As black women, the experiences we face are unique and somehow we endure it all. Our strength is something to be envied, but sometimes I know I take on more than I can handle. I’m sure I’m not the only one.
How can we help it? We’ve seen it in every aspect of our lives. Our family life, our favorite television shows (I love my Scandal…), in music, everywhere! WE couldn’t escape the typecasting if we tried.
The strength is a positive, but in many cases, it can be to our detriment, as individuals and as a community. The strong black women that have carried me through my life have all given so much of themselves, and left not much for themselves. I watched my mom work herself from an immigrant washing dishes, through nursing school and a masters later in her 50s, to retiring as a business owner building and owning apartment complexes in a foreign country.
She has literally done it all.
But I also watched her stress manifest itself into high blood pressure and sarcoidosis, an auto-immune disease exacerbated by stress.
Thankfully, she got her health back on track by taking the time to give her body what it has needed for so many years. Some proper TLC. She no longer has any symptoms and she’s almost completely weened herself off of the blood pressure medication.
She began, and still continues to exercise often, stopped worrying about unimportant things, and changed her eating. I’m talking, no more grocery stores. Somehow she found an Amish community out in the wilderness and began purchasing fresh, antibiotic and hormone-free meat and pesticide-free produce from them. I found out later that they don’t normally sell their produce, but enjoyed her company so much, that they now have weekly dinners. If you knew my mom, this wouldn’t be surprising!
I’m rambling… but the point is… she made the necessary changes.
It’s never too late, but the sooner we recognize what our body needs, we drastically increase the chances of turning health scares around. Or having no health scares at all.
Now don’t let my mom’s enthusiastic transition overwhelm you. Small changes are just as significant and will get you headed in the right direction.
Recently I came across another TedTalk (when am I not listening to TedTalks?!) talking about the importance of getting black women out and walking through a program called GirlTrek.
Statistically, black women are dying at an alarming rate due to heart disease and stress. Shouldering the burdens of life and not taking time for self-care are large contributors to this growing pattern.
Members of GirlTrek have decided that self-care is self-love, and the importance of making a commitment to themselves and their health. They show how creating a small walking routine can
I honor my commitment to myself by strength training 3x a week, whether its at my local gym or resistance bands at home, when i’m feeling lazyyyy.
Just like those GirlTrek girls, loving yourself means tending to yourself.
How’s the weather today? Commit to 20 minutes daily and see where it takes you!
In what ways do you get moving? What quick workouts do you do when you’re short on time?