I’m a single 25-year-old black woman. I moved away from my family after graduating from college with a BA in Political Science. I’m currently a Program Director for a non-profit organization that focuses on comprehensive community development.
At first, I used to think that in order to practice self-care, you had to spend tons of money. However, self-care really is just about taking care of yourself both mentally, physically, spiritually, and everything else in between.
I like to take a more holistic approach when it comes to taking care of myself. For example, I make it a point to go to the doctor and dentist regularly. I also enjoy biking and exercise. We often don’t realize how taking care of our physical bodies is linked to everything else, including our mental health. I used to struggle with fatigue, moodiness, and often times feeling sad. I decided to go to the doctor and told them what was going on. They ordered blood work and that’s when they let me know that my Vitamin D and iron levels were extremely low. Once I started taking supplements for this I saw a huge change in my mental health.
There are several different areas concerning self-care, we asked Dejah which ones stick out to her and if she has any advice to give to others.
Practical – go to the doctor, dentist, and/or therapist. Sometimes we’re experiencing things because we’re neglecting basic care for our health. Things like drinking enough water, a healthy diet, and making sure our body gets all the vitamins and nutrients it needs to function properly.
Physical- get your body moving, it helps your brain and body!
Mental- Go to therapy when you need it, journal, or take digital breaks when you can.
Social- It’s nice to go out, but sometimes if I over socialize I get drained so I’ll plan specific nights in which I only spend time with myself.
Spiritual- I’m a Christian so I do find that journaling my prayers followed by some worship music and bible reading really helps me shift my perspective. This is probably the most important to me because it flows and guides all other aspects of my self-care. Usually, if I’m feeling off the first thing I’ll check is the health of my spiritual life.
One last question for Dejah was how she could encourage others to start caring for themselves, and this was her response – Plan time by yourself and commit to not letting anyone or anything interrupt that time. Always look for the things you personally like to do without the influence of others and implement them into your routine. Self-care isn’t as difficult as we make it. Just do what works best for you and remember that you can’t help others or be your best self if you’re not your healthiest self.