Self-Care is Black Love

As part of my Black Love Experience series, I'm offering a few ways to love yourself in the midst of stress and a crazy world.

We’re nearly two months into 2017 and I already feel like I need a break from it. A break from the politics, the disagreements, the double talk. A real moment away from it all would be so nice. But, since escaping life isn’t an option right now, one of the ways that I cope is through self-care. Sometimes, it’s as simple as completely vegging out, doing nothing but cleaning out my DVR, Netflixing and chilling hard with a snack. Polishing my nails or trying out a new at-home facial treatment all count as forms of self-care for me. And, when all else fails, sleep is my ultimate self-care bae.

Self-care isn’t for the privileged. It’s not superficial or indulgent. It’s a necessity.

Last year, after the deaths of Terence Crutcher and Keith Lamont Scott at the hands of police, I wrote a piece for Rare about the need to unplug and center yourself, even in the midst of crisis and the grim reality of the world. Licensed clinical social worker Dr. Pamela Brewer told me then that it’s important to live in reality but you don’t have to sacrifice your sanity either.

Here are a few things you can do to focus on your own well-being.

Take a break

It doesn’t cost a lot to make self-care a priority. Sure, you can jet across the globe to find peace, but you can also find it after a good night’s sleep or after a prayer or meditation session.

Make home your happy place

Take a moment to rid your home of the things that no longer serve you or your happiness. Eliminate the noise and clutter to make your home your refuge.

Make lasting friendships with supportive people

Just like decluttering your home, sometimes you need to clean up that friends list and break away from toxic people. Friends can help you in your self-care journey by supporting you along the way and even reminding you to take more moments for yourself.

Talk to someone

There’s a lot of good that prayer and meditation can do in your life, but there is absolutely no shame in reaching out to the experts for some therapy, too. Find a mental health provider near you if you just need to talk it out.

Feel what you feel & write it down

Don’t fight your true feelings. If something is bothering you, address it, write it down, examine how it makes you feel so that you’ll know how to recognize it and cope when/if the feeling resurfaces.

If you need a reminder why self-care is so important to our overbooked, busy lives, here are a few TED Talks on the need for taking a few moments to find emotional center.

Of course, you can practice some fun self-care on Feb. 18 at the annual Black Love Experience by fellowshipping with some new faces, doing a little shopping, enjoying some culture and, of course, giving back. A portion of the proceeds goes back into the local community and really, can you beat that?

Photo: Allef Vinicius/

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Jackie Aina

Video Production & Writing

My expertise includes field producing, researching and writing short, snappy videos for use online and