Fighting the stigma of self-care

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Mostly cloudy, a cool 50 degrees and the snow-coated Olympic Mountains off in the distance of Pier 62.

We were conditioned to hustle. We were taught to fight for everything. Somewhere it was told to me that it was lazy to take a vacation while things were not so perfect.

Self-care must be learned.

I almost cancelled my trip to the Pacific Northwest out of guilt.

Dogs, fresh flowers and couples walking hand in hand. No rain. Shuttered stores and an empty Hard Rock Café set the backdrop for a group homeless people talking politics.

I want to discuss the need for self-care and what that may look like at different stages or socioeconomic classes.

What does it mean to take care of yourself?

Having the privilege to shower, eat correctly, visit a medical doctor and be emotional intelligent to trauma responses in self or others are tools that we sometimes take for granted.

God forbid, you have access to speak with a therapist.

There is a stigma associated with self-care that has consequences in the Black community.

We do not openly discuss mental illnesses without it being rooted in ridicule or a religious figure pointing to the sky and asking us to bow our heads.

Some people in the Black community ignorantly use terms like ADHD, ADD, bipolar and crazy referring to a friend or family member in crisis.

How many Black people have been murdered by police due to experiencing a mental health distress?

This pandemic has exacerbated stress to an already disenfranchised community, but the number of Black and indigenous people of color to fill the role of licensed and qualified therapists has remained stagnant.

An article in the South Seattle Emerald cites the difficulties and the need for Black people to have a safe space to process race, discrimination and stress.

Being Black in America is tiring. Nothing has changed but the president.

We need to reclaim space to deconstruct this notion that therapy is for whites only.

Becoming a therapist or social worker is a viable career option for kids in Austin.

You can make money.

You are needed.

Learning coping skills to manage physical and mental health is a life-long journey.

I am glad I took the trip. I did not realize how much I needed it.

I had a fear of taking care of myself. I needed to take care of me the way that I run to fix everyone else.

I had to social work The People’s Social Worker.

My cup is filling, and that makes it easier to pour into those in need and before it becomes empty, I will take another self-care vacation.

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