We all must become obsessed with self-love and find new ways to be kinder and loving towards ourselves to protect our sanity promoting much-needed self-care.
2020 was supposed to be the year that we got to see everything clearly. This WAS supposed to be the year of perfect vision, but things took a turn for the worst for the most part.
Between COVID-19 running rampant, unemployment at an all-time high, and our government imploding, everyone was emotionally exhausted and looking for some kind of relief.
I chose to get more clarity about is my mental health and find ways to love myself while dealing with trauma.
Being a Black man in America, there is an unspoken understanding that you are born in this country with two strikes already against you. Add into the equation being Queer, and that’s another strike already working to your disadvantage, which can take a heavy toll on one’s emotional and mental well being.
Over the past six years, there has been an abundance of race-related issues being amplified in the news. The guilty party often walks away with no more than a slap on the wrist. From Trayvon Martin to Breonna Taylor, justice had not been served in their respective cases and left a sense of hopelessness within the Black community.
As a diversion from all of this, I usually turned to my work to distract the injustice. When work no longer became an option due to massive unemployment, I and millions in this country were forced to pay attention to the injustices going on, which is traumatizing. So the conclusion I came to was, “If no one else is going to take care of me, then I’m going to make a better effort to take care of me.”
Therapy: I had been putting this off for years, convincing myself that I didn’t need it, but honestly, this is the best investment that I could have ever made. It helped me put a lot of my anger and frustration into perspective and get to the root of my avoiding trauma.
Meditating: Finding moments of stillness while all the chaos is going on in the world is essential to help maintain your mental health. Investing in this practice helps me center myself throughout the day.
Skin Care: Taking better care of my skin has been one of my favorite guilty pleasures with me having more downtime. I found an esthetician (through Twitter) and maintained a relationship with him to find new and better ways to take care of my skin. It’s essential to do this because we only get to live with our skin once.
Daily Affirmations: I used to think that saying things out loud to myself was a sign that I was going crazy; now, I look forward to doing it daily to keep myself sane. Speaking positively to myself and affirming that I am not the anxiety that I hold helps relieve stress. Even writing notes to myself to speak to me more kindly has worked wonders for me.
Silent Days Without My Phone: I never noticed how much I depend on my phone until I sat down and looked at my screentime one day. When I was aware of how much I was using my cellphone realized how much stress it was causing me. Between a 24-hour news cycle, social media, emails, and constant notifications, it was causing significant anxiety. So what I did every other day was put my phone on DND (do not disturb) and tuck it away to get more in tune with myself and what my body was telling me I needed for peace. I would HIGHLY suggest doing this from time to time.
All of these things I discovered I not only tried but regularly try to implement into my everyday life.
When the world opens back up, I know that all of these things won’t be possible because we’ll all be back to “normal” life, but practicing these things now will at least let me manage the hectic nature of the real world.