Mental Health Wellness

Self-Care is Not a Luxury

The world has changed so much in the last year. A year ago today, schools were going on lockdown, people were losing jobs, and our mental health either suffered or thrived. Some of us have had to learn how to survive in isolation, how to maintain our homes, and basically how to live again. As we continue to deal with the uncertainty of the times, don’t forget to practice self-care. I know, I know… you think your self-care options are limited and you just don’t have time.

But self-care is not a luxury, sis. It is a MUST.

If things like having a spa party with the girls or that fancy trip isn’t an option for you right now, I’m here to say that there are always options for self-care. And it doesn’t have to include luxury spa sessions and a flight to Bora Bora. Although, that sounds amazing right now.

Don’t get me wrong, sis – before the pandemic, my definition of self-care was laying in bed and shopping on Amazon. You know, just to see what kind of lightning deal I can get in the next two days. But lately, getting fast shipping is hit or miss, and I’m trying to stop stalking my postal worker for my packages. (Like… Seriously, where is it, Frank?)

All jokes aside; Practicing self-care during this time, while we are still trying to find a new normal, is the best thing you can do for yourself. Life has a way of just knocking us off balance and disrupting our systems. So, if you’re not listening to your mind & body cues to step back you’re doing yourself a disservice. Make a commitment to practice self-care this year, and create a daily ritual for your mental health. A few simple things that can help on your self-care journey are:

  • Wake up earlier so you have time for YOU – exercise, dance, whatever.
  • Write or doodle about things you’re grateful for.
  • Put some headphones on and listen to some soothing music.
  • Spend a little extra time unapologetically doing nothing.
  • Find a quiet place to reflect and meditate before you end your day.

It’s easy for us to forget to take care of ourselves in our busiest moments. But self-care is simply asking ourselves what we need and honestly just following through. It’s about building a deeper connection with yourself and remembering to make ourselves a priority. Recently, I’ve committed to using tools like the Shine app to help me put my mental health first this year.

The Shine app is a self-care app founded by two women of color on a mission to make taking care of your mental health easier, more representative, and more accessible. The app helps you create a daily self-care ritual with meditations, reflection and journaling, and community discussions.

Be sure to use my affiliate link to access to get 40% off your first year of Shine Premium and access over 1,000 meditations in the Shine App:

And let me know below if you need an accountability partner, I’d love to help.

Mental Health Wellness

Things I Wish Someone Told Me 20 Years Ago

As the year comes to an end, I reflect, with gratitude, on what’s been an unforgettable year in more ways than one. All of the highs and lows of 2020 reminds me of how far I’ve come and how far we still have to go. So, I thought it would be fitting to do a letter to my younger self about things I wish someone told me 20 years ago.

I’ve grown & evolved SO much over the years. And I can honestly say that statement with no regrets, only lessons learned. Although, there are some lessons I wish I would have paid attention to sooner, I’m grateful for the insight I’ve gained. It’s been more than helpful as I raise my own teenagers.

Read along as I write this letter to my younger self.

Things I Wish Someone Told Me 20 Years Ago

Dear Beautiful Black Girl,

I’m writing this letter to you in hopes that it not only teaches you to value and appreciate the moment you’re in, but also to realize that some things truly happen for a reason. With that being said, there are a few things that I’d like you to take note of before you enter adulthood.

Be yourself. You’re kinda cool.

Unapologetically. Fall in love with your self – your skin, your hair, your style, your mind. Then you won’t feel that you have to pretend to be anyone else to fit in, and you won’t NEED another human to love you like you do. You don’t have to shrink yourself to allow someone else’s light to be brighter. You are beautiful, smart, and worthy. Walk in your light.

Document everything.

Take all the pictures. Record all the things, all of your dreams, and all of your goals in your journal. Yes, even the embarrassing ones. Those photos and videos will outlive the people in it one day. It’s great to have things to look back on for stories and memories.

Choose your friends wisely.

As you get older, you’ll realize that it’s not always about who you’ve been friends with the longest – its more about who brings the most quality to your life. I learned that being around a few good people who lift you up is more gratifying than being with a hundred people just for the sake of popularity. So, choose people who make you laugh when you’ve had a rough day, people who challenge you to live up to your potential, and people who won’t leave you behind.

Trust your instincts.

As with the point above, pay attention to all of the red flags and don’t let your emotions overpower your intelligence. We all want to believe that everyone is good, and that is fine but – You are smart enough to know when someone or something doesn’t have your best interest at heart, so don’t ignore the guidance you’ve received.

Stop caring about what other people think.

You don’t need others opinions to validate you. You don’t need to get their approval of you to feel pretty, popular, or cool. As cliche as it may seem – You gotta walk to the beat of your own drum, Chantelle. Dance like no one is watching and sing til your heart no longer aches. You got this.

Get involved at school.

Sign up for that club. Audition for that part. Try out for that sport. Take this time to find your passions and at least a few hobbies you can enjoy when you’re older. Life is all about the experiences and the choices we make. Don’t let fear keep you from trying something new. Oh, and pay attention in accounting class.

Listen to your Mom.

Contrary to the fact that we feel like our Moms are superhuman, they won’t be here forever. Listen to her words, learn about her dreams, her culture (most importantly – the recipes), and soak up all that you can. There’s a lot that she’s holding in to protect your innocence but she may need your reassurance to know she’s doing a good job as mother. Show her you’re listening and

I wish I could literally tell you more and hug you as an adult, so you know that everything will be okay. But I’ll use this letter to help my daughters see what I might have missed at their age.

Keep reading and expanding your mind. Never stop learning. And never stop loving yourself. The freedom and peace you are looking for is waiting for you.

xo, chantelmarie | lifestyle blog
Chantelle Marie
Things I Wish Someone Told Me 20 Years Ago