Few days ago I posted a survey, asking you what is your focus for 2018 – Health/Wellbeing, Finances, Career, Relationships. I know it’s hard to separate them all, ‘cause I’m planning to make changes that overlap all these areas.
My health is a big focus for me, so today I started working on this 2018 goal by having a massage – it was absolute heaven ?
Appointment for our wellbeing
It made me think that it’s like making an appointment for my taking care of myself. You know how we make appointments to go to the dentist or hairdressers. Why not make appointments for our health too?
A legacy of struggle
Us black women know how to struggle and keep going at the most difficult times. From the struggles our foremothers endured during slavery to the modern day problems we often have when we find ourselves struggling financially – Yes a black woman knows how to fight, stress and make the best of difficult times.
But I often wonder if we make doing that ‘bit more’ to take care of ourselves a priority? You know, doing more than just eating, sleeping, sorting out everyone else & running to work.
I know what it’s like to come from a family that didn’t have much money; we had everything we needed but there weren’t luxuries. I’m sure my story isn’t much different to a lot of working class, ethnic minority families who came to the UK for a better life and struggled at times to make it happen. I know that our mothers often didn’t have a lot- manicures, massages, spa days weren’t part of their schedule. But putting food on the table, working shifts and juggling family demands took priority.
Fighting for our wellbeing
I remember on a previous visit to Barbados, speaking with an elderly great Aunt. She talked about family stories and memories. What struck me was when she talked about ‘working the land’ – i.e. when she was younger she would spend her days digging and planting – working like a man in the field under the hot Barbadian sun. This reminded me how us black people are coming from a legacy of struggle – where our women were not being pampered and today, we at times can still struggle with this.
Why our wellbeing must become a priority
But here we are today, with more chances and opportunities and I truly believe we owe it to our foremothers to do more with and for our wellbeing.
From the reported higher breast cancer rates among black women to probability of us having fibroids (when compared to white women), it cannot be a coincidence that a lifelong mindset and lifestyle of struggle are not causing these illnesses in us.
Yes I’m just like you – trying to achieve more, sometimes working long hours, juggling priorities, paying the bills and worrying when there’s more ‘money than month’! So I stand in the same shoes as you. But improving our wellbeing will do so much for our physical, emotional and mental health. Something we need more than ever these days.
But whatever you are doing now or today, let me suggest that you take that walk, watch that silly movie and laugh or go for that manicure. Yes girl you deserve to take care of you!
So whatever your focus is for 2018, I hope you put your wellbeing on the list and stick to it too. Leave a comment below – what’s going to be your wellbeing focus for 2018?