Empower Your Self-Care Journey as a Black Girl: 10 Tips for Finding Serenity
Self-care is essential in today’s world. With all we have going on, it is more important than ever to prioritize self-care.
As women of color and black women, our society often overlooks the stress and mental health issues that we face. Therefore, it is crucial that we prioritize our own self-care to ensure our well-being.
What is self-Care?
Self-care is the act of taking action to preserve your health. It is the practice of prioritizing your mental, physical, and emotional well-being.
According to the World Health Organization, self-care is “what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health.”
It is important to note that self-care is not an excuse for self-indulgence, but rather a means of ensuring that you have enough to give to others.
What are the benefits of practicing self-care?
Self-care is vital in all areas of life. According to The National Institute of Mental Health, self-care is crucial for maintaining mental health. It is also essential for maintaining optimal levels of well-being physically.
It helps manage stress, reduces the risk of illnesses, and even increases energy. These are just a few of the many benefits of self-care.
With that in mind, here are 10 self-care tips and self-care activities that you can add to your self-care plans to promote inner peace and serenity.
- 1. Read a Book
Due to our fast-paced and stressful lifestyle, there is a common misconception we often believe that we don’t have enough time to read. However, that is just not true.
Because of this misconception, we often put off reading because we are trained to keep “grinding.”
Like everything else in life, we just have to learn to prioritize reading. And as we prioritize this practice in our life, we will reap the benefits of not just increasing our knowledge but also promoting mental well-being.
Did you know reading helps lower your heart rate and can even help relax muscle tension? A study by the University of Sussex found that reading can reduce stress by up to 68%.
Furthermore, Reading also allows us to escape our comfort zones and see the world from the comfort of our own homes.
- 2. Connect with others
Social support is important for maintaining good mental health. Connecting with friends and family members can provide a sense of belonging and help reduce stress and anxiety.
Connecting with others, including having a strong network of friends and family, has been proven to have numerous benefits for mental health including reducing stress, improving mood, increasing resilience, and even enhancing physical health
Taking the time to spend time with the ones we love can also improve our moods reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression. It has the ability to improve your self-esteem promoting the feeling of being cared for and valued.
Take a girl’s trip, go to brunch, have a date night, spend time with your kids, whatever you do connect with the ones you love is a high-value self-care practice.
- 3. Take Up Meditation
Mediation is often viewed as intimidating. mostly because we often fail to understand its purpose or how to do it properly.
Meditation is a great way to sit with yourself, your emotions, and your thoughts without judgment. If you do that enough, you learn to face and accept them.
It allows you to understand that your mind is not a scary place but one that can be mastered and understood. When you learn to accept your thoughts, emotions, and desires, you can break free from negative thoughts that hold you back.
That is why this self-care activity will benefit you in more ways than none. Allowing you an opportunity to develop the mental strength you need to deal with negative thoughts.
- 4. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is a powerful tool. According to many studies, including one by Harvard health, gratitude has an important role in promoting happiness and peace.
It significantly impacts your mental health and stress levels because allowing you to on the positive aspects of life. Leaving little room for negative thoughts. Promoting positive emotions and feelings of being motivated, happy, and ready to face life’s challenges.
Gratitude assists you in finding satisfaction in your life, leaving little to no room to look at others and wish for something that was not meant for you.
One of many self-care ideas that you can incorporate into your self-care plan is a gratitude journal. A gratitude journal is a great place to write down what you are grateful for on a daily basis. Giving yourself the opportunity to interact with those good things that we often overlook.
- 5. Wash Away Stress
A great practice or ritual you can add to the end of your day to promote serenity and inner peace is to wash the day away.
Stepping into the shower after a long day at work or, in general, washing the day away does help reduce stress and anxiety.
To make it better, a nice hot shower helps the body release oxytocin, the happy hormone that helps reduce stress and promote relaxation.
If a shower is not your thing, try a nice hot bath. A warm bath with Epsom salt, essential oils, and candles can work wonders for your mental health. The Epsom salt helps relieve muscle tension while the essential oils and candles provide a relaxing atmosphere.
- 6. Listen to music
Music can have a powerful effect on our emotions and mental state. Listening to music can help reduce stress and promote relaxation.
