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4 Ways To Make Yourself Your Number One Priority

It's OK to be a little selfish at times.

Wellness

Sis, you gotta match your words with your actions. If you say it's all about you, then you need to be living in that truth and not just yapping off. We know you walk around with the "S" on your chest because you're a badass superwoman but after you're done taking care of everyone else, how are you personally feeling?

As amazing as it is to be a woman who can multitask and help aid others, we also have to learn how to not deplete ourselves and pour just as much into the development of self as we do others. It's OK to be a little selfish at times when it comes to prioritizing the things that make you happy. We only have one life to live and if we aren't putting ourselves first and making strides to keep a cooler head, then are we really living our best lives?

4 Ways To Make Yourself A Priority

1. Learn to Say “NO”

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Say it loud and say it proud: "NO". You're not obligated to give your time and energy to everyone and everything. It's okay to turn down a night on the town or to tell your friends or family that they can't borrow money from you. Regardless of whatever reason applies to why you have to say "NO", if it has to do with giving yourself peace of mind, then go for it.

We are not robots and although we all have a number of roles we play in life, the role of being your happiest self comes above all. So next time your feeling overwhelmed, used, or just plain-out tired, tell those bug-a-boos "NO", you can't do whatever it is that they need or want you to do.

2. Self-Care Routine

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Oh, you fancy huh? Nails done, hair done, everything did! Something magical happens to us ladies when we are looking and feeling our best. We literally transform into the best version of ourselves when we take look in the mirror and start feeling ourselves. Knowing just how bomb it makes us feel, we should always set aside time each month to treat ourselves to a moment of bliss.

It's not about keeping up with the Joneses but more so about keeping high morale about self. Rather you indulge in spa time, make hair, nail care, and a fitness routines, or change the batteries in that cucumber-shaped device in your nightstand, we've all gotta commit to doing something that keeps us feeling like a brand new woman. You are fine and divine so treat yourself boo!

3. Set Goals

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We've gotta pave the way for ourselves because nothing in this life is guaranteed unless we go out and get it. It's all about having a plan and sticking to it, nothing more and, for certain, nothing less. We've all heard the phrase "grab life by the horns" and well, in this case, that's exactly what we need to do to get what we desire out of this crazy thing called life. Being realistic about our time, money and life circumstances is where you first need to begin. If you want something, you have to put the work in. Start by setting a start and end date and write down the steps that it's gonna take you to get to that goal you're trying to reach.

Say, for instance, you want to pay down debt to buy a condo, car, or house. Figure out what you owe, how much monthly you can afford to pay towards lowering the debt and implement a timeline. When you have a vision, a plan, and are taking action towards whatever goal it is your trying to meet, it empowers you and gives you a feeling of comfort that you can do whatever you set your mind to, even if it takes you some time to get there. Once you start something, stick to it. You've got this girl!

4. Find A Hobby

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Simply put, do what makes you happy. It can feel like there isn't enough time in the day to balance the kids, catch up with piping hot tea your friends need to spill, and find a healthy balance between work and play. But if I'm keeping it all the way 100 with you, we find time for who and what we deem important, and our sanity should be at the top of that list.

Having a hobby is so much more than just occupying your free time, it's a time where you truly are enjoying the things that you are passionate about and bringing out the best in you. Having a hobby allows you to tap into that inner-child that you may have lost touch with and nurtures the hell out of it. It's all about foundation when it comes to being our best selves; and when we make time for the things that are the core of who and what we stand for, it keeps us feeling fully aligned.

Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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