Last Thursday was a tumultuous day for several of us. After a week of horrible, gut-wrenching reports of state-sanctioned violence, black men and women brutally murdered at the hands of law enforcement officers for petty offenses and retraumatized via the media–we really all needed to breathe. People of color, black women in particular, are not afforded a chance to recover from the shockwaves of violence, grief, and fear incited against our own. A collective Selah moment was in order–thankfully, Nia Phillips, founder of #CreativeSmartGirl, and her guests Brittany Josephina, Wilsar Johnson, Lauren Ash, Yetunde Ajayi-Obe and Chastity Cooper, offered us just that.
We discussed how to engage self-care in the midst of hustler culture, and political chaos:
On making self-care a part of your lifestyle:
- Self-care is self-preservation. It’s restorative, allowing for a preventative release and affirmation.
- It is imperative that we learn how to prioritize ourselves, our needs and work towards holistic health.
On prioritizing self-care as a creative and entrepreneur:
- Allot time for self to regroup, renew and refresh. –Chastity Cooper
- Take breaks from social media–it places too much emphasis on insignificant things.
- Take time in your day before you are bombarded with work–establish a morning routine that smooths your transition into the day.
“Break down monthly goals into small weekly bullet points. Tasks are achieveable with time to breathe.” –Oheneba Sankofa
- Listen to your body/mind: Warnings I’m off-kilter and in need of rest: I’m snappy, strained, drained, juggling too many things, and lacking focus.
On managing guilt from prioritizing self over work, family and deadlines:
True friends honor your commitments to yourself.–Lauren Ash
- Creativity suffers when your focus is divided.
- Schedule and plan time to spend with friends and family to let them know they are still a priority. –Anekia Nicole
“‘No’ is a full sentence.” —Shonda Rhimes
- Understand where that pressure is rooted: pride, perfectionism, attempts to manipulate, selfishness, insecurity, an inaccurate assessment of your worth (ie: performance-based). Give yourself and others some grace.
On making improvements since implementing self-care:
- Workouts help get past the mid-noon slump; they reenergize you…Take care of your body! –Wilsar
SLEEP + LACK = SLACK. —Kiyla Monet
- Self-care enables you to make time for the most important tasks and projects without overcomitting to satisfy egos, thanks to time management and boundaries. 🙂
“It doesn’t have me feeling like the world owes me something.” —Nefertiti Anderson
On the role self-care plays in maintaining mental health and wellness:
- Breathing and taking up space allows you to find comfort in sharing your gift with the world. –Ashley J.H.
- Be on purpose!
“The messages we get say that WOC are not important. That takes a toll mentally, emotionally…” —Shannon Franklin
The clincher question of the night:
What is currently missing from the self-care, mental health and wellness space for overwhelmed creatives and entrepreneurs?
- Self-care is overused and losing its meaning, in need of personal redefinition.
- Superwoman super-shero syndrome has GOT to go!
- We’re lacking honesty and transparency. What about the bad days?
- Sister circles…self-care can be practiced with others. –Brittany Josephina
- Open forums to state if you are struggling with a lack of self-care –Chivon John
- Unhurried conferences with break out sessions, few panelists, and lots of time to chill–Ingrid Green
Misunderstanding: POC, especially WOC suffer mental illness the most! Most WOC diagnoses go untreated.
- Being unabashed and unapologetic when discussing mental health
I learned tons from some fabulous ladies. Safe to say we all felt a bit more loved and encouraged that night. 🙂
Challenge: What do you think is missing in the self-care, mental health and wellness space for creatives and entrepreneurs of color?
Join me and #CultureFix on Twitter tomorrow at 3 p.m. EST/ 2 p.m. Central/ 12 noon PST, where we discuss Career, Anxiety, and When Art Is Not Enough. It’s gonna be a blast!