How are you doing? I know it’s been another tough, emotional week for many people. For me personally, I have been feeling a mix of emotions between sadness, anger, and exhaustion.
But I have also felt hope and inspiration from my family and friends, and I have read many encouraging articles and other literature that have motivated me to continue to learn and take action.
Seeing communities (and even other countries!) come together to support Black Lives Matter has been encouraging for me. Did you see this video of New Zealanders performing Haka at a Black Lives Matter protest? I thought it was very moving.
Joining the virtual walking group GirlTrek launched this week is something else that has been motivating me. The group encourages me to take time for self-care while also learning about amazing Black women. Founders Morgan Dixon and Vanessa Garrison always share beautiful, encouraging words in each session. It is truly food for your soul.
What about you? Are you finding time for yourself and discovering people or literature that motivate you?
A few days ago blogger Amber Burns tweeted, “It’s okay if you need to consume less news and social media today. Things are heavy, and you don’t have to carry that weight online to prove a point.”
Amber’s words reminded me how it’s important to take breaks from the news and social media so I can regroup and rest. I’ve mentioned something similar to this in a post I wrote a month ago when states were beginning the shelter-in-place safety measures for the coronavirus. Even though we are trying our best to do our part, we can still experience information overload. We can also feel overwhelmed by everything that is going on in our country.
It’s okay to take a break and focus on your well-being. It’s okay to share a laugh with a friend or do an activity that makes you happy. And it’s okay to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Taking care of yourself, especially during challenging times, is important for your mental and physical health.
Today I read an article in The Philadelphia Inquirer by writer Elizabeth Wellington. She shared a few ways Black Americans can practice self-care “during these trying times” and how allies can also offer their support. “Black people,” she wrote, “We have to take responsibility for our mental health and put our feelings first in these trying times.”
A few self-care tips Wellington suggests are to read a favorite book, meditate, exercise, get off of social media and turn off the news. When I was doing my Day 1 walking exercise for the GirlTrek 21-Day Black History Boot Camp, one of the founders had shared she only watches one hour of the news because it’s all she can take.
I don’t watch the news, but I do keep up with it through Twitter. I like to check the news updates in short bursts, like the morning and then later in the evening. Too much news and reading others’ commentary can make me feel overwhelmed and trigger my anxiety.
I have also been taking time to read, watch one of my favorite shows, and do crafts with my kids. I recently discovered rock painting and it is surprisingly a relaxing craft to do, especially if you’re listening to soothing music.
This weekend my plans are to work on a home decorating project and do some gardening. Gardening always relaxes me and brings me peace.
“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”Audre Lord, A Burst of Light: and Other Essays
Do you have any self-care plans for yourself this weekend? I hope you are able to take some time for YOU and do any activity or two that brings you joy.
Take good care of yourself, friends. Peace and Love xoxo
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Feature image of new Washington, D.C. street mural “Black Lives Matter”, courtesy of CNN.