By Kanisha Parks
Self-care is a topic that is becoming increasingly popular throughout social media, and I’m all the way here for it. As black women, self-care is something we often put on the backburner, if we even make time for it at all. We’re caregivers and caretakers—strong, hard-working, mothers, daughters, wives, sisters, and friends. We’re out here grinding, trying to build something we can be proud of. Some of us wear so many hats, it’s a wonder we ever get any sleep, let alone find the time to give even a few minutes to ourselves.
As a single woman, self-care is no less important than it would be if you were in a relationship. This is the time for you—getting to know you, improving you, accepting and loving yourself for who you are and all that you have to offer. When you don’t have a significant other or children to care for, it may seem you should have more time to embrace self-care but that isn’t necessarily the case. We all have responsibilities, some greater than others, and someone or something is constantly beckoning for our attention (even social media!).
But as you endeavor to be your best self, it starts with you. Aside from the immediate gratification, self-care has several benefits that affect your life as a whole:
1. Self-care helps reinforce your self-esteem.
As a single woman, you have to take care of yourself. I mean, who else is going to do it? But what’s more is, before getting involved in a relationship, it’s important to have a firm foundation of self. Incorporating self-care into your daily routine only serves to reinforce your self-esteem, making you less likely to pursue a relationship for the wrong reasons—such as, validation. Self-care is a way of reminding yourself that you are important, you are enough, and you deserve to be treated as such. Ultimately, you’ll be less likely to settle for anything other than being treated like the Queen you are!
Alex Elle, a writer and self-care advocate, shares:
“Sometimes it feels easier to let others do our hard work for us. But at the end of the day, learning how to lean into our self-love, stand tall in our self-care, and understand that we too are capable of loving ourselves just as hard as an outsider may, we have to show up. We have to do the work and become self-aware. Even when it’s uncomfortable. Even when we don’t want to. No one can love you like you can. Outside love validation feels good, it’s needed sometimes. But that internal self-acceptance matters. Learning how to love yourself when no one is looking or there to say “good job” is necessary as you journey through life. Don’t let the fear of facing your truth stop you from showing up for yourself in the way you deserve.”
2. You’ll be better equipped to handle your relationships.
Outside of romantic relationships, we all have multiple relationships in our lives with our families, friends, and those we work with. Even though self-care is first and foremost for you, the act of caring for yourself (or not taking care of yourself) directly affects those around you. “Putting yourself first" is a concept that we’ve been taught to deem as selfish, when it’s actually an act that shows you’re considerate of your relationships. You will be less irritable, stressed, short, and sarcastic when you’ve had time to reflect, release, and regroup. That’s what self-care does for you.
3. When you try multiple forms of self-care, you’ll know what appeals to you. There are so many self-care practices. In fact, TinyBuddha.comhas a list of 45 practices for the mind, body, and soul. It could be something as simple as taking a relaxing bath instead of a quick shower, cloud-watching, praying, or writing. Self-care is all about being intentional when life is constantly beckoning for your attention to do something else.
So spend time with you. Make self-care a habit, not a chore. Discover new practices that make you feel loved, refreshed, and at peace. Know yourself, love yourself, and cherish self-care in your singlehood.
Do you take time for self-care?