We are currently living through an unprecedented time in modern world history with COVID-19. I am sure that in 50 years, scholars and bright eyed school children alike will learn about this time and make assumptions about the level of seriousness and panic, but the everyday reality is much different. At times, situations can seem surreal and at this point I'm almost numb to current events.
However, I think that it is very important that black women take care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally during this time. It's important that during isolation, we do not give up on ourselves or forget about the progress we made before this happened. Here are a few activities that may help you continue your growth:
Get up everyday and get dressed
Ladies, it is so tempting to lounge around and spend all day in your pajamas, or tattered yet comfortable clothes. But taking pride in your appearance isn’t just for other people. Many of us have mastered the idea that one should look presentable before leaving the house. It lets the world know that we care about ourselves and take ourselves seriously but what happens when we can no longer leave our homes? Waking up, bathing, and changing into real clothes even when we have nowhere to go is a big act of self love. In my opinion, it’s more important to show ourselves that we take pride in our own vessels, than showing other people.
Limit your social media intake
Escapism is a big theme during this ordeal and people are flocking to social media. While enjoying social media is harmless on its own, it can also magnify the dysfunctions of the black community. The everyday consumption of social media for black women can be damaging psychologically, as we frequently see our image being disrespected, or denigrated in some way. During normal circumstances most of us would cut off social media and live our lives. But since many are unable to do our normal activities, it can create a mental vacuum of consuming harmful media, with limited options to escape.
It is unrealistic to be tapped out of social media more than usual but it is important to make sure that you are also consuming positive media and media that aids in your personal development. It’s okay and even encouraged to consume in mindless social media entertainment but be sure to limit your time on The Shade Room and Hollywood Unlocked right now.
Spend time with yourself
Limiting your time on social media should be coupled with spending time with yourself. What I mean by that is really taking time that you previously may not have to explore everything about yourself. Take some time to sit with yourself and meditate, ask yourself questions, rekindle old passions, discover, or learn new skills. Working out and keeping up with your fitness is also paramount during this times.
It's very easy to sit around, not workout, and eat comfort foods disguised as "Quarantine Snacks". But instead of indulging in over processed, unhealthy foods, try snacking on fruits veggies and their canned or frozen variants, or even smoothies. There are many healthy recipes you could learn to make that require few, or cheap ingredients, that can be found on Pinterest and other platforms. This is also a great time to familiarize yourself with at home workouts. Most are simple, no equipment, a lot of fun, and a good way to keep up your physical health while gyms are not accessible. My personal favorite workout channels are Blogilates and Keaira LaShae.
This is also a good time to focus on your mental health as this can be a troubling circumstance for those experiencing unemployment, school closures, or other heavy losses. It is important to let yourself know that it's okay to mourn if that's what you need to do. If you have access to it, Skype, Zoom, or call your therapist and keep on schedule with sessions virtually.
Although we cannot do what we're used to doing currently, we should remember that there will always be a “new normal” on the horizon. Life is constantly ebbing and flowing but how we respond to these changes may set the groundwork for our growth, or stunt it. I hope you all are staying safe, sane, and indoors and I’d love to hear the ways you are keeping your spirits high, and fostering your growth during these uncertain times.
Liv is a new blogger for DDS Magazine. She graduated University in 2018, with a degree in History & English Lit and in her free time is an avid creative writer, History & Fashion enthusiast, as well as a cat-mom to three kittens. When she is not creating, she works at a children's non-profit and enjoys spending her weekends doing Pilates, hiking, shopping and indulging in Sci-fi novels.