As much as we love to see our Boss Women breaking barriers in business, corporate America and at home, we also love to support you and your self care journey. We all need rest, and not just kind but the type that restores us. We spoke with Dr. Nickesha Riggins of Finding Serenity – a psychotherapy practice based in Washington, D.C., about how we all should ground our power moves in a self care routine.
It’s more than a fad, why is self care necessary? Especially for Black women.
Black girl magic and Black women power moves are built on self-care. We cannot be in the proverbial “room” without a baseline level of self-care and we certainly are not sitting at “the table” without. Self-care is our defense and offensive move as we traverse the hills, valleys, and plateaus of life and heals us from them too. As Black women, we know that our journeys are paved with wonderful life enriching beauty yet simultaneously marred with the perpetual pain of sexism and racism. For many of us our journeys also include the traumas that can come from classism, ageism, homophobia, and colorism. Each time we take the opportunity to show ourselves love we help to build our resiliency to process and go through the trials of life in addition to enabling us to enjoy life more deeply.
What is self-care?
Self- care is what we do to sustain our beings. At a minimum we should be gifting ourselves with appropriate body movement, water, food, and sleep each day. On a great day with no mental or physical stress, we may find that the aforementioned is all we need. However, for many of us those days may only be found on vacation. As a result we need to do more to restore our peace. How we do this can be as unique as we are.
Research shows that for many, such things as mindfulness, smiling, laughing, dancing, yoga, deep breathing, soaking in cold water, hugs, eating healthy, time in the sun, and restorative sleep are all powerful acts of self-care. However, each of us has our “thing” that can reset our peace. This could be anything from reading for a few minutes, yelling into a pillow, or getting your hair done.
How do you build self care into your schedule so it doesn’t become a task?
First, recognize that we do this naturally. When our bodies are physically taxed we may eat and drink more. When we have a difficult day we may process it in our heads or to someone else. In those moments of reaching for something more to help you release, be mindful to engage in self-loving behaviors and not detrimental behaviors. You can add these things to your daily habits. If you normally sleep seven hours, work on adding an additional 15 minutes each night. Similarly, you can add a few additional ounces of water or minutes of physical activity to your day. Also, adding joy to mundane tasks can be restorative. Light candles while paying bills, listen to a meditation in the shower, listen to an audio book while you work.
How can you recommend self care to others without being offensive?
Live YOUR best life! Be great and others will see it. When you are confident in how you care for yourself people will notice. If you wish to be more direct invite the person to join you in an activity or simply share this article with them.
Are there any dangers of self care?
Yes! While it is wonderful, necessary, and a part of daily life it can become unhealthy. Anything done to prolonged exclusion of other needed things is detrimental.
What do you wish people knew about the practice of self care?
We do it all the time! We already know the power of getting a big loving hug, laughing out loud with friends or alone, turning up tunes and singing or dancing until our mood shifts. It is not new. What is new is our deeper awareness of stress and its impact on our bodies and minds. Stress and trauma eats away at our quality of life. As they increase, our self-care ought to increase. As they decrease, if we keep our self-care stable it will help fortify us for the next thing life tosses our way.
Visit Finding Serenity to learn more about Dr. Nickesha Riggins and her practice.