric Garner. I get very angry, like, physically angry. These days my place in this fight is to use my voice and my platform to call out those who aren’t doing their part, including companies that continue to disenfranchise people of color,” says Elyse Fox, founder of Sad Girls Club.

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3. Mantras

Self-affirmation has emerged as a form of overcoming self-deprecation and potential subconscious forms of self-neglect or even self-sabotage. It helps us overcome imposter syndrome and encourages self-confidence, awareness, and overall reflection. The act of reflecting has been an integral part of the self-concept founded by Claude Steele in the late 1980s.

When asked what mantras she uses for self-care purposes, Fox responded with “I constantly tell myself, It’s okay for you to take time off; it’s okay to not engage all the time. A lot of people are downing people for not posting, or for not posting a black square, but it’s okay if that’s not best for your mental health right now. It’s okay to take a break.”

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4. Self-care And Pampering

As demonstrated in a lot of Youtuber’s videos, pamper routines are growing especially popular in the modern-day. Pampering can come in the form of whatever one makes it. It is typically incorporated into one’s own self-care routine.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde

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