Self-care is a popular buzzword on social media.
Everyone seems to be talking about it -- but that aspect of trendiness isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
It is important to have these conversations about self-care and why it is important, especially among BIWOC (Black, Indigenous and Women of Colour) who often neglect taking care of themselves, while taking care of everyone around them.
In my experience, South Asian women, like many BIWOC, are expected to be strong and do every little thing with a smile on their faces. Our mothers often try to do a lot to keep their families happy, but ignore what it is that makes them happy.
This neglect has serious consequences.
Without taking care of themselves and discovering what makes them happy, South Asian women lose the ability to convey what they are truly feeling, which can lead to a potential decline in mental health.
BIWOC women have the highest rate of anxiety, depression, and heart disease. More often than not, these women aren’t provided with the space or effective tools to learn how to appropriately manage the immense pressure placed on them.
However, you can’t care for your community or families if you’re not cared for first.
For myself, I made the connection at a young age that working hard meant not taking a break. I was always weary of the idea of slowing down, due to the fear that I would get left behind.
When I heard the Beyoncé lyrics, “She grinds from Monday to Friday, work from Friday to Sunday,” I resonated deeply, because I had always believed that the harder I worked, the happier I would be.
This pattern of non-stop work however, led to feelings of anxiousness that eventually had me feeling burnt out.
We have been programmed to believe that self-care is selfish, but in the words of Audre Lorde, a Black feminist and writer, “caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
Self-care centres around self-love, healthy living, and improving one’s mental health. It’s an active choice to do the things that fuel and nourish you and will look different for everyone.
These acts of radical self-love and care are especially important for BIWOC, as wellness spaces tailored to our unique experiences are few in number.
Inclusivity is exactly what Blume, a brand which focuses on skin, body, and period care has been fighting towards.
Created by two South-Asian sisters, Bunny and Taran Ghatrora, Blume aims to create a safe space for young women to be inspired and grow to their fullest potential.
Through its journal prompts, graphics on the origins of self-care, and meditations led by BIWOC, Blume places an emphasis on radical self-love by sharing helpful resources and creating a community full of care.
Similarly, as emphasized by author and wellness educator Lalah Delia in her book Vibrate Higher Daily: Live Your Power, it is important to practice self-care so each and every one of us can “pour from a full cup.” This phrase is used quite often by folks in the wellness industry but what does it mean?
According to Lalah Delia, nurturing ourselves “doesn’t mean simply checking in with ourselves from time to time; it means taking time and making space for ourselves.”
It is only then that we can feel more grounded and ready to take on whatever life throws our way.
In this sense, as racialized women, we must place the same amount of value on taking care of our mental, emotional, and physical health as we do on hard work and taking care of others.
Self-care requires an awareness of what we need to fulfill ourselves.
Whether that is reading a book, taking a walk, meditating, or exercising, self-care and wellness take on various forms. Which is why we need to remind those in our communities that we are all deserving of care.
Self-care is not selfish.
It is a tool needed to dismantle the constant barriers and pressures we manage daily.
We’re kicking off our first ever virtual festival, being delivered straight to your phone, to continue these big conversations with big names, including some of the top South Asian artists in the game. Taran Ghatrora, co-founder of Blume, will be taking part in one of our launch week panels, 5X Feels.
We may be stuck at home, but there’s more ways than ever to engage with your faves in the app and through our virtual events.
Download the 5X Fest app today.
We’re ready, are you?
Let’s Ready, Step, Create.