Monthly Archives: January 2017
To say these last few days within america were unbelievable is an understatement. Our country is in one of the worst states it has ever been in. As a creative, I will be heavily depending on all forms of art to be my saving grace (well that and ALOT of prayer). Below I’ve composed a list of a few of my favorite feel-good songs that will be sure to put you in a pleasant mood, and make you (temporarily) forget all of the worries of the world.
8. Trophy x Nao
Hope you all enjoyed the list! What songs will be on your playlist to get you through the week? Tell me about in the comments!
Photo | blogspot.com
The last few years in this country, quite frankly, have been an outright shxt show. Protecting your mental health especially as a Black person, POC, or other minority has become more crucial now than ever before. It wasn’t until last year I realized how much the craziness of this world was weighing down on my mental health. I began to feel anxious all the time, and it was then I realized I had to do something about this, or I was going to eventually crack.
Since going totally insane was not (and is not) an option, I made a vow to myself that I would begin to practice self-care more often. Making self-care a part of my daily routine has drastically changed my life. Most people believe in order to practice self-indulgence they have to isolate a lot of time out of their schedule, however I’ve come to realize all you really need are just 20 minutes a day to cater to yourself. Believe me when I say those 20 minutes will make all the difference in your life. Below I’ve composed a list of my top 8 favorite ways to self-indulge.
1. Pray (all day, everyday).
Praying to me is just having an open dialogue with God. I try to converse with God as often as possible throughout the day, it helps me feel calm and centered.
2. Take bubble-baths at least 3x a week.
Prior to turning 25 I was a “take a quick shower before bed” kind of girl. I wasn’t opposed to bath soaks but I felt they took up more time that they actually do. Now wine-infused bubble baths mixed with a soothing playlist right before bed have become my religion. And if I don’t take them at least 3x per week, I can definitely feel the difference in my spirit.
2. Learn to love the word “no.”
Believe it or not, I have always been the type of person that has a difficult time saying no. I would take on way more than my body (or brain for that matter) would allow me to do. Now I’ve learned that it is okay to say the word no without any further explanations as to why.
3. Practice mediation at least 4x a week.
Practicing free-form yoga is a huge part of who I am. Yoga distresses me in unimaginable ways. There is no better feeling than being aligned with the universe. I put on my “meditation playlist” and zone all the way out.
4. Exercise for at least 20 minutes each day.
For about 2 years now, attempting to live a healthier lifestyle has become very important to me. Exercising relieves so much stress for me, and helps me to get rid of any aggression the world has caused.
Creative writing has always been one of my favorite things to do in my down-time (clearly). I always find time to doodle my thoughts and feelings down, whether it’s in my phone’s notes or in my actual journal.
6. Listen to my self-care playlist.
Music is literally life to me, and I can tell you for a fact that I could not exist without it. For my extremely rough days I have developed a playlist filled with calming tunes, it always puts me in a trance like state and helps me forget about the problems of the world. (P.S. the self-care playlist blog post coming soon!)
7. Have family time as often as possible.
I’ve always been a huge family person. They provide so much stability and calmness for me. Whenever I’ve had a rough day…or week I make plans to see them, I know hanging with them will instantly boost my mood.
8. Brunch / Dinner at least once a week with loved-ones.
I’m what you would call an ambivert, and as much as I adore alone time I love spending time with my loved-ones as well. I am also a lover of good food (drinks too!), so whenever I can combine the two it’s always a win-win.
Each one of these practices have become essential to my life, and my well-being. Truthfully, if these weren’t a part of my weekly routine I’m not sure where I would be emotionally. Even with all the turmoil that is taking place in the world, I’m happier now than I’ve ever been before. I’m thankful that I discovered the importance of self-care in my 20s, and I know it will always be an important part of who I am.
How do you practice self-care? I would love to read about it in the comments!
*If anyone knows the artist of this artwork please contact me.
After all of the craziness that’s been taking place over the past few years in our country, the word self-care has become often used in everyone’s vocabulary. The term self-care is well…self-explanatory. It simply means isolating some time away from everything else in life and caring for yourself. Sounds simple enough right? Wrong.
As you grow older finding time for yourself becomes more of an challenge. With the freedom that comes with becoming an adult so does careers, bills, friendship circles, and love-lives. Before you know it you won’t have any real time for yourself, leaving you feeling over-whelmed and downright stressed-out.
When I turned 26 back in September I began to realize just how burned-out I was. As a young woman working intensely hard to turn her dreams into reality, you can say I don’t have much down-time. I normally work between 10-12 hour days, 5-6 days per week, and still attempt to maintain a social life. I was pretty much tired all the time, but thanks to concealer you would never know it. It wasn’t until one day my body decided to crash and I literally couldn’t get out of the bed because of how fatigued I was. I realized at that very moment I needed to slow the hell down. I made a promise from that day forward, that I would begin to take at least 2 hours for myself each day to do absolutely nothing, and take at least one weekend a month for myself.
