My life is similar to many other black professional women – the likes of Beyoncé and Michelle Obama are excluded for obvious reasons. Particularly, I am referring to us mere mortals trying to work our magic by excelling in a demanding career, growing wealth (however you define it), responding to the incessant traffic of noise (emails, texts, news, and alerts), managing precious relationships including those with our family, girlfriends, boyfriends, and partners, raising children, and being friendly to (.aka dodging the fuckboys). And while we work tirelessly to get a little Closer to our dreams and otherwise keep our outwardly shit together, we often neglect what’s most important . . . ourselves. Self-care is necessary. It may not look the same to each person, but generally encompasses maintenance of the body and mind.
Body. Caring for your body is perhaps the most recognizable form of self-care. Moderate physical exercise is a great place to start. Finding a routine that you enjoy may take time, but is crucial in order keep at it. Ditch the vanilla exercises like cardio on the treadmill and elliptical and instead, pick up a few weights. Cycle. Swim. Join a co-ed sports league. Try a kickboxing class. Whatever you do, get moving!
Additionally, think about you’re eating. While I’m not pushing any particular diet, I encourage you to strive for one that is balanced (think more fruits, vegetables, protein, and healthy fats). If you don’t know where to start, try meal prepping! Meal prepping not only saves time, but it’s also a great way to cut down on food expenses.
Mind. Like Sophia, so many of us have had to fight! These internal and external struggles can easily take a toll on the self. Mental health is a growing topic of discussion in our community, and oh, so significant. And while conversations with wine and girlfriends can feel like a form of therapy, never feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help from a licensed practitioner.
Also, feed your spirit! There are so many ways to do this, from satisfying intellectual curiosities, returning to your favorite hobby every now and then, praying, meditating, being still and doing whatever small (or large!) thing that brings you peace.
Above all, be kind to yourself. We’re often our own worst critic and over time, negative thoughts and words can be internalized. There is enough negativity in the world, don’t let your mind be another place where antagonism festers.
So, just as you should be paying yourself first with each paycheck you earn in order to increase wealth, you should give to yourself, first, each and every day, before you can ever successfully or meaningfully give to or provide for anything or anyone else. The old adage rings true, you will always make time for what is important. Never forget . . . You matter too!