I posted a Tweet in September 2019 (shown below) about the microaggressions black women often face in the workplace. The responses and comments I received really did show me that managing our wellbeing is so important.
Hearing about these microagressions made me think again about we can do take care of ourselves – to be self-reliant especially when the white world doesn’t support us.
We live in a time of change – where we have more and can be more than our mothers or foremothers ever dreamed of. But taking care of ourselves has got to come first. So here’s the things I think we can start with:
1. Yes we’ve got through January but don’t panic if you haven’t completed all of your news years resolutions. Give yourself time to think, plan and decide what you want to achieve this year and beyond
2. Rest – yes rest. Obvious I know but easier said than done. Your sleep – ask for help if you can’t sleep. Be honest if you can’t rest – what’s causing it? Job anxiety or relationship stress? Past traumas? Also taking the type of rest where you just take time out; switch off the mobile or take a Sunday afternoon and read that book.
Your hair – long or short, your broad nose, the curve of your hips and your skin dark or light. You deserve to love every part of yourself.
Eating, drinking your way to wellbeing
3. Self-care is discipline – I love the term self-care and I’m also on journey to do more of what’s good for my mind and body. We see all the social media messages about bubble baths, massages and exercise. But I realised and accepted that self-care is discipline. If you really want better for yourself, you have to do better. While you take action to do better, set the dates and timelines against it – target dates. This is the discipline that ensures you do it and can measure progress.
4. Pay attention to what you eat and drink. There’s something to be said for eating well majority of the time and cutting back on alcohol. I love chocolate, cake, pizza and depriving yourself is no fun. But finding ways to eat healthy and enjoy treats is better for your health – mind and body.
Microaggressions at work
5. Be honest about the microagressions at work. Are you happy with your job or career path? If you have a solid career path and are suppported I applaud you and go get it girl. But if going to work makes you feel like you’re walking into a battle, you have to make your wellbeing a priority. I know what it’s like to fight corporate battles and I’m not telling to to give up. But find ways to talk to someone about the battle you face, make a plan for whether you decide to stay or leave the company. Make your self-care a priority.
But I realised and accepted that self-care is discipline. If you really want better for yourself, you have to do better.
How’s your connections?
6. Connection: I’m talking about valuable, solid friendships and family. These are the friends who will tell you the truth and applaud your success, even when things aren’t going great for them. Make the time to meet, discuss world affairs, give eachother advice and laugh – because laughing with a good friend is invaluable.
Family – The people who know you best and will always have your back. Yeah sometimes you might clash but real decent family should be there to support you no matter what.
Wellbeing is self-preservation and survival
7. Avoid toxic people. Bearing in mind everything I said in the point above, sometimes toxic people include friends and/or family. There will be times that you have to decide whether you want to maintin contact with toxic people. You will have to evaluate if their behaviour and its negative affects are good for you mentally or emotionally.
How much should you take or put up with? But I truly believe if these people continue to hurt, undermine or demean you then you must consider keeping a distance for your wellbeing. Self-preservation is often the key to survival and is needed here.
Self-love & self-care are sisters
8. Take care of your finances. Any of us can fall into debt or have difficult times. I’ve been out of work, while the bills still came through the letterbox- so can speak from experience. But as soon as you can, work on minimising and eliminating debt. Seek help and advice if you are in difficulties. Can you upskill yourself in any way to get a better paid job? Or have a side hustle that will get you out of debt?
9. Fall in love with yourself. Your hair – long or short, your broad nose, the curve of your hips and your skin dark or light. You deserve to love every part of yourself. Just know your God blessed beauty is good enough. Whoever doesn’t love or want you – it’s their loss. Just make sure you love yourself.
My last piece of wellbeing advice – know you are good enough.
10. Imposter syndrome can affect the most confident person. When we live in a world that can think less of a black women, if we don’t feel good enough will add to a sense of being a failure. So despite any failures or plans that haven’t worked out, just know you are good enough to do and achieve whatever you want for your life.
What’s your wellbeing advice for black women?
Have I missed anything? Please add you comment below or share this with your sister, friend – above all we need to speak more about a Black Woman’s wellbeing and what we’re doing to make this our priority.