As a girl-friend (not girlfriend), the week of Valentines Day is always rough. Valentines Day is a troublemaker when you’re in a relationship or in a situationship because men either don’t pick up on the clues or don’t acknowledge you or the day at all and either situation is problematic to a woman. As much as we say we don’t like Valentines Day (I am not included in this narrative), some women still want to be acknowledged and appreciated. Some women want to know that they are worthy. Some women want to know they are not giving their all without something in return. I think the general consensus is being acknowledged on valentines day doesn’t have to equate a big elaborate gift. It can be as simple as a rose, a poem, a box of candy, or a thoughtful card. Yet, this goes over a lot of guy’s head and they might send a text (and that’s it) or act like the day never happened and call you the next day like “What’s up?”
So, as you can imagine there were a lot of fires that I needed to put out that weekend following the big V. It’s important that my friends, other women, and even myself know that we are worthy. What does being worthy mean? It means that as an individual you are an amazing person that deserves everything your heart desires. You deserve the recognition and the acknowledgement that you want and if you’re not getting it then you have to make some adjustments in your life.
Valentines day also helps to put a lot of relationships into perspective. Needless to say I received a lot of calls from fed up friends who were ready to just let it all go and move on from a relationship. My only advice there is Make sure you clean out your closet before jumping into another relationship.
What that means is check yourself. Sometimes we have the tendency to jump in relationships and make the same mistakes with the next guy because there’s something within us, maybe insecurity or a soul tie, maybe we haven’t dealt with past hurts or rejection that we don’t want to resonate. Cleaning house means taking the time after a relationship ends to work on you and build a stronger relationship with God. It means directing your focus away from someone else and giving it all to yourself and what makes you happy; building yourself up so you can be a better person and girlfriend or wife (since that’s the goal for most women) the next time around.
I 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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?