Black women are increasingly prioritizing their mental health, but it’s coming at the cost of their livelihood.
EXHALE, a well-being app specifically for Black Women and Women of Color, recently published its “The State of Self-Care for Black Women” report and found that nearly 40% of Black women have left their jobs because they felt unsafe in their identity.
“As Black Women, we’re surrounded with messages telling us we’re strong and resilient enough to manage stress, but this survey proves that we are negatively impacted by a lack of necessary support,” said Katara McCarty, founder of EXHALE in a news release shared with ESSENCE. “Black Women cannot fully heal without being fully seen. We need culturally appropriate resources and tools that address the effects of racial trauma on mental, emotional, and physical health.”
The report analyzed responses from 1,005 Black Women in the United States, and unpacks the stressors they everyday across various touch points in their lives, particularly in their professional lives. For example, 66% of respondents say they overexert themselves to excel in the workplace and to take care of personal responsibilities.
As ESSENCE previously reported, burnout is prevalent among Black women, and can often manifest in physical ailments.
“Constantly striving to be the best of the best while forgoing self-care is really an epidemic among Black women,” Fauntleroy told Essence in November 2022. She is a certified acupuncturist and owner of holistic wellness practice The Spirit Seed and regularly teaches clients the importance of physiological interconnectedness. In layman’s terms, she shows people how mental wounds adversely affect our overall physical health.