As a Black woman who is a wife and mom of two daughters, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to prioritize self-care. With the demands of work, family, and the world around us, it’s easy to put ourselves last on the to-do list. But after going through three years of fertility treatments, having a baby during a pandemic, and putting on weight, I realized that something needed to change. In December 2022, I decided to make some changes and be intentional about my self-care. Here are some tips that worked for me:
Why Self-care is Important as a Black Mom
As Black moms, we carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We’re expected to be strong, nurturing, and selfless, but we can’t fill from an empty cup. Prioritizing self-care is not only beneficial for us but also for our families. When we take care of ourselves, we’re better equipped to take care of those around us.
Related: Are you Burned Out Mom? Self-Care for Busy Moms
What Self-care Looks Like for Me
Here are some self-care ideas that worked for me:
Eating healthy – I consume a mostly pescatarian diet, and I still use the Care/Of supplements and protein powder. By making healthy food choices, I feel better both physically and mentally.
Working out – I committed to working out to get back in shape and be stronger. I started with 30 minutes a day and worked my way up to 1-hour workouts using the Peloton app, which I get for free through my health insurance.
Taking care of my hair and skin – Pregnancy and childbirth do a number on both your skin and hair. My hair began to thin around the edges and shed, while my skin broke out in tiny bumps. To tackle these issues, I got serious about sticking to my skincare routine and I revised it with old favorites from Paula’s Choice and added new products from Korres. I started getting my hair braided again and made sure the vitamin pack I chose from Care/of included vitamins that would promote healthy hair and growth.
Achieving long-time goals – One of my longtime goals was to obtain the Certified Professional in Healthcare Quality Certification to propel my career forward. I studied for six months and passed the exam with flying colors. I also set a goal to learn SQL, which I achieved by earning the Google Data Analytics Certification.
Leisure reading – I promised to get back to reading, especially after studying for the CPHQ certification exam for six months. Our trip to St. Maarten was the perfect opportunity to start. My book of choice was Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen. Unfortunately, on day two of our trip, I lost the book. But I did pick up another copy when we got back and finished it.
Hanging out with friends – With the weather warming up, I’m intentionally making plans to enjoy outdoor dining with my girls. After nearly 24/7 with my toddler, while working from home, I need adult face-to-face time with my friends.
Related: Top 5 Reasons Moms Need a Girlfriends Getaway
Setting boundaries – I’ve been intentional about setting boundaries to prioritize my emotional and mental well-being.
All these things have made me begin to feel like me again.
What Self-care May Look Like for You
Self-care can look different for everyone. Find what works for you. Be intentional about it. Do it. Whether it’s taking a bubble bath, going for a walk, or taking a dance class, make self-care a priority. As moms, we deserve it. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself so that you can take care of those you love.
Related: Self-Care Checklist for the New Year
Taking care of yourself as a mom is not always easy, but it is essential. It’s easy to forget the promises we make to ourselves when we’re juggling so many responsibilities. But the truth is, we are capable of doing hard things, and we owe it to ourselves and our families to make our health and well-being a priority. Each day, I do my best to take care of myself physically, emotionally, and mentally, and I encourage you to do the same. Remember that self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary for us to be the best version of ourselves for our loved ones. So, let’s commit to showing ourselves the same love and care that we give to others, and let’s embrace the journey of rediscovering who we are and what makes us happy. We got this!