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Self Care

What Does Self Care Mean To You?

A group of women of color were asked What does self care mean to them. Check out there answers below:

Naomi Shimada, Model & Author of Mixed Feelings

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What does the term “self-care” mean to you?

“Self-care to me is a malleable term. At its base level, it means I’m listening to my body/mind and trying to feel what it yearns for in that moment in time. That differs from day to day, but generally it means I’m getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, exercising regularly and eating as well as I can. But I also think of the term ‘self-care is a radical act,’ which was coined by esteemed Black feminist thinker and writer Audre Lorde as a challenge for collective survival—that choosing to love ourselves as we are in that moment in time, in a world that makes so many people (especially Black, people of color, queer, and the generally marginalized) feel unloved was in itself a life-saving, radical act.”

How do you feel about the way in which “self-care” has been commercialized within the modern wellness space? 

“I think the term has become a solace to so many people who feel like trying to climb up and fall down the capitalist ladder has depleted them financially, emotionally and physically. These ideas around ‘self-care’ become the small thing that they can do for themselves that helps them get through the day. I can totally see the importance in that, but sadly, it just shows once again how the capitalist structures that are embedded so deeply into our lives create the problem, and then try and sell you back the solution.”

How are you practicing or applying “self-care” into your own life at this current time?

I am currently getting through this by trying to just take it day by day, by focusing on taking care of my own health, and trying my best to serve my immediate community around me. Other things that have been helping me get through: caramelizing fruit; doing Latin dance workouts on YouTube; blasting The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill on my daily house cleans; binging High Fidelity; reading Adrienne Maree Browns’ Emergent Strategy; doing long phone calls with all my favorite elders who help put what we’re going through in perspective for me. I’ve also been helping to raise funds for my local hospital to get supplies to medical workers and nurses.”

 

Lauren Ash, founder of Black Girl In Om

Lauren Ash Is Bringing Diversity to the Yoga Studio, One Vinyasa at a Time - ThirdLove Blog

What does the term “self-care” mean to you?

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“Now and always, self-care absolutely signals self-preservation—self-preservation of my consciousness, body, energy, time, and other resources. One can consider the question: what is sacred within me, and about me? And how may I honor and more consciously hold that as such? Interestingly, the ‘self’ in self-care is always inextricably linked to the collective. I really appreciate one of my spiritual teachers, Rev. angel Kyodo Williams, for always reminding us of this. She affirms that if one of us is unwell, none of us are well. The care and healing work we do individually, done with intention and integrity, will always bless the collective.”

Now and always, self-care absolutely signals self-preservation—self-preservation of my consciousness, body, energy, time, and other resources.

How do you feel about the way in which “self-care” has been commercialized within the modern wellness space?

“I feel like it has watered down the healing potential of millions of people. I believe that it has messed with folks’ consciousness and lots of people need healing from the way that self-care has been promoted to them, and how, as a result, they have stepped into it.”

How are you practicing or applying “self-care” into your own life at this current time?

“Currently, my self-care looks like: morning journaling where I get real with myself about my needs, how I can focus on giving myself those needs first, and how I can create sustainable boundaries and communicate them with others while detaching from the expectation that they can show up for me in the ways that I need. It looks like ancestral healing and consciously interrupting patterns of dysfunction within my ancestral line through therapy, spiritual work, and reparenting myself. It looks like daily walks in the fresh air, moving my body in a rather intense two-week shred program, and slow-moving breaths during meditation each day. It looks like saying no when it’s not a full-bodied yes. It looks like a lot of compassionate structure because this year, I’ve learned that in structure, I thrive.”

Elizabeth De La Piedra, photographer

A Day In The Life Of Rashida Renée Through The Lens Of Elizabeth De La Piedra

What does the term “self-care” mean to you?

“Self-care to me means creating time for yourself to enjoy something that is innately comforting to you.”

How do you feel about the way in which “self-care” has been commercialized within the modern wellness space? 

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“It’s gross. This used to be a genuinely fun and innocent concept centered on the individual and the cute thing about sharing it publicly was this sort of sisterly, sleepover secret bond it gave our community. Now every time I see the term, it is used to thinly veil an aggressive consumer campaign; it always tends to sadden me when I see the concept of sacred moments utilized in such a fake way.”

How are you practicing or applying “self-care” into your own life at this current time?

“With the kids, homeschooling and work, it’s really hard to find much time. I really need moments of quiet, so I work with my partner so we each have an hour or two here or there to listen to a podcast in our room solo, or make a nice breakfast, and take myself ‘out for brunch’ while he watches the kids. I’m also really enjoying quarantine happy hours with my girls and the all the live DJ sets being streamed right now. All that stuff feeds my soul and that really is what self-care is to me.”

Kelly Zutrau (Wet), Visual Artist, Musician & Model

Wet's Kelly Zutrau Doesn't Want to Look Like Just Another Girl in a Band - Fashionista

What does the term “self-care” mean to you?

“It’s an idea that doesn’t come naturally to me, given how I grew up. A lot of the generation before us had almost the opposite attitude in life. My dad was in Vietnam and my mom grew up in a garage in Brooklyn with absent parents, four siblings and no running water; they both had a bit of a ‘get by however you can’ way about them when I was a kid. Coming from that, at first ‘self-care’ felt like a selfish or indulgent thing. But I do notice that people who look productive and healthy in life do seem to prioritize taking time for themselves, and I think that might allow them to be more giving and energetic. It’s something I’m trying to do more myself!

I think that all the corny associations aside, it is a powerful idea in its basic form—a powerful way of physically acting out the idea of valuing yourself.”