Listening to music is a self-care practice that promotes improve mood and self-expression, and can even help with cognitive functioning. Music can also serve as a form of self-expression, allowing you to express emotions and feelings.
Among other benefits listening to calming and soothing music before bed can assist in relaxation promote better sleep or assist you in falling asleep easily.
- 7. Start Exercising
Exercising regularly is one of the best things you can do to promote serenity and inner peace.
There are so many benefits to exercise that are often overlooked. Exercise, for example, is a great way to reduce stress and depression. According to the mayo clinic, exercise release endorphins in your head, making you feel good, thus elevating stress and anxiety.
If you are not ready to commit to an exercise routing try going for a walk. Walking is a great way to clear your mind and promote mental well-being. It is a simple yet effective form of self-care that can be done anywhere and at any time.
The fresh air and the movement of your body can help reduce stress and anxiety while providing a sense of peace and calm.
- 8. Start Journaling
One of the best gifts given to us is journaling. Like Meditation, journaling allows you the opportunity to sit with those thoughts and feelings that often hold you back.
It allows you a healthy outlet to release negative emotions, and thoughts, and to come to terms with a lot of your stressors. all while clearing your mind and facing your thoughts in a non-judgmental way.
Journaling is a great way to gain confidence in yourself, find inspiration, and reduce stress and anxiety.
- 9. Set Clear Boundaries
It may seem like something that boundaries are out of place here, but did you know that boundaries are necessary for mental health?
Boundaries help you to distinguish yourself from others. It is a clear marker of what makes you you and what makes others them.
Additionally, boundaries help you know what you are responsible for and what you are not responsible for.
If done right, boundaries can help you find the peace you have always wanted. It will help quiet all those voices allowing you to think for yourself.
Boundaries are your ways of telling the world what you are accountable for and what you are not accountable for. Letting the world and those you love know how to treat you and how far you are willing to go.
All these things will be transparent with boundaries allowing you the opportunity to find peace and not take on the responsibilities of others.
The secret to boundaries is simple and straightforward: You are not responsible for anyone but yourself. But you are responsible to others.
- 10. Switch off devices
We all love cellphones, televisions, Ipads, computers, and other great electronic devices.
Yes, they help us connect with others; they entertain us while keeping us informed about the world around us.
However, they do get in the way of inner peace and serenity. Primarily because of all the noise and chatter they create in our lives. Not allowing us to think for ourselves and understand who we are.
That is why one way to promote serenity and inner peace in your life is to shut off those devices at least once daily.
Studies show that shutting down all devices, including the internet box, and just spending time doing any activities without them promotes better brain health.
If there’s one thing we understand well is that a healthy brain equals a healthy mind, equalling a healthy life.
Switching off your devices helps you sleep better, limits distractions, and gives you the time to take care of yourself. Leaving you the space you need to finally pick up that book.
- 11. Get Enough Sleep
In our toxic culture of “grinding” sleep is the last thing on everybody’s mind. Everyone is all about their money and being a BOSS. This often leads to us experiencing mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
But here’s the secret, You can’t do any of that if you are not having a good night’s sleep. You can’t be zen and create the life you want if you are not prioritizing sleep.
Outside of water, and a healthy diet, Sleep is essential for overall health and well-being. According to The Sleep Foundation, a good night’s sleep promotes mental clarity and enables better thinking, learning, and memory.
It is important to establish a regular sleep routine and make sure that you are getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Prioritizing sleep can help improve mood, concentration, and overall mental health.
- 12. Clean your space
If the question is, what are the benefits of a decluttered home? Then the answer is as follows. A decluttered home is a happy, calm, and fresh space.
There are so many other things that can be said about having a clean space. But most importantly, your space is a reflection of your mental health.
And if you are working towards inner peace and serenity, you need to clean your space.
This will help you reduce your stress lowering your anxiety. And since you will be less stressed, you will have the ability to make better decisions. All because you cleaned your space.
Self-care is essential in today’s world. It is the practice of taking action to preserve your health and well-being, both physically and mentally. Self-care is not only beneficial for maintaining good health but also for maintaining good mental health. Especially when it comes to coping with stress.
As women of color and black women, self-care is particularly important. Our society often overlooks the stress and mental health issues that we face. Therefore, it is crucial that we prioritize our self-care to ensure our well-being.