How Black women are redefining ‘wellness’ in the face of racial trauma and injustice

Then I read a verse or text from the Bible. And I make a list in my gratitude journal of at least five things I’m grateful for and that really sets the tone for the rest of the day. So even if the day goes sideways, I can think back to my journal jotting from that morning, or the verse I read from the Bible and be like, “Okay, put yourself back in perspective.” From today,” she adds.

“So affirmations really come into play, and it’s just thinking about how you go about your day and how you get there.”

It is important to note, however, that wellness requires that you be honest with yourself about how life is going. Social media has played a huge role in promoting toxic positivity. Ultimately, platforms like Instagram are often a reel to highlight only the good but not the bad. “I surround myself with people who don’t look toxic,” Gabrielle says.

She points out quotes like “good feelings only” as shallow and counterproductive. “That’s fine, but how will this help me in my self-care practice, and how can I apply this to my daily life?”

“Realists know and accept the fact that they will have good days and bad days, and that’s okay. It’s part of the human experience.” She refers to her friends as her “spiritual brothers” who encourage her to practice self-care for herself, and she mentions her husband and parents, who are part of her support system.

24-year-old Rufa does not recognize the wellness thoughts she sees. “It feels like a really airy, fantasy commodity concept. I realize that at its core wellness is about health holistically. Mind, body, and spirit. But it really feels like every time I hear the word wellness, it’s being used to sell something, so I break with it,” she says. .

“Not everyone wants to do meditation, some people just want to take kickboxing classes in the gym and that’s totally meditative. But wellness has been described as intense and capitalistic.”

I remembered this scent from Gwyneth Paltrow as My Vagina Candle which retails for £75. Lighting a candle to help you relax isn’t inherently bad, but there is a narrative that you have to spend money on the best products when you feel that they are affordable. These products are often marketed to white women, and ironically also, in 2018, Gwyneth Paltrow claimed to have popularized yoga, failing to identify its origins in North India.

Ruva has a different idea of ​​self-care and wellness and says that sometimes you just need to do the practical things. “I once heard someone say that self-care is something you will thank you for in the future. For me, it’s often about getting things done. People sometimes say, ‘Self-care is a bath,’ but sometimes I need to do the things I’m supposed to do out so that I don’t get nervous in the future.”

Ruva also mentions taking time for herself and rejecting it as a way to practice self-care. She laughs, “The joy of being lost.” “I’m very fortunate to have a great friendship group, but they are very social, and sometimes I just need not to see people.”

When she is ready to get back socially, she appreciates the “romance” she has in her friendships and loves to prioritize “dating friends”.

Loren echoes this feeling of kindness to yourself, and she’s a proponent of not waiting until you feel you “deserve” something before you get your face done, give yourself a pedicure, or get your hair cut. “Wellness means not associating ourselves with our productivity.”

Black women are redefining what it means to be good in their own unique way, drawing boundaries and being kind to ourselves just for that. As Lauren says, the mindset shouldn’t be: “I’ve done five hours of work, and then I deserve a shower or and then I deserve my hair done.”