2020 has been nothing but challenge after challenge. We have all been looking for a win since March. Being Black in America has always been a challenge, but right now it seems like you can’t do anything without your race being involved. Fighting for your right to be here gets exhausting, especially when you’re in school doing it. These four tips will help you navigate self-care while taking on fighting the power and virtual school all in one swoop (or maybe a couple of swoops-we leave room for improvement over here).
- Buy a Planner
Planners are the pinnacle of organization and self care. Not only are they helpful, but they also come in a variety of styles that have stickers or contact lists in the back. If you do not want to use Amazon there is a marketplace called WeBuyBlack.com that carries products made by Black people. If they do not have the one you like, you can always use Etsy and buy from Black creators. Write all of your classes, Zoom times, and assignments inside the planner. To make it more helpful dedicate a certain color to a specific class.
- Take a Bath Once a Week
I know you’re probably thinking, “girl…um I wash every day,” but it was not a diss. Taking a bath at least once a week helps to relieve the tension your body may have built up. Pour in some oils, Epsom salt, flowers, and whatever else you would like to make it all about you. Put on songs that only make you happy. If you like, light a few candles. Try laying back and closing your eyes, you’ll feel lighter once you do.
- Read Before Bed
What you see before you close your eyes is so important. Whatever you consume is what you dream about and your dreams affect how you feel when you first wake up. Try reading motivational books, things that are going to give you some hope, or just mental freedom. A great book to read right before bed is The Awkward Black Girl by Issa Rae. It’s about her life and what she went through to get to where she is. It is truly so funny and inspirational. Another good read is More Than Enough by Elaine Welteroth in which she talks about her journey to being the Editor-in-Chief of Teen Vogue. Lastly, The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates is a beautiful story of an escaped slave helping carry other slaves through the Underground Railroad. An Instagram page to find more books similar to these are @wellreadblackgirl.
The last tip is just to breathe. Take time out of your day to remember what your hands feel like. Moving each finger, think about how that feels. Do the same thing with your toes. Run your hands all over your arms and legs and try to see if you can feel every little hair there. If you are able to, just stand in your front yard with your eyes closed. Let the sun rays touch you and breathe in deep as you can. When you let it out just for a few seconds, let everything that you’ve been struggling with go too because at the end of the day, it feels great to be alive.
These tips aren’t meant to fix everything, but to put yourself on a path of improvement. We are all living in tough times, but helping one another out and taking everything little by little can improve a few things in our life.