Self-Care Tips for 2017

IMG_5228.JPGI first learned the term “Self-Care” in 2016 while at Blavity’s first Women’s Conference called “Empower Her.” I listened intently to a group of panelist, zeroing in on Francheska of HeyFranHey as she discussed self-care and the importance of taking a break from the world when it gets tough. Some of her tips included: (1) Turning Off Your Phone (2) Meditating (3) Nice Baths – I thought it was awesome. You can read some more about her tips here in this recent article published by the Huffington Post Black Voices. Hey Fran Hey, inspired me to create 5-self-care tips of my own that I want to share with you guys for 2017:

  1. Pray (Church): First, let me address what church does for me. Even before I was a believer, I always went to church. Initially, I was forced by my mother but eventually it became a personal choice. I would go after spending all night out at a party, I would go when, I knew I was doing everything God didn’t want me to do, it didn’t matter. There was something captivating about it. The peace I had as the service ended, feeling more encouraged to tackle the cruel world eventually had an affect on me. Today, it still serves as my refuge. A place where I can lift my hands and worship Jesus through song and prayer for all he’s brought me through. As I mature in my walk with Christ, I realize that I don’t have to get down on my knees to talk to God, I can talk to him throughout the day, when I’m in the elevator, on the train, at work, in my head, out loud, it doesn’t matter, because he’s always there. Sometimes saying a simple prayer about whatever is bothering me, makes me feel better. Sometimes, reading a spiritually based devotional or the bible makes me feel better too. I feel like prayer is a very important self-care tip, if not the most important because you have the security in knowing that you are not alone. God see’s everything; he knows what you’re going through before you even say it.
  2. Limit Social Media Intake: Notice I said limit, I didn’t say get rid of completely (although for some people that works for them). For me, social media has become a part of my life. It’s where I discover news, and keep up to date with my family and  friends, in reality I don’t want to rid myself of it entirely, but I understand that if I spend too much time on it, it becomes overwhelming. I also know how draining it is to follow people who only post negative or nonsensical things. So, if you’re like me try limiting your social media intake. Spend10-15minutes on Facebook or Instagram a day. Unfollow the people who annoy you for a peace of mind and keep it moving.
  3. Read a book: I love reading so this might be a bit self-indulgent but getting sucked into an amazing novel is one of the best feelings ever. I always feel most accomplished and fulfilled after I finish a great book. It definitely helps to take your mind off of everything else.
  4. Positive Vibes: Hanging out with people who have amazing vibes is one of the best feelings in the world. Discovering a new restaurant or spot that has dope vibes is equally as amazing. Being surrounded by positivity is one of the best self-care tips I can suggest for anyone. Self-care doesn’t always mean you’re isolated and alone. It has taken on a new meaning for me in recent months as I discovered a tribe of women who I can just be transparent with, letting my hair down, discussing insecurities and imperfections and not feeling judged according to my flaws. I can’t emphasize the importance of positive vibes in everything you do whether it’s the friends you choose, the people you choose to work with, or even the places you spend a night on the town at. You make the choice, and the choice has to be one that makes you feel good.
  5. Activities: I dance in the mirror. It’s something that I do. I like looking at myself while I dance. It makes me happy. Weird quirks aside, I like to paint, take a class that builds a skill (TV Writing, DJ’ing, Cooking), take myself out to dinner or a movie, write, exercise (Don’t sleep on a Twerkout or Aerial Yoga), make collages, watch DVDs…basically, I do anything that makes me feel good. I try not to limit myself and what I do and you shouldn’t either!

What are some of your self-care tips?

Lost Sheep

Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. -Luke 15:1-7

Lost sheep. I was the lost sheep that Jesus talks about in the parable. I remember the very day when I wanted to be redeemed. I’ll have to save some of the details for when I eventually write my book (total plug), but I was in my bed at Penn State University. My “boy-friend” at the time just left after a weekend of total sin. He wasn’t really my boyfriend but we were together for two years. He strung me along, and claimed he wasn’t ready for a relationship. In all actuality he was ready for a relationship, he just wasn’t ready for one with me. My soul was spent. I felt dirty. I felt like I was sleeping with a demon. I felt low, unworthy, soiled, disgusting. I can’t describe the feeling but I had the weight of sin all over me. I cried from day to night. I felt so alone in that empty room in Pennsylvania. The feeling was indescribable. I called on God. Help me lord. Get me out of this situation. Get the pain that I am feeling in my heart and chest out. Make me whole again. Nothing changed, I felt the same. I eventually went in the shower to try and wash off all remnants of him. I was with a man who wouldn’t even give me a title, yet I just spent the weekend giving him all of me. I would do anything for him. I was like the girl in Coming to America, who barked on Prince Zamunda’s command. If I noticed he was going to the strip club too often, I turned into the stripper. When he demeaned me I tried to change myself so I could be more acceptable in his eyes. Every day that we spent not in a relationship but doing relationship things weighed on my confidence. I knew I deserved someone to respect me enough to claim me but I couldn’t break the shackles of this soul tie. It was a strong soul tie indeed. Continue reading “Lost Sheep”

You Are Worthy To Be Praised!

I found the original recording to my favorite song ever. I heard it for the first time last year when I started attending Tuesday night prayer meetings at my church, The Brooklyn Tabernacle. A warmth came over me. I couldn’t help but to cry and lift my hands up high. Feelings of unworthiness overcame me. My knees slowly dropped to the floor.

You are Alpha and Omega

We worship you our lord

You are worthy to be praised

We give you All the Glory

Just four simple lines to a hymn changed my life. My whole walk with Christ was reformed because of the anointing on this song. He loves us so much. I felt reassured watching others in this video with the same reaction as I have when hearing this; Uncontrollable tears. There’s something about this record. Not even Israel Houghton could get through his own song. Now you know there’s power in it. I give God all the glory; He saved me. He loves me.

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