Wellness

#finesseyourwellness

How You Doing Girl? Like, Really - How Are You?

Beyond popular belief, Black and brown women do not wear capes. Living up to the strong black woman stereotype, in particular, can be harmful to our mental health – along with the stress of dealing with the constant realities of racism, discrimination and economic equalities.

So we deserve wellness and self-care too – to help us navigate the complexities of life, relax, heal and remind ourselves that we’re human, after all.  Follow these tips to explore how to start your own wellness journey, and #finesseyourwellness. You’re worth it.

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Learn how to self-care from the experts

In 2019, we ran a series of uplifting, inspirational talks called The Cool Down to encourage black and brown women to become the very best versions of themselves. Missed the live events? Listen to our first Cool Down event featuring a panel of experts and influencers sharing their top tips on how to self-care and more.

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Take a long walk (around the park)

Yes, we love to run – but sometimes a long walk is just what the doctor ordered to set the mind at ease and appreciate the beauty of the world around you.  We encourage you to take a walk from time to time, doing  any distance you like – just take a pic and tag @flygirlcollective on Instagram or Twitter to let us known you’re moving!

Need music to walk to? Currently recommending: 

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Sort out your diet with a certified nutritionist

As the saying goes, you are what you eat – and we all know we can do better. So if you really want to know how to make the right food choices for your lifestyle, it might be time to see a nutritionist. Amaeze Madukah is a qualified nutritionist and founder of Life’s Recipe who runs an inclusive, accessible practice to help her clients feel good in the body they have. Follow Amaeze on Twitter or Instagram.

Find a nutritionist near you
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Get your drink on

There are plenty of reasons to feel exhausted right now (!) but fatigue might be an indication that you’re actually dehydrated girl! 60% of the adult body is water, so you need to guzzle a good amount of H20 to function. But if you know you’re not sipping enough, it might be time to make it a habit. Set hourly reminders on your phone to take a sip, pimp up your water with mint, lemon and fruits, or share your progress on social media. Not sure how much to lap up? Check out these tips on how to get your water intake.

Exhale

Try a mindful breathing exercise

Taking a moment to mind how you breathe can help you overcome panic, anxiety and stress. Check out this easy routine from the NHS, which you can do daily:

  1. Stand up, sit on a chair or lie down on a bed or exercise mat in a comfortable position.
  2. If you’re lying down, place your arms away from your sides, with the palms up.  If you’re sitting or standing, place both feet flat on the ground. Whatever position you’re in, place your feet roughly hip-width apart.
  3. Gently let your breath flow as deep down into your belly as is comfortable. Try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. It helps to count steadily from 1 to 5 (but you may not be able to reach 5 at first).
  4. Then, without pausing or holding your breath, let it flow out gently, counting from 1 to 5 again (if it helps).
  5. Repeat the cycle for  3 to 5 minutes.

For more help with breathing, relaxing, focusing and sleeping, download the Calm or Tide app (they’re fab).

Exhale

Colour yourself calm with these black girl colouring pages

Colouring has made a comeback in recent years – and for good reason. As we’ve grown accustomed to spending more time at home, colouring has become the perfect antidote to chill out, tackle stress and unplug from the endless noise of social media. It can also keep negative emotions at bay (which we love).

Escape into a world of creativity with these black girl colouring pages, designed by London artist Kim Myers. Download and print, or colour online and share your creations on Instagram, tagging @flygirlcollective and @kim_art_ee

Colouring page 1

Colouring page 2

Colouring page 3

Shine

Double down on your skin care routine

Never understimate the importance of skincare. As the years slowly (but surely) take their toil, a quality skincare regime will ensure you establish a good base so you understand your skin needs, and can prevent any issues down the line. Plus, it’s a lovely form of self-care,  and that’s always worth the investment. The core staples in a regime are a cleanser, serum, moisturiser and sunscreen; but before you run off and buy what’s popping on Instagram, consider having a chat with a skincare specialist. They’ll assess your skin, recommend the right products and the best way to use them.

Check out the Black Skin Directory to find an expert skin care professional near you. Or for a more cost-effective alternative, take a look at our tried-and-tested product recommendations here

Peep these products
Thrive

Talk to someone

It’s good to talk. Sharing with a therapist can help you thrive in all areas of your life – but if you’re worried about costs, sessions are more accessible than you think. For instance, Psychotherapist Karen Hartley offers a free 30-minute online assessment for those looking to explore counselling.  Elsewhere, Black Minds Matter are on a mission to connect black individuals and families with professional mental health services across the UK. They’ve created a fund that will go towards the cost over covering services, making it easier to find a therapist and start a journey towards improved mental health.

Access the Black Minds Matter website