What does practicing radical self-care as a black woman even look like these days? I pondered this for a while and my cut and radical belief about this is pretty simple.
To be radical while practicing self-care is to be someone whose basic needs are non-negotiable. It’s a part of the deal. If I don’t fulfill my basic needs, you’re not going to get the very best version of me, point blank.
What Does Practicing Radical Self-Care Like?
For many black women, it’s letting go of the preconceived notion that all we do is persevere and take it.
It’s being a rebel and telling your white boss, neighbor, a relative, that your needs matter too.
I remember when I first heard of this term and realized how far removed I was from it.
Don’t get me wrong, I understand the term but I was not practicing what I was preaching.
Now, radical self-care includes speaking my truth and telling my white counterparts what is and what isn’t acceptable.
How Do You Practice Radical Self-Care?
Day by day, you just do it. Even when you are afraid to ruffle some feathers, do it anyway.
For me, it looked like saying ‘no more,’ not responding to work-related text messages on the weekend, clearing my throat, and speaking up for myself, even if it raised some eyebrows.
I have to admit, I’ve gotten quite good at it and I like to remind those that my needs involve you not running all over me.
Black women’s wellness practices are every bit radical and necessary. You have every right to take care of yourself and perform the necessary black women self-care practices to ensure your needs are being met.
Our Health Is My Priority And That is Radical Self-Care
Radical self-care is important for black women because it affects our health and that, is my business. I was just reminded by my braider that stress is a silent killer and this is especially true for black women.
During the most stressful periods in my life, I wasn’t getting my basic needs. I wasn’t sleeping or eating food when I needed the energy to do my job and I wasn’t meeting my water goal for the day.
This was not okay and I knew that’s where radical self-care became a non-negotiable for me. I’m sure we all know black women that literally sacrifice their bodies for the “greater good” and it maddens me.
It saddens me that we are the ones that get the job done and yet, the health of our bodies is being compromised. Black women’s radical self-care starts with acknowledging what you will and won’t allow in your space.
In The Most Difficult Times, Black Women Need To Practice Radical
We’ve come so far since Audre Lorde muttered that revolutionizing quote meant for black women. Radical self-care is creating boundaries meant to protect your wellness, don’t give up on your needs.
When faced with adversity, your self-care practices matter so much. It shouldn’t surprise you that practicing self-care should always include your basic needs first.
Black women’s wellness encompasses meeting your basic necessities and setting firm boundaries with others. It means wellness holidays like world mental health day are so important for people of color.
African American women need to prioritize their health on their best day so, during difficult times, they have tools to pull from.
Why Addressing Your Basic Needs As A Black Woman With Radical Self-Care Matters More
As a black woman faced with the daily stressors of seeing black people mistreated, I need to ensure that those basic needs are being met. This includes eating, sleeping, drinking water, limiting time on my phone, and watching the news that upset me.
On my worst day, I want to be able to state that at least my basic needs were addressed. If you don’t, then your health suffers. Heart disease is more prevalent in black women than in white women.
We also tend to hold off on taking care of ourselves in other ways, like regularly exercising. If there’s any group of women that needs to practice radical self-care, it’s us.
If you are a black woman reading this, invest in your care because you need you.
Love this. I think many of us don’t realize how far removed we are from radical self-care (raises hand) this post is a great reminder.
Hey Trish! You are absolutely right, I hadn’t realized it either until I did some digging. This post was a great reminder to ourselves at just how imperative self-care is for black women compared to other women groups.