Daily I meet women who need help paying rent, help to pay electric bills, help to find jobs, help to get out of abusive relationships, help to get their children back from foster care, or even just needing someone to believe in them that will support them in their journey. People often ask me “what does SHE Will Foundation help with?” and my response is always “everything”. Now, do you understand why? There are so many reasons women come to SHE Will Foundation but for every reason they come, there are always 10 more unaddressed. Again, NOW do you understand my EVERYTHING answer?
But right now, I want to focus on a universal area. Regardless of who you are, where you live, or what you’ve been through, we should all be practicing Self-Care.
Here we are at the start of the year. The holidays are over, out of town guests have gone home, kids returned to school, had the house cleaned from top to bottom, and planning the work or school schedule for the year. But I refuse to be overwhelmed by the numerous invites, activities, responsibilities, etc. that year 2020 has bought with her.
I suggest we try something new! Let’s make the priority #SELF-CARE for the New Year! Yup, self-care, but what is self-care some might ask. It's planning to deliberately do something, that at that moment, only benefits you then have benefits to those around you afterward. It’s an activity or activities that remind us to take a break from the everyday. It’s remembering that to be the best you for your spouse, your children, your church, your job, or your community, you must first desire to be the best you for you. I never understood why some women feel guilty about self-care, why is it not an innate priority for both men and women? The same way it's instinctual for us to breathe, it should be the same for self-care. Good self-care, among other things, is key to improved mood and reduced frustration and anxiety. Self-care doesn’t have a socio-economic scale that dictates if you have money in your savings account than you can indulge but if you go paycheck to paycheck as many Americans do, you can’t, you just have to tough it out. No No No! That is a lie from the pits of hell!
Here are a few suggestions on how any women, with any budget or background, can perform some form of practical self-care daily, weekly, and monthly.
Practical Daily Self Care can include:
Routine: these are simple yet effective ways you can feel good mentally, physically and emotionally, things to be incorporated into your daily norm.
Application: think of some things you should not do but you are, make a list, and stop doing them. EASY right?
For Example: if your day is as hectic as mine can be sometimes, I had to change the order in which I spoke to people, answered texts, returned emails, or scheduled face to face visits. Some people would, no disrespect intended, would drain the LIFE out of me. Before I would save those calls, visits, emails, or texts for the end of my day but guess what, I took that lifeless spirit home with me, to my family, to my bed and woke up the next day struggling to wind myself up.
Self-Care Tip #1- schedule the more challenging calls, meetings, emails, etc., for the middle of the day allowing more upbeat energy to resonate the start and again at the end of your day.
It works wonders. Just ask my husband. This tip works whether you’re married or single, children or not. When I wake, I thank God for my daily bread and then I tell Alexa to play my morning mix (let me know if you want that playlist). As I'm making my bed and jamming to Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara, then Fight Song by Rachel Platten, then Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys, I head for some sort of morning workout, walk or jog. After my shower, I’m getting dressed, have my coffee and I'm out the door headed to the office. Once there, I schedule all face to face meeting after 11 pm. By then, believe me, my spirit is ready for the day. Then towards the end of the day, I do it all over again ending all face to face meetings or whatever it is that can potentially cause frustration no later than 4 pm.
Other self-care steps can be getting 6-8 hours of sleep, drinking plenty of water and eating better.
Practical Weekly Self Care can include:
Relaxation: this is anything you enjoy that allows you to rest, unwind and destress.
Application: what makes you take a deep breath of relief? Start there. Unglue yourself from the presidential impeachment news stories for just a moment (Lol)
For Example: in my master bathroom we have a large shower but no tub, so once per week I take 1 hour to myself, I grab my earbuds, my phone, and I head to the other bathroom with the tub, run the water, and drop in one of these all-natural bath bombs I picked up from Amazon https://amzn.to/31oVlwX I turn on my neo-soul playlist with Gill Scott, India Arie (yes I'm old school, let me know if you want this playlist). After about an hour, the skin on my fingers and toes have wrinkled like raisins, and I'm ready to get out. REFRESHED!!
Self-Care Tip #2- go back to the tried and true things you used to enjoy.
Whether it’s a spa day at home, changing the color of your nail polish or heading to Dairy Queen for a Brownie Blizzard. Just do it! And allow your inner self a chance to unwind.
Practical Monthly Self Care can include:
Receive: most of the time those who don’t regularly practice self-care are huge givers, but at least once per month I want you to allow yourself to receive. It's not being selfish, you’re not taking into consideration the needs of others, but instead, you’re taking into consideration your needs.
Application: take time out to explore the thoughts and feelings you swept under the rug during the month with a professional who’s only desire is to see you win.
For example: There are some situations I would rather not discuss with people close to me so once per month I schedule a meet up with my life coach/mentor or even journal which allows me to get it out of my head and onto paper. Try this one, it’s one of my favorite https://amzn.to/2OlHS3C
Self-Care Tip 3: If you haven’t before, invest in a life coach, health and wellness coach or even professional individual counselor.
It will help you put things into perspective and look past your current situation. It is always great to have someone you admire who has overcome situations you are currently in. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Choose wisdom. (click here for information on SHE Will Foundation’s Mentorship Program)
About the Author
Dr. Sherita, Ph.D., is a certified health and wellness coach based in Texas. Her work with nonprofit, SHE Will Foundation, allows her to come in contact with many women all with different self-care roadblocks. SHE Will Foundation focuses on providing community resources to women in crises while supporting, helping and empowering families to change their current living and financial situation.