It’s been a rough past couple of days and weeks. On Monday, a viral video showed a white Minnesota police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling on the neck of a handcuffed black man, George Floyd, and killing him, while Floyd cried out repeatedly, “I can’t breathe” and three other police officers just looked on.
Also, on Monday, a viral video showed a white woman, Amy Cooper, trying to weaponize the police against a black man, Christian Cooper, who simply asked her to follow the law and leash her dog in New York’s Central Park. I can only imagine what the police might have done to Christian Cooper had he not had that recording.
And three weeks ago, a viral video showed two white men, Gregory and Travis McMichael, stalking and killing a black man, Ahmaud Arbery, who was out jogging – and the killers were not arrested for months later.
Also in May, we learned that months earlier, Kentucky police raided the wrong house for a man who was already in police custody and killed a black woman, Breeona Taylor, in a hail of 20 bullets.
And all of this has happened during an already stressful pandemic, in which Black people are getting and dying from the virus in the highest numbers.
But since the callous police killing of Floyd on Monday, my blood pressure has been sky high with rage. It was hard to even get myself together to write this post today.
But I know that many of you have been feeling the same way. And I know that the stress we experience from this systemic white supremacy has very real consequences. It can result in oxidative stress – or premature rusting of the cells – which can raise our risks for chronic diseases, like heart disease and cancers, and lead to earlier deaths.
So that’s why practicing self-care on a daily basis is so important, especially in times like these. I have 7 rituals that I strive to do every day to help me stay centered.
MY 7 DAILY SELF-CARE PRACTICES:
- JOURNAL – In the mornings while I’m still in bed, i write down how I’m feeling, any dreams I had from the night before, and what my intentions are for the day. Writing is my first love, so journaling also helps me to do what I love every day.
- DO YOGA – I do a series of 12 sun salutations when I get out of bed, as a way to gently wake up my body and greet the day.
- MEDITATE – After yoga, I sit for at least 20 minutes to quiet my mind and be centered. I do this before I look at my phone or go online so I can be in a peaceful state when I start engaging with other people and the world.
- EXERCISE – At some point during the day, I go for a brisk, long walk, or dance for about 30 minutes to an hour to my favorite music, or do an online exercise class.
- EAT WELL – No surprise here. 🙂 I eat a whole food vegan diet.
- BE GRATEFUL – At night, I take out my journal again and write down at least 5 things I’m grateful for – things that happened during the day, or things I’m grateful for, in general.
- SLEEP WELL – I’ve come to understand just how important it is for my health and well-being to make sure I get enough rest each night, so I make it a habit to be in bed at the same time each night and get 7-8 hours of sleep.
Doing these 7 daily rituals makes me feel like my absolute best self. Calm, joyful and free. But there are times when I hit slumps that I let them fall by the wayside for a while. But I know when I start again, they bring me back into my natural flow immediately. It never fails.
So, that’s what I do. What about you? What self-care rituals do you practice that keep you centered? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you!
And if you haven’t already, I also urge you to take action for Floyd, Arbery, and Taylor by going to ColorofChange.org (or another resource) to demand arrests, charges, and more. Fighting injustice is a part of self-care, too.
Nice, very inspiring Tracye. You made me pull my journal out. I already do my 5 things I’m grateful for at night but I like the morning journal ideas too. Be well!
Thanks for sharing, Teresa.
So happy to be a part of such innovative and motivating women. As a former dancer, health and wellness has been a huge part of my life for many years. I am excited to know that you are a vegan as most of my diet is vegetarian. I exercise daily and for the most part have a very clean diet. Working from home these days has caused me to binge a little more than I usually would as my normal schedule has been interrupted. However, I manage to keep it in moderation. I am looking forward to the many opportunities and am hopeful I can make a meaningful contribution as well
Welcome and thanks so much for sharing.
I am a vegan. I eat well. Last week, I joined girltrek.org and have walked daily for at least 30 minutes. I have journaled today before I saw your 7 daily self-care habits and had journaled intermittently. I have so much to say when I journal that I have to slow down and focus on “peace, calm, gratitude”. Before COVID-19, I practiced yoga in a class which has now been canceled. I enjoyed the camaraderie. I am well, balanced, and grateful.
Thanks so much for sharing what you do for self-care. Much appreciated.
Hi Tracye Thanks for the post.
Even though I am one of the men in your tribe, I enjoy your work. I am 66, forced retirement some years ago. This is my 53rd year as a martial artist and I play music every now and then to calm me. Here are two recordings I hope you enjoy them both: https://youtu.be/18dgHXwOQnU
Thanks for sharing these recordings, Maurice.
Thank you so very much for sharing this!!! This has been a rough few days and sharing your tips was a wakeup call for me to get back to the basics of healthy living. I’ve pulled out my journal and will definitely be focusing on getting 7-8 hours of sleep. Keep empowering and encouraging us to be healthy!!
Thanks, Gloria, and good for you!
Thank you so much Tracye for raising awareness to these issues that affect our community. I am new to this journey but wanted to share my self care. One is a morning stretch that increases blood flow and the other is a breathing exercise that releases stress after leaving the office for my drive home.
Awesome, Alyce! Thanks so much for sharing what you do for self-care.
Good morning, Tracey,
Thank you for sharing. I begin with prayer and bible reading each morning. This act of worship is essential to my well being as I acknowledge my dependency on God for instructions for the day. I also do some of the practices you do. ~Doris
Thanks so much for sharing this, Doris.
