Though being conscious and fighting the system can be rewarding work, it can also be completely draining.
From therapy to a cup of tea, the topic of self-care came up at the ESSENCE Festival 2017 Woke Panel on Friday between White House correspondent April Ryan, activist April Reign, political commentator Angela Rye and social commentator and author Luvvie Ajayi. All four women were featured in the May 2017 issue of ESSENCE that honored the #Woke100, women who are blazing trails for equal rights and inclusion for Black people in America.
And the ladies had quite a bit to share about self-care.
“Black women, let me say this to you,” Reign said. “You are not superwoman.”
She added: “Because you cannot save your village, and you cannot save your family, if you are not saving yourself.”
The four women shared gems of how they replenish themselves before taking on the world. Here’s what they had to say.
Do not shy away from therapy
“I have been extra intentional about finding joy every single day,” said Ajayi, adding that she looks for joy in everything from cute cat videos to spending time with Black women.
But she also says therapy has been a big part of her self-care routine. “I think it’s important for me to have a place that I go once week to talk about things that are important to me.”
“Sometimes we just need to pray,” she adds. “Sometimes we just need our friends. But sometimes we just need a therapist.”
Be consistent with your routine
April Reign is vigilant about the things that help her replenish: “It’s important that I do it regularly, consistently, and it is important that I don’t feel guilty about it,” she said of her routine.
For her, it is as simple as turning off her phone and going to be with nature, reading a book or enjoying a boozy Sunday with friends.
“It has to be something that makes you feel full again,” said Reign. And do it regularly and do not apologize for it.”
Talking to the people who fulfill you
Angely Rye talks to her parents every single day, and sometimes talks to her father multiple times a day.
“I love talking to them because it keeps me grounded and it keeps me centered on my mission and on what really matters,” she explains.
“Girlfriends are my therapy session,” White House correspondent Ryan said. Her work covering the Trump White House can be taxing, so being able to turn to her ride-or-die friends makes a big difference.