#BeyondTheFear: Practicing Self-Care

For years now I have brought up self-care in spaces. I’ve always been the kid who is screaming about how important self-care is, but like so many other people, I don’t actually practice it.

Yeah, I have some days where I just hang out at home and watch TV, and I have days where I don’t do much but the reality is that those days are often riddled with the constance nudge in my brain that there is work that needs to get done.

Well, last week I decided to push everything aside and actually take time to breathe. It’s the first time in a really long time where I didn’t open my computer or think about what work I could be getting done. Instead, I set my alarm and woke up at 7:00 AM to catch the sunrise while I dipped my feet in the sand of South Beach. As I sat there alone, I let the water cleanse all of my thoughts. I watched as the seagulls dipped in and out of the sky and just simply appreciated the beauty of this thing called life.

As the day went on I got to spend time with Mateo Ali as he raced across the sand playing with his avenger figurines. I even swam out into the ocean with Daveen, Paola and Michael and admired the beauty of the South Beach skyline. And of course I had to end it poolside with a couple of drinks in hand.

I’m sharing all of this because the day before I actually considered leaving Miami early because I felt guilty about the idea of having a day to take care of myself. I felt guilty knowing that I could fly up to . I felt guilty having the privilege to be in a nice hotel on South Beach because just 15 minutes away was the apartment complex I grew up in which to some might be considered the “hood.”

But part of growing up means challenging those things that make you uncomfortable. We live in a society that values work over compassion, hustle over self-care, money over family, and it’s our job to change this! We have to remember that as people, especially young people of color, taking care of ourselves is one of the most powerful things we can do to help better our communities. Because if we aren’t taking care of ourselves, then it’s just a matter of time before we can no longer take care of others.