Taking wellness days per week began to help a tad, but I still found myself feeling cluttered even when I was alone. After contemplating on why my days off still wasn’t contributing to me feeling well, it finally occurred to me I had never given the state of my mental health much thought (which is odd seeing that I have a BA in Psychology). As a black person, much less a black woman, these last few years have been incredibly emotional, and I realized it weighed heavier on my spirit than I thought. I wasn’t protecting my spirit, and I had begun to allow the outside influences of my day-to-day to affect me mentally and spiritually.
It was the norm for me to just ignore the negative things that were taking place around me, but avoiding the problems of the world only made me more numb to them, not forget them. So once I was alone, I was forced to deal with my inner-thoughts and they were LOUD. I realized in that moment that in order for me to begin to truly practice wellness, I would have to learn how to deal.
I gave myself permission to feel, and to express whatever I was feeling about a particular topic in that present moment. Unfortunately, when you’re an expressive black woman you often get labeled as angry, and no one wants to be labeled as something they simply are not. I guess deep-down I was censoring myself, because I didn’t want to be misunderstood. However, my mental health is way more important than any person’s opinion of me.
Once I fully committed to making the art of self-care a routine practice, I actually began to see improvements within myself. My skin glowed more, I became much more calm, and noticibly happier. I’ve grown into this person whose level of chill is so high, people around me often have to tell me when I should feel “some type of way.”
Now that I’ve got the art of self-care down to a tee, I just want to encourage others to do the same. It is perfectly fine to be a little selfish. Nothing in life should be more important than the state of your mental health. Be kinder to yourself. Take some real time to invest in you and your needs. I promise that once you do, you’ll begin to see your life change for the better. Remember a happy soul equates to a happy life.
P.S. Be on the lookout for two blog posts “8 Ways I Practice Self-Care,” and “The Self-Care Playlist” coming soon.
Last year was a big year for the music world. Beyoncé made women everywhere feel empowered with the greatest that is known as Lemonade, Solange reminded Black people it’s okay to revel in the magic that blackness is with A Seat At The Table, and Frank Ocean released his highly anticipated sophomore album Blond. All three albums were fantastic, and received the adequate amount of praise that each deserved. However, there were several albums that were on heavy rotation on my playlist that just did not get the accolades I felt they should have. As an artist, I know the amount of blood, sweat, and tears that go into making real artistry, so I’ve decided to compose a list of my top 10 underrated albums of 2016 to give these musicians the recognition they deserve. Check it out below.
10. “ANTI” X Rihanna
I know you’re probably thinking why is Rihanna on this list, she’s Rihanna? While it may be true that she is an ultra famous pop-star, her album was not given the praise it deserved from the mainstream media world. ANTI told the unapologetic story of what most women feel about their love lives as they journey through their mid to late 20s. I identified with every song on the album, and it may be my most favorite Rihanna project to date.
Dawn is one of those artists that music takes you on a sonically spiritual journey. As you listen to Redemption you can feel the evolution of Dawn’s journey not just as an artist, but as a person.
I’ve always been a fan of Jeremih and his sultry lyrics, so when he released this follow-up album to his 2015 hit Late Nights back in August I had to give it a listen. I was not disappointed. Jeremih took his listeners on a sexy journey through his European tour-stops and gave us a taste of each city using various tempos to match the mood and tone of that particular place.
Vic Mensa has been one of my favorite artists for a while now. His transition into the mainstream music world was a swift one, and he reflected that on this album. Mensa tells the story of what it feels like to be a Black man in today’s society, all while trying to enjoy the fun that comes along with being a young rap star.
Eldorado is uncensored, sensual, and seductive. Ro James reminds you exactly of what real r&b should feel and sound like. It’s the perfect album for a date-night in with your baby.
When this album dropped I kept it on repeat for at least 5 weeks straight, it was just that great. B4 The Heartbreak tells the age-old story of a man that falls in love but isn’t ready to commit just yet, and then finds himself in a bit if a love-triangle. The lyrics are raw and relatable, and paired with well-composed mild tempo beats. There’s just nothing not to love about this project.
I discovered 6LACK through a Pandora Radio station. After researching his music, I discovered he had recently released his debut album. After just one listen to it, I was hooked. FREE 6LACK takes you through the journey of a disastrous love story. You feel every once of pain, regret, denial, and finally redemption.
Yuna is one of those artists that artistry literally feeds your soul. The soft-tone of her vocals are just so darn soothing. Chapters takes you on Yuna’s voyage of letting go of her non-deserving lover, learning her strength as a woman, and then becoming emotionally vulnerable to fall in love again. The album puts you in a trance, and helps you momentarily forget about the world around you.
Words can not express how I love the artist that is known as Banks. With her second studio album The Altar, Banks takes you on her journey of how she’s grown into the woman she’s come to be. As dark as the album is there is this contrasting sense of purity you feel while listening to it.
There is just something so tranquil about Gallant’s voice. Ology exudes the awesomeness that r&b was in the 90s and early 2000s. This album is the perfect soundtrack whether you’re taking a relaxing bubble bath with a glass of wine, or need something vibbie to listen to at an intimate house party. The old-school nature of the album mixed with contemporary undertones made it my favorite album of 2016.
Hope you all enjoyed the list. What were some of your favorite underrated albums of 2016? I would love to hear about them in the comments.