By: Shea Harris
Hey! Hey! Hey! It’s Sheaaaaa Harris. Okay, enough of the clowning around haha. I don’t even know where to start to be honest. I’ve been kind of ghost during this first month of 2017. I honestly don’t even have a valid excuse for y’all other than: I’m just trying to keep my life together. I have so many ideas for my blog, business and career route. But one of the main things I’ve been able to focus on is taking care of Shea.
Some time ago I was participating in a Twitter chat and one particular tweet was referencing self care in the black community. Over the past year, I’ve noticed how self care has been advocated in the black community. It’s been everywhere: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, group chats, podcasts, etc. I know some of the talk has been because of the violent acts towards the black community and also ✌🏾coping with✌🏾 this new president. The past few weeks I went back to why I decided to make self care a topic throughout Shea What’s Real and my life: it’s all because of my mother.
In 1998 my mother switched career routes, from Bank Teller to Mental Health Direct Support. I wasn’t really sure what that meant for me, but I knew it would be a pretty major change from what I was used to. I was used to seeing her behind the counter at Bank of America, I snagged all the cheap lollipops (now that I think about it they tasted like medicine 😷) and of course spending time with her at work during after hours. This new job was nothing like hanging out at the bank. This new job had her doing things I didn’t even think others had to do. In 1998 my mother began taking care of mentally and physically disabled adults.
It’s not like I hadn’t seen disabled people before, but they were more so in my face now. I noticed the way people would look at us in public and the way they’d treat us. Some of the looks were ugly, afraid, disgusted, I mean the list can go on. Growing up around the disabled really made me thankful for every limb on my body and every southern drawl that comes out of my mouth. Over the years, I’ve met individuals who couldn’t walk, talk or had disfigured limbs. Before learning about disabilities in school, I already knew about them. As my mother became seasoned in her career, she taught me a good portion of the physical and mental disabilities that humans could encounter. I guess you can say she was my personal teacher.
So what does all this have to do with self care? Ummm, literally everything. Throughout the switch in my mother’s career, I’ve seen how much she takes on and how she deals with it so well. She makes sure she makes time for herself and takes care of her mental health. Through exercising and mini vacations, my mother has shown me first hand how to handle life when it seems to get a bit out of control. Instead of freaking out about the unknown, handle what’s in front of you at this very moment. When I feel myself getting anxious, I simply turn on my laptop to type, watch Youtube, Bob’s Burgers or just take a trip to the gym or the beach.
It’s important that we all grasp hold of self care and apply it to our lifestyle to remain in control of our emotions. I’ve noticed that when I haven’t had enough self care, I’m physically and emotionally drained (which clearly isn’t what my personality embodies). What do you do for your self care routine? Who inspired you to apply self care to your lifestyle? I’d love to hear from you all!
Until next time! 😘