How do you feel about the way in which “self-care” has been commercialized within the modern wellness space?

Even though it is tiring to see every single element of human existence capitalized on in some way or another, I think overall, the term becoming more widely used is a good thing.”

How are you practicing or applying “self-care” into your own life at this current time?

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“I’ve been doing it in some simple ways, like drinking more water and allowing myself to eat whatever I want—like, eating a lot of vegetables and fruit to feel good, but also with treating myself to an entire bag of oven fries at 2 a.m. because I just want to. I’ve been taking vitamins consistently which, in conjunction with drinking more water, has really improved my skin in the last couple weeks. Taking breaks from looking at my phone is a big one that really helps my state of mind. I’ve also been listening to a lot of Esther Perel talks, which has felt like free therapy for me right now.

And in a big picture way, I’ve been trying to think of this time less as a stressful or difficult period and more of a very rare and kind of amazing chance to reset—to get in touch with my desires and my own internal clock for the day without the constraints that are normally there. I’ve tried to do whole days where I do exactly what I want at any given moment without the influences of friends calling or deadlines coming or the need to be productive at all times. It’s been really scary and painful to let go of those things even temporarily, but I think that it’s a good thing to have to go through. Hopefully, people are able to emerge from this with some new knowledge of themselves that can make normal life better when we go back.”

I’ve been trying to think of this time less as a stressful or difficult period and more of a very rare and kind of amazing chance to reset—to get in touch with my desires and my own internal clock for the day without the constraints that are normally there.

 

Shydeia Caldwell, Founder & CEO of Black Girl Magik

Shydeia Caldwell

What does the term “self-care” mean to you?

“The term self-care for me means radical liberation through the act of caring for your well-being. I believe self-care is more than a concept, because it takes more than mental ideation—it also takes action, practice and sometimes even creative imagination.”

 How do you feel about the way in which “self-care” has been commercialized within the modern wellness space? 

“I believe the commercialization of self-care is a reflection of the white counterparts and brands who take up the majority of that space. I witness many who utilize the term ‘self-care’ as a way to push products, and it is rooted in a place of privilege, disconnect, and capitalism. I believe most wellness spaces or brands don’t speak to the experiences and accessibility of marginalized communities, thus creating disconnect in communities feeling as if they don’t have a safe place to essentially partake in healing. These variations of self-care within the modern wellness space are not real or accessible. Until the majority of intentions within the modern wellness space intentions are rooted in radicalness, then it’s not self-care—it’s what I call performative capitalism.”

How are you practicing or applying “self-care” into your own life at this current time?

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“Currently while in quarantine, I am practicing even more gentleness with myself and flowing through each day. By not relying on time schedules to be a reflection of productivity, I am honoring my body, mind and soul. I love to partake in activities like: cleaning my face daily with B Free organics and doing natural at-home facials with Golde; sessions with my therapist; cuddling with my cat and girlfriend in bed; watching Oprah’s vision tour on YouTube; listening to my favorite podcasts interviews and house music on Spotify; taking long baths with Fur bath drops and lit candles; spending time with my girlfriend and eating delicious home-cooked meals. Believe it or not, a portion of my self-care comes from creating radical healing spaces through my company Black Girl Magik and our Black Girl Magik meetups. Black Girl Magik spaces are rooted in ritual, self care and ceremony cultivated by and for Black women and girls. Any Black girls reading this: feel free to sign up for our newsletter to attend a virtual BGM Meetup soon.”

Brittany Josephina, Co-founder of Black Girl Magik

About — Brittany Josephina

What does the term “self-care” mean to you?

“I define self-care as taking ownership of your life through protecting, preserving and nourishing your energy, space and ultimately, yourself. Humans are relational beings. We exist deeply in relationship to the world around us. We are in relationship to work, to lovers, to friends, to family, to food, to music, to essentially all things. Now, the quality of those relationships may vary, but it doesn’t change the fact that a conversation is happening.

Self-care is about actively participating in that dialogue with yourself. How else will you know the depth of your present truths, feelings and experiences? How else can you know your needs, wants, likes and dislikes? The practice of self-care should offer room for honesty, vulnerability, self-awareness and reclamation. We exist and belong deeply to ourselves. My personal mantra I created for self-care is: Protect your peace. Get rid of toxicity. Cleanse your space. Cultivate love.”

How do you feel about the way in which “self-care” has been commercialized within the modern wellness space? 

“I think the way self-care is commercialized within modern wellness spaces is a mere reflection of how capitalism permeates throughout modern society. Commercialized modern wellness also still amplifies the voices and experiences that are systemically prioritized in western society. This is shifting in real time.

I think it’s important to note that people come to wellness not just to feel good in a general sense, but also from feeling unwell due to the weight and effects of systems that aren’t built for them to feel well. Thus, modern wellness needs to advocate for nuanced care and diverse resources for folks who are not totally represented in wellness. This includes Black communities, non-Black POC’s, LGBTQ, disabled, folks of different classes and other equally important communities I haven’t highlighted. All people deserve a right to cultivate and receive care.”

How are you practicing or applying “self-care” into your own life at this current time?

“At this time, I’m practicing self-care through reuniting with my love for journaling as a form of connecting with myself. I finally have enough time to deep dive into all of the thoughts, feelings and most importantly, the dreams that live inside of me. I’m also self-caring through appreciating silence, nature, music, my family and my girlfriend. I’m grateful to be with family at this time.”

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I think it’s important to note that people come to wellness not just to feel good in a general sense, but also from feeling unwell due to the weight and effects of systems that aren’t built for them to feel well. 

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