Self-Care Practices That Will Keep You Sane

Self care is to self love as action is to verb.


Self-care is to self love as action is to verb.

It is an extension and a cultivation of what self love embodies. It's one of those things that should be second nature to people today, but often times takes a backseat to other life demands. It is easy to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to take care of yourself. Maintaining mindfulness and prioritizing self care counteracts the negatives that deplete your mood, energy, health, and overall quality of life.

Self-care is vital.

When I think about self love and the actions of self-care, the standard manicure/pedicure or going to the spa come to mind, but I wondered if there were other go-to treat yo' self practices that creative women on-the-go used in their self-care practices.

I know for me, being on a budget does not allow much room to splurge on salon visits or massages too often (or not at all) so self-care practices had to take other forms. For a long time, I did not realize its importance until I became aware of how differently my experience with the world was when I took the time to be with me and there for me versus when I did not. I was so accustomed and so ready to be everyone's “yes" girl that I forgot to say “yes" to who mattered: me.

Self-care is mindfulness.

When I am mindful, I am centered and when I am centered, what goes into me and out of me flows in this wave of effortless beautiful energy. I enjoy running a luxurious warm bath, no bubbles, just clear water with music playing in the background, a glass of wine or a cup of herbal tea, and lit vanilla sandlewood candles to light the room. That's my ideal form of self-care. I am with myself, I am taking in myself, and I am enjoying myself and making myself feel good.

I spoke to ladies I admire about what all their self-care practices entail. Read below for some self-care practice inspiration.

"Self-care is keeping a close inventory of my time."

"My ideal method to practice self care is to keep a close inventory of my time because time is one of the greatest resources we have. If I'm spending ALL of my time working without taking breaks or finding activities that replenish me, I won't be any good. So being mindful of what I'm doing and when I'm doing it helps keep me in check to make sure I'm spending time praying, writing, meditating, going to the gym, being around people who remind me of my greatness, working on what I love and anything else that restores me. Self care consists of a really good workout, good food, amazing conversations, taking in art in whatever forms it comes, and a great night of sleep." - Melissa Kimble, Social Media Strategist & Creator of #blkcreatives

"Self-care is spoiling myself with myself."

"As someone who is constantly on the go, whether it be school, work, or personal projects, I often look forward to the nights I get to spoil myself with myself. I usually pick up my favorite bottle of chardonnay and start my night by delving into DIY's. I like to blend my own body oils while simultaneously indulging in the aromatic scents the essential oils exude while mixing. It's calming, relaxing, and gives me a moment to learn what my body and my brain respond to. I then apply the body oil to my body, taking the time to explore and appreciate the skin that I'm in. It is a liberating experience because it allows me to remain attentive to my body, while giving myself a break and simply focusing on loving what makes me, me." - Marie, Writer/Blogger

"Self-care is engaging all five of my senses in the best way possible."

"As a business owner, I have to practice self-care often or else I'll lose my mind, ha! To me, self-care means being mindful of how you're treating yourself and knowing what your needs are. We get so wrapped up in how to best serve others that we end up losing ourselves in the process. In order to center myself after a stressful day (and really, what day isn't stressful), I light yummy smelling candles, blast my trippy music of choice...or Drake, actually, it's usually Drake, and I eat my favorite foods while swaying around my room! For me, it's all about engaging all five of my senses in the best way possible, because sitting at a computer day in and day out can definitely weigh on you." - Jacque Amadi, E-commerce Entrepreneur

"Self-care is in the calmness of enjoying a good meal."

“I'm a huge advocate of the power of food: the moments after you've devoured an incredible meal are filled with such a wondrous sense of relaxation and satisfaction. For my self-care nights, I treat myself to a phenomenal meal. Sometimes I'll cook, sometimes I'll go out, but I don't worry about cost, calories, or time. Instead, I simply immerse myself in the calmness of enjoying an astonishing meal with myself. Also I always pair it with a bottle of either champagne or hard liquor, so that helps." - Zauni, Writer/Blogger

"Self-care for me is dance."

"Ideal self-care for me would be to go a dance class, workshop, or even a weekend retreat. I have neglected dance and movement for such a long time and it's a huge part of what makes me feel sensual and alive. It's easy to get caught up in adulting and let the things that feed your heart and soul fall through the cracks. Dance is an excellent creative outlet to give your mind a break and just flow." - GG Renee, writer/creativity coach

What do the self care practices that help keep you sane and centered look like? Share with me below.

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.


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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Featured image by Shutterstock

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