Mental Health, Uncategorized, Wellness

Does being a “Strong Black Woman” affect healthy thinking? – Guest Blogger Markesha

Being a black woman comes with its pros. I don’t know about you but I wake up feeling GOOD knowing that I have some pigment in my skin, honey! Some find it annoying, but I take it as a compliment to see women of other cultures, aka the culture vultures, fixing their hair or their bodies to look and feel more like us. We’re magic, baby! Often imitated, but never duplicated! Yet and still, there are some cons that come withbeing a black woman as well. Not only do we have to deal with racism, discrimination, sexism, colorism, and all the other isms that the world has against us, but we also have the tendency to fight our way through depressive struggles while lacking the proper mental and emotional support. What’s the cliché line that people love using to describe us? “I’m a strong, black,independent woman, and I don’t need NOBODY!” Yeah, that’s us alright. 

Being black women, more than likely raised by other black women, we’re taught to be strong through the early years of our childhood. This may not apply to all of us, but it will to a majority of us. Think about it, starting out small we’ve been taught to defend ourselves. I’m sure at some point during your childhood your mother has said to you, “if any of those kids in school hit you, you hit them back!” And if you grew up in a single parent household like me, I’m sure you’ve seen your mother struggle to make ends meet. That’s been the story in my family for generations and I refuse to continue the cycle. I loved getting the things that I wanted as a child but I still took notice of the stress that it caused on my mother. Not only did I notice the financial strain that my mother went through, I noticed the mental strain it placed on her as well. Vividly, I remember seeing my mother go through cycles of crying to herself, walking around the house in circles as if she couldn’t sit still. One day I finally asked her what was wrong. She told me“everything was okay” and that those were some of the emotions she went through from time to time. I didn’t understand it much as a child but now that I’m an adult, I fully understand that my mother was juggling a lot more than she can handle. Despite the many nights she’s cried, she’s never taken a minute to revitalize herself, and this is something that we continue to do today as “strong black women”. From mothers, to business owners, students, sisters, granddaughters, aunts, and just hard working women in general, our lives are filled with so many responsibilities. We’re motivated to grind and make sh*t happen to change our circumstances but are we actually taking it easy on ourselves mentally? Believe it or not, many women of color would much rather push their way through a period of feeling hopeless, rather than seeking help from a professional in fear of being judged or embarrassed. Keeping these thoughts and emotions bottled in may get you through the day, but it’s only going to drive you into a downward spiral in the long run. I broke down a few of the mental illnesses our women are currently suffering from, and how these illnesses can be prevented while keeping a healthy mind below: 

Types of Mental Illnesses:

 Depression –depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in everyday routines
 Anxiety – a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome

(Consistent worry can easily trigger fearful and/or compulsive emotions, leading you to overthink and exhaust your mind)

 Insomnia  habitual sleeplessness; inability to sleep.

(Having too much on your mind at once can lead to having trouble sleeping throughout the night)

 Bipolar Disorder  a mental condition marked by alternating periods of elation and depression.

(This disorder can worsen over time if not treated. Researchsuggests that this disorder progresses quicker in women who are in a depressive state)

How To Keep a Healthy Mind:

 Exercise a few times out of the week  working out will keep you in an upbeat spirit and feeling motivated
 Pray/Meditate – this will provide you the outlet you need to calm your mind and clear your energy
 Eat healthier foods – healthy foods give you more energy through the day and restful sleep at night
 Seek a therapist/Talk to a friend – DO NOT BE ASHAMED TO ASK FOR HELP! Speaking to someone about your problems will help you release a lot of what you’re feeling
 Dedicate one day a week strictly to yourself (if possible) – choosing a day for self-care gives you the space and opportunity to realign your thoughts, relax, and recharge

As black women, we always have been and will forever be the strongest on this planet. Just as we use our circumstances to make the hustle a top priority, let’s use mental illness to  makeour mental well-being a top priority as well.

If you enjoyed this read and you want to see more like this, be sure to head over to Instagram and follow @prettyblackthoughts. There we will continue the conversation of mental health and discuss topics as such & much more!XOXO 

 

-MB

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