Thank you for sharing your self care practices. Mine are similar and include: prayer and participation in a prayer circle; Pilates; and most importantly during this time is limiting my consumption of the news. The news has become too much for me, a news junkie. It just brings me down.
Hey, Sabrina. Yes, the news can be too much. Thanks for sharing.
My name is Latrice. Thx so much for sharing your 7 day self care practices. Unfortunately, I have not adopted any self care practices. However, after reading yours and the others, I think it’s time for me to do so. My daughter tells me all the time I should. Today marks 2 weeks of my vegan lifestyle! It’s because of you and others, that I follow on social media that I am changing my life for the better (and of course my lovely daughter who has adopted a vegan lifestyle with me). I’m so very grateful! Thx to you all for sharing! You’ve all helped me to see how very important self care for oneself is especially during these critical times!
Hey, Latrice. Congratulations for being vegan for two-weeks, that’s awesome! And yes, the self-care part is so important, too.
Thank You Tracye,
Yes these past weeks have been very trying. Like you, I feel overwhelmed. Your Self Care Rituals came at the right time.
I practice some of your rituals. I eat pretty decent, I workout, practice recovery stretching, and dance (I was teaching a dance class before the pandamic)
I will try an implement meditation into my self care rituals.
Be Well & Healthy
Hey, Cassandra. Yes, it’s been very overwhelming, but self-care does help. Thanks so much for sharing your rituals.
Thank you Trace,
I do many of these things myself….I must do my excerises a bit more consistently however….
When I open my eyes,I say Thank you God for keeping me through your grace and mercy…
Yes…I intend to be more socially active as we are under attack in this country and have been for decades.
Hey, Janice. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
Thank you for this. It is good to know that even those of us who do our best to be centered and healthy have our limits. You described what I have been feeling expertly and reminded me that this is an important time to stay committed to my self care practices even if you feel like you don’t have the energy. Thank you for all that you do to elevate the health of our people.
Hey, Juliette. I appreciate your warm words, thank you.
Aloha from Hawaii,
I am so pained and grieved over the murder of George Floyd and all black lives afflicted by our racist system. America’s systemic white supremacy and its allowed, horrendous police brutality haunts me. It has reinforced for me the moral need to more actively oppose racism where encountered. This is not much, yet it is necessary that as a white person I be actively anti-racist, not just say I am not racist.
Thanks for your post of care rituals. It’s a good reminder and has reinforced my intention to do my care rituals which are very similar to yours. I don’t do yoga, but stretches and I do eat a whole plate diet. Most helpful was your ritual of setting an intention for the day.
Mahalo and blessings.
Aloha, Phillis. Thanks so much for your thoughtful comments. They are much appreciated.
Tracey, you took the words out of my spirit. I imagined this Blog last night while I was working out.
My rituals are similar.
1. Deep breathing with breath holds
3. Contrast showers
5. Clean vegan diet
6. I end the night with meditation, prayer and speaking gratitude with my children
Self care is so needed in our community. Thank you for this post.
Hey, Luanda. You are so welcome – and thanks for sharing your self-care rituals.
This was refreshing. Thanks Tracye.
You’re very welcome, Sheritha.
Thank you so much for providing these tips! With everything going on and so much uncertainty, this is very much appreciated.
Hey, Stacey, you’re welcome.
Hi Tracye,, Thank you for keeping it real! by acknowledging the “latest soldiers” killed or could have been ( “the birdwatcher”). When I wake up my first thing as I sit up to standing up to walking to the bathroom is to thank God that I’m here and have the “activity of my limbs and clothed in my right mind”. I have some quite/prayer time, sometimes some stretching (trying to do so consistently) lol! it’s stretching!… I have a meal ond on with the day. I’m retired so my days are pretty much MY days to do what I want lol! late afternoon I have another quite/prayer time. I continue on with the day, before I go to bed I do some journaling about the day what was I grateful for, did I learn anything new, did I do something creative, how did I show love during the day and then I end with prayer——to bed!
Hey, Carol. Thanks for sharing your rituals – sounds like a lovely, reflective day.
Thanks for sharing your daily rituals. I’m encouraged by your list because I do everything you mentioned. For me, yoga, prayer (meditation), and walking (for me, a form of meditation) are most helpful. I accept that as I age, it’s most important to move and stretch my body and mind to be healthy. On days when the world gets me down, I’m mindful that if I can just put my feet on the floor, I can get going, moving into my day. I know that’s it’s all up to me as to how I live my life. Each day is a blessing.
Hey, Jacqueline. Thanks for your words reminding us to be grateful for each day. Much appreciated.
Thank you so much for all you’re doing Tracye. And yes I agree wholeheartedly, these times have been very difficult, and witnessing continued attacks on our community is NEVER right! So how do I stay strong? Honestly, its just about putting one foot in front of the other everyday. I also think having been a hospice volunteer, I’m very grounded in appreciating what life I do have every day. Other ways I stay strong is I keep up my vegan lifestyle (predominantly raw vegan 17yrs now) and I tend to my edible garden, exercise and check in with family/community daily. I’m 53 so I have had enough time walking this path to know just doing those four simple things work for me . Wishing you and your family continued optimal health and longevity.
Hey, Esther. Thanks so much for your wise words. Much appreciated.
Thank you so much for all you do for all of us peace…Asantewaa
Thanks so much, Asantewaa.
What a wonderful post. With so much unrest in our country, it’s so important to maintain some sort of routine…some sort of normalcy. Blessings to you!
Thanks for your comment!