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The Journey of Unlearning: How Black Women Can Rest and Restore

Welcome September!

It feels great to be back after taking the month of August to rest, reset, recalibrate, and refocus our priorities. During this time, The Black Women’s Wellness Agency, Inc. disconnected from social media and we are excited to share what we learned and how you can implement a similar approach.

It’s been a long year and it feels longer since this 2.8 year Pandemic. With four months remaining in 2022, we want All Black Women to fully embody and know that Our Wellness Is Infinite!

The Black Women’s Wellness Agency, Inc. wants you to prioritize your rest, well-being, peace, and mental wellness for the last part of this year and beyond. Many of us have been on overdrive these last 2.8 years and we must stop, challenge what we have been told, and unlearn this toxic-productivity.

We are aware of how vast this Pandemic has impacted our mental wellness, physical health, emotional well-being, financial health, social wellness, and many other aspects of our lives. Yet, we minimize the toll this has taken on every facet of our lives. Our friendships are not the same, our families have declined, our stress and anxiety levels have been on extreme alert, all while continuing to see racism and discrimination plague our Nation.

In full transparency, I am also working to unlearn and center my own rest, while implementing Radical Self Care. This is not always intuitive, especially as I am surrounded by Black Women (personally and professionally) who consistently take on more than what's feasible and minimize those who are working to shift this paradigm. I know this is polarizing for many of us to read, but not all Black Women value other Black Women who hold space for rest, balance, peace, and prioritize wellness. We are not immune from the negative effects of White Supremacy upholding perfectionism, constant outputs, workaholism, overcommitments, lack of boundaries, and saying yes to everything. Not all Black spaces are safe spaces, even those who work in health equity, inclusivity, wellness, public health, and many others. Our goal is not to judge Black Women (since we are all on our own unique journeys and have trauma to unpack and heal from) but to ask us to unlearn this toxicity that we have been indoctrinated with.

As Representative Ayanna Pressley recently stated on Amanda Seals’ Podcast (Small Doses), “Progress will be measured in decades, not months, weeks, or years”, since Rest is a radical concept for many of us, Black Women. Rest is Radical because many of us, Black Women, do not rest, create and implement boundaries, and take time for our own wellness. Until this is ubiquitous and normalized, Rest will be Radical for Black Women.

Ten Ways To Implement Radical Rest and Unlearning

  1. Take consistent breaks from Social Media as a way to regain clarity and perspective.

  2. Set timers for how long you will log in and consume social media.

  3. Spend “down time” reconnecting with friends and family.

  4. Periodically turn your alarm off and wake up when your body is ready, even if that means sleeping for 12 hours on a Saturday.

  5. Repeat an affirmation, “I’ve done my best, I leave the rest”. -@YogaByBiola

  6. Take a walking meditation break (no music or phone, just walking and allowing nature to feed your soul and suspending judgment of the thoughts that arise) when you feel overwhelmed, not grounded, and need to recenter.

  7. Implement whatever Joyful Movement looks like for you (i.e., Dancing, Stretching, Deep Breathing, Playing with a pet,etc.) without focusing on the goal of the activity.

  8. Sit in stillness (with ambient instrumental low-fi music in the background) , closing your eyes (if you feel safe in your body) focusing on your breath.

  9. Watch a movie, television show, or documentary that gives you life.

  10. Turn off notifications on your phone.

We would love to hear your thoughts on what resonates for you. How can you unlearn toxic productivity and prioritize yourself? Share your thoughts below in the Comments, like, and share this Blog on Instagram and LinkedIn!

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