As the Calm Coach, Jamie Fleming-Dixon is passionate about helping Black women prioritize their inner peace and themselves. She teaches them how to create calm so they can be happier and love their lives.
Jamie's passion for meditation, yoga, and self-care was sparked after having her daughter in 2013. As a new mother, wife, and entrepreneur, she found herself overwhelmed and frustrated trying to harmonize her roles. Ultimately, Jamie used methods like yoga, meditation, affirmations, and self-care to create a positive,
life-changing impact on herself and her life. Her goal is to show women how to do the same with her brand and website, her book, “The Black Girl's Guide to Calm,” and through her digital products and services. Connect with Jamie and the #Blackgirlcalm brand at BlackGirlsGuidetoCalm.com.
Self-care for femmes
When many people hear the phrase “self-care,” their first thoughts are usually of getting a massage, a manicure or pedicure, or getting their hair done. While these things can certainly be considered practices one can use to take care of herself, self-care encompasses so much more. It's about making sure you're well taken care of in every aspect of your life.
Historically and generally speaking, we as Black women have always put ourselves on the back burner to make sure those around us are good, and many of us are taught that putting ourselves first is not something we're supposed to do. While self-care is seen as selfish and therefore a bad thing (and hey, maybe it is selfish...and there's nothing wrong with that), it's something you should prioritize in your life.
Here are some ways to you can do just that in three areas of your life:
Exercise. Not only is working out essential for your physical health since it reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, it also boosts your happiness, helps you sleep better, and can help increase your confidence. No matter what it is – dancing, strength training, yoga, or running – get moving.
Stay hydrated. Did you know that about 60 percent of your body is made of water? Therefore, it's super important to make sure you get enough. Water helps you feel better physically and mentally, prevents pain, can help boost your productivity, and can give you more energy.
Eat well. I'm not saying you have to become vegetarian or vegan (unless that's your thing), but, like exercise, having a healthy diet helps you sleep better, can boost your happiness, and it can also help with stress.
Practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply being aware of what's going on in the present moment. Some ways to practice include single-tasking, doing less (as in trimming your to-do list), and spending time in silence, and doing nothing at all.
Meditation. When meditating, your mind is relaxed and quiet; and with a regular practice, you're ultimately able to live from a space of peace. Other benefits of meditation include reduced stress and overwhelm, increased creativity, and the tendency to worry less overall.
Take social media breaks. With so much drama and negative news floating around on social media, it's important to take frequent breaks to clear your head and your energy. Whether it's for a day, a weekend, or even a few weeks, take some time off.
Vent in your journal (aka morning pages). One of my favorite ways to process how I'm feeling is through journaling. It's especially helpful to do this in the morning since you're doing a brain dump, getting all those thoughts out of your head so you're more clear and focused for the day ahead. And you don't have to write a long time; you can journal for five to 10 minutes or until you get everything out.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings. This can be difficult for many Black women, because we were raised to be strong and to just “get over it.” We don't allow ourselves to sit with or really deal with emotions that don't feel good (trust me, I get it; it's something I've had to work on). Feeling your feelings is necessary because 1. When you numb the not-so-good feelings, you also numb the good ones; 2. Having a full range of emotions is a part of your human experience and having a full life. Feel what you feel, then move to a better feeling.
Practice self-compassion. If you're like most of us, you're probably hard on yourself and beat yourself up when you fail or make mistakes. What if, instead, you treated yourself like you'd treat a close friend or your child? Whenever you feel the urge to down yourself, remember this: “Self-compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others.” - Christopher Germer
You deserve to feel whole, happy, centered, and peaceful. And that's what will happen when you start putting you first and taking care of yourself. Make your self-care a non-negotiable part in your daily life; you won't regret it.