It’s February 2022, and the term ‘self-care’ has been thrown around within our communities as an antidote to poor mental health. As black women, our mental health most definitely suffers when we don’t take care of ourselves. We are responsible for so much. Being taboo for as long as I can remember, mental illness has been a topic that black people have refused to acknowledge. ‘Oh, just pray it away,’ is what we have been told. Yes! Prayer is a part of healing from the constant beat-down that black people have had to endure. But, we also have to ACT in getting into a healthy routine of therapy, diet, prayer and setting positive and healthy boundaries for ourselves. This is the routine that worked for me. Self-care for the millennial woman does not have to be expensive!
I am the first of three millennial busy black women in my family. I have a sister who is 37 and one who just turned 33. Although they are grown adult women, I feel it my duty to be there for them mentally. I struggled with poor mental health for years before going to therapy. I ate my feelings. I yo-yo dieted for years. I do not do that anymore. I have had an active therapist for the past ten years. I believe in it. Black women are often shunned for their depression. I count it all joy when a black woman gets the courage to really acknowledge her feelings. Even if they are not happy, we all have to start somewhere.
After discovering that my mental health was suffering, I started seeking help in the most non-expensive ways. Although I am not a licensed clinician, here are some things that helped my mental health to shift in a positive direction. Meditation, praying, journal writing, taking baths, being a plant mom, getting outside and breathing in the fresh air, walking, hiking, and going to bed early. I started a nighttime routine where I would take a hot bath with different scented bath bombs from this company called Lush. Although black women are strong, we are dainty too. I started wearing my favorite perfume and essential oils around the house despite whether I was going out or not. I lit candles all over my bathroom. Medication is also a healthy way to fight mental illness!
I have discovered my love for music throughout my mental health journey to be the most helpful. My love for art has also been a major reason I’m so healthy today. There is no doubt about it, there is a song for every emotion known to man. My Spotify account gets plenty of rotation. So, beautiful, black millennial woman, you are powerful beyond your wildest dreams. Your healing awaits you!