Self Care for Black Girls



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We get so busy sometimes that we forget to take care of ourselves.   This happens to everyone but if you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be able to live your best life.  Sometimes when we hear the word “self-care,” we think of going  away for a weekend getaway or having an entire day of pampering  with massages, facials, and beauty treatments. All these things are amazing but they are also very expensive.   I’ve listed some simple and best of all free ways of pampering yourself and practicing good self care.

It’s  important to remember that self-care also means  taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.   Here  are five free ways you can practice self-care daily or at least a few days a week because you deserve  to take time for yourself.

1. Meditation and yoga.

This doesn’t have to be long; even 10 or 15 minutes will help.  This  will  bring you more calm and inner peace and it also helps you live in the moment and brings your mind, body, and spirit in harmony.


2. Exercise.

We all know  there are the physical benefits, but other benefits of working out include improving your mood and reducing stress, promoting better sleep, and making you feel happier.  You can work out at home or take a nice walk.


 3. Read

Reading is one of my favorite self-care practices.  I enjoy reading  fiction, inspirational memoirs and autobiographies/biographies. Reading often  reduces stress and puts you in a better mood,  and can improve your focus, and  also can help to develop your creativity.


4. Spend some time in nature

 Taking a walk in nature can often  improve your mood, and boost your overall well-being.   Walking  outside can also helps you sleep better and gives you a break from technology.


5. Do something that makes you laugh and brings you joy.

In the middle  of our  busy day, it’s  easy to forget to make time for things that make us happy.  Think about  what brings you joy, then make time to do at least one of those things daily.

Sometimes  the best way to make daily self-care a habit is to schedule it. When you’re planning your day or week, write down the activity — or activities — you’ll do;  writing them down will make you more likely to follow thru with them.  Remember to always make time for you.


Loving Yourself as a Black Woman


“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Audre Lorde


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Photo by Godisable Jacob on

Black women we are often portrayed as being unworthy of love.  This is a message we get in media and also larger society.  It’s difficult to not internalize the words of others and believe that you are worthy of love like everyone else.  I’ve struggled with my self esteem and have felt that I wasn’t as pretty or smart as other people however I was lucky to be praised often in my home and that protected me from a larger society where I was always led to think I wouldn’t be the one who was chosen and considered beautiful. When a woman turns on the television or opens a magazine and does not see herself represented or only represented in a negative way, it can leave her feeling like she isn’t beautiful, or maybe she just isn’t worth loving.

A first step to achieving self-love is to acknowledge and list all of the things you love about yourself.  We often spend so much time being critical of ourselves that we forget that there are things that we love about ourselves.  It can be helpful to write a list of things that you love about yourself, and create a list of all of the Black women in your life that inspire you.

Another step is to educate yourself on the Black women who inspire you and/or have changed the course of history.  Remember there are some amazing Black women who have been trailblazers in history. Another step  s is to create goals for yourself and work on achieving those goals.   Remember you deserve success just as much as anyone else.


Finally  it is important to find a space, and create platforms dedicated to you.  This is why it’s important to have spaces dedicated to the upliftment of Black women.   Remember we’re our sister’s keeper.

portrait photo of woman
Photo by Godisable Jacob on


What is Body Dysmorphia?




Body dysmorphia affects many people especially  women.  People with body dysmorphia often can’t stop thinking about one or more perceived defects or flaws in their  appearance.  The  perceived flaw  is either minor or not observable to anyone else.  However they  may feel so ashamed and anxious that they  may avoid many social situations.

A person with body dysmorphia  intensely obsesses over their  appearance and body image,  they may repeatedly check the mirror, groom themselves, weigh themselves or seek reassurance, sometimes for many hours each day.  The repetitive behaviors  can cause  significant distress, and impact their  ability to function in life.  People with body dysmorphia also often compare themselves to others and feel that they will never measure up in appearance to other people.  They also tend to be perfectionists.

Shame and embarrassment about your appearance may keep you from seeking treatment for body dysmorphia.  However if you have any signs or symptoms,  it is  important to seek help from a mental health professional.   Body dysmorphia   usually doesn’t get better on its own, and if untreated, it may get worse over time and may lead  to depression, anxiety and in some cases  may lead to suicidal thoughts and behavior.

