I love that we are all on the topic of self-care! I believe, especially for WOC, who are often impacted by the Superwoman Schema (aka Strong Black Woman Syndrome) self-care is definitely something we need to prioritize. For WOC, lack of self-care is truly killing us. WOC, particularly Black Women, are at the bottom of many health outcomes. We are at the highest risk for obesity, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, depression, anxiety, and heart disease. Much of which is attributed to diet and lifestyle habits. With more and more WOC coming into wellness spaces, previously whitewashed and less occupied by POC, and marking them as their own, we are seeing a huge rise in self-care practices and overall better health.
While we are all talking about self-care, and how important it is for women of color to prioritize their self-care… let me hop in real quick and say, we also need our self-care to be a part of something much bigger, a daily wellness practice. Too often what I notice in my line of work is people practicing self-care on an inconsistent basis, or doing things that can be classified as “grooming”, and then labeled as self-care. Self-care is not a one time thing, nor it is a solitary practice you do every so often. Instead, I encourage those I work with to adopt a daily wellness routine. This is a practice that happens on a consistent day to day basis, thus making it a daily routine.
I know you hear routine, and think about how boring it is to do the same thing everyday. But truuuuuust, that is not what I am talking about here. Well.. kind of, but not really. Yes, there are some aspects about having a daily wellness routine that is redundant. However, your routine can be tweaked to fit your needs, desires and lifestyle to make it less redundant. These set of practices are uniquely curated to fit you and make sense for your life. For example, exercise can be an element in your routine, and when we think of exercise we tend to automatically think going to the gym. However, not everyone likes to work out or wants to go to the gym everyday. So instead, I encourage women I work with to think of exercise as a call to just move your body. Daily body movement does not have to look the same every day; one day could be dancing, another taking a walk or practicing yoga. You fit your routine to what makes sense for you!
Daily wellness routines are important for many reasons, and have tons of benefits. A wellness routine involves every facet of your day and works to transform it into a life that is naturally healthy, rich and meaningful. One of the things that often deter us from having daily routines (as much as they have been accredited to be what successful billionaires use to keep them sane and rich), is the fact that we think routines are too rigid and too structured, that we want freedom throughout the day. You know, I used to think that too; I wanted to be a free bird! Until I found that I was wasting a lot of time, resources and energy not having a daily wellness routine. In fact, I found that incorporating a daily wellness routine into my life was what kept me sane, healthy and yes, you guessed it, FREE! The key for me was developing a daily routine that’s flexible enough to allow intuition, flow and creation to kick in. Once that happened, I found so much freedom in my days. I was up early, (not that you have to be up at 6am either to have a daily wellness routine) had most of my tasks done by 2pm and could spend the rest of my day doing as I pleased. Granted I’m an entrepreneur who works mostly from home, but even when I had a 9-5, having a daily wellness routine is what saved me!
Having a daily wellness routine can save you too! Especially if you are someone who is finding yourself stuck in a rut and feeling like no matter what you do during the day, you just can’t seem to get ahead and it always feels like you are running on an empty gas tank. Sis, stop… please stop! You get nowhere fast like that! This sort of lifestyle leads to those aforementioned health outcomes. Having a daily wellness routine helps with alleviating and managing depression, anxiety and stress. And seriously, there are some dope secret benefits to having a daily wellness practice, here are a few:
- Provide an anchor of stability and predictability
- Find what works for you and there is no huge efforting on your part
- Creates more time to do what you’re passionate about
- You check more things off your to-do list
- Help you break self-limiting habits
- Help to reduce procrastination
- Increase joy
- Help with trauma-related symptoms and stressors
How could you not want a daily wellness routine after all that? In one article published by Northwestern Medicine, they found that people who don’t have any type of routine suffer from:
- Stress. No routine often means having the constant worry of “when will I get it all done.”
- Poor sleep. Without a daily routine at work and/or home, you may find yourself playing catch-up with yesterday’s to-do list. If you’re always behind on what should have been done the day before, you’re likely also staying awake worrying about what didn’t.
- Poor eating. Unhealthy diets (like eating lots of fast food) become the norm if there isn’t time scheduled for grocery shopping. Quick, unhealthy substitutes become the next best food option.
- Poor physical condition. Working out usually requires some advance planning.
- Ineffective use of time. Often, no routine means you simply run out of time, leaving things undone and not making the most of your time.
I know this to be true because I was there, and often felt this way. If the above sounds like you, perhaps a daily wellness routine is exactly what you need.