• Why Is Self-Care Important for BIPOC?

    The existence of buzzwords is nothing new. However, the rise and expansion of social media have certainly increased the likelihood of something going viral. For example, you may see more than your share of posts and memes related to the concept of self-care. This is good in some ways. After all, self-care is one of life’s necessities.

    Too often, though, self-care gets reduced down to the occasional spa day or wheatgrass juice. In reality, it is an ongoing, long-term commitment. In a materialistic, highly distracted world, self-care can be revolutionary. This goes double for Black and Indigenous people and other people of color (BIPOC).

    Why is Self-Care Important?

    We live in a society that features long work hours, intense competition, financial struggles, junk food, and more. All of this (and more) can put quite a strain on one’s spirit. If the system is not caring for us, it becomes our responsibility to practice self-care. You might even call it a duty.

    Self-care is how we recover and recharge. It serves as a bulwark against the stressors of everyday life. It also teaches us two important lessons:

    • We don’t have to be stressed, sick, or burnt out all the time
    • We are worthy of the effort

    The basic elements of a daily self-care regimen might include:

    • Making healthy eating choices
    • Getting in some physical activity and exercise each day
    • Maintaining a steady sleep schedule
    • Practicing stress management and relaxation techniques
    • Enjoying alone time and social life as needed

    It’s not hard to recognize how fundamental such a routine can be. For those of you engaged in any kind of struggle to make the world a better place, self-care can seem like self-indulgence. This mindset must be reversed. Only the best version of yourself can take on challenges. To eschew self-care is self-sabotage — especially for BIPOC.

    Why is Self-Care Important for BIPOC?

    As a BIPOC, you are a member of a variety of communities. Your presence with such kindred spirits can be strengthened when you do the work to strengthen yourself, e.g.

    • When you care for yourself, you are by proxy caring for your community. You lead by example while positioning yourself to be ready to step up when required.
    • BIPOC are far too often victimized by traumatic experiences. Self-care is a logical and effective response to the effects of trauma.
    • It is necessary to unplug every now and then. So many of us have a fear of missing out (FOMO). This can be true even in groups that are working to shift that paradigm. Self-care teaches us the importance of stepping away to gain new perspectives and power.
    • Learning to set boundaries is a radical choice. Give yourself the agency to decide when and if you can take on projects and responsibilities.
    • Getting proper rest is a powerful way to transform despair into hope. Sometimes, the difference between surrender and optimism is how much love you save for yourself.

    Learning How to Prioritize Yourself

    Regardless of your situation, you may have trouble committing to self-care. You may think it makes you look weak or that’s something only pampered rich people. This perspective could be the result of some strong underlying conditioning. To explore these root causes, it helps to speak with a counselor. In particular, for BIPOC seeking to develop a self-care practice, it is essential to connect with someone who gets it.

    If any of the above resonates with you, I urge you to reach out today. As a Black Therapist, I can help you find that crucial balance between commitment to the community and commitment to yourself. It all begins with a free and confidential consultation so contact me today.