While there is no known cause, certain factors seem to increase the risk of developing body dysmorphia.

This is a list of some risk factors:

  • Having blood relatives with body dysmorphia or obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Negative life experiences, such as childhood teasing and trauma
  • Certain personality traits, such as perfectionism
  • Societal pressure or expectations of beauty
  • Having a psychiatric disorder, such as anxiety or depression
One of the specialties of my private practice is body dysmorphia,  I have extensive personal and professional experience with it.  While there is no cure, it is possible to learn techniques to live a full life where you don’t obsess over perceived flaws.

The Myth of the Strong Black Woman

pexels-photo-908309.jpegBlack  women are often portrayed as  fighters with sharp tongues who are ready to fight and cuss a man out at all times.    Sojourner Truth stated, “plowed and planted and gathered into barns and no man could head us.”  Black women are rarely portrayed as soft and gentle and kind and in need of help.  This myth that we have to always be strong has been detrimental to our physical and emotional well being.  We often neglect our health because we feel we have to take care of everyone else and always be strong.  Black women are disproportionately affected by diabetes and hypertension and depression but the idea that we must always be strong keeps many of us from getting the help we need to take care of ourselves.   We never get rest because we feel we have to be strong.  Our strength  also often goes hand in hand with us being perceived as mean, harsh and unfeminine.  Black women are often not treated  the same way as other women because we are often viewed as unlovable.  Unlike other women we’re not often seen as multifaceted, when was the last time you heard the term “Strong White woman” or “Strong Asian Woman”.

It isn’t Black women’s responsibility to end this stereotype however we need to do more to take care of ourselves.    Take the time to make sure you’re eating well, getting enough sleep, getting to the doctor and also a  therapist if needed.  Don’t put everything off until tomorrow because you have to take care of everyone.  You can’t take care of anyone  if you don’t take care of yourself.  Don’t believe the myth that being a strong Black woman means you don’t deserve to get help and  you need to be a work horse for everyone.


Loving Yourself as a Black Woman

pexels-photo-897002.jpegValentine’s Day is around the corner and if you’re not in a relationship sometimes seeing all those people in love can be annoying.  However it’s  important to  remind yourself that you are loved and wanted on a daily basis.  Remember whether you’ve been single for a while or recently ended a relationship, it’s important not to focus on the fact that you don’t have a significant other. Instead, focus on the fact that you don’t need a   significant other in order to feel loved.


We often have the  idea of “loving” as the image of someone else loving us. Someone else doing things for us, kissing us or taking us places. We often try to find someone to make us feel good.  However  looking outside of ourselves  for love is a big obstacle to self-love. When you rely on other people to make  you feel worthy, there is no place where you can access that feeling of importance from within yourself.



Many women like to fill their nights with friends and parties when they’re single, for various reasons. Some people just really like to go out and socialize, but others are more interested in filling the void so that they don’t have to be alone. There’s the assumption that if you’re home alone on Saturday night, you’re lonely and would rather be on a date. I know it can feel lonely to not to have weekend plans, but part of being in love with yourself is enjoying your own company.   Let go of the idea that you need to “be social” every weekend.  Set aside some time to be alone and rediscover all the things that make you fabulous.



Don’t wait until you find someone  who will show up at your door with long-stemmed roses.  The presence of living, breathing plants can be a constant reminder that even though you don’t have a partner, you still have a life.


Cooking for one can be challenging.  Even though you’re only cooking for yourself, try to cook a really good meal once or twice per week.   Just because you’re single doesn’t mean you have to order out all the time. Buy some groceries and prepare meals for yourself on a regular basis. It’s much healthier and easier on your wallet.


Don’t miss out on a great meal or  a good movie just because you don’t have a date to take you out. When you commit to taking yourself out on dates periodically, it reminds you that you don’t need a plus one to have fun.


Sign up for a class like poetry writing, pastry baking, pottery or whatever interests you.  This can be fun and will help you to create something meaningful to you.

Remember as RuPaul says “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell are you going to love someone else”.  Can I get an Amen!!!