Self-care is an essential tool for mental and physical endurance and is a topic discussed in many spaces and places in society. Oftentimes, intentionally attending to the mental, physical and emotional needs of oneself can serve as a radical declaration that our bodies and minds are made on purpose and with purpose, and do not exist solely for use and consumption. This is particularly true for individuals in the BIPOC community who are routinely met with a narrative that is counter to this.
Here are a few ways that individuals in this community can begin or continue a journey toward caring for themselves:
- Find and embrace your community by engaging in places and spaces and people that are physically safe, familiar and culturally congruent. This is a wonderful way to take care of yourself.
- Give yourself permission not to be obliged to converse about certain topics if you do not foresee the conversation to be safe, trusted and/or mutually beneficial. Give others space and explicit permission to pursue their own education. Release yourself from the burden of educating those around you. Your voice matters, and so does your silence.
- Unapologetically rest and create boundaries. Rest is productive. Rest is resistance. Full stop. Discover what rest looks like and feels like for you. Is it putting the phone on “Do Not Disturb”? Not checking emails? Sitting poolside with a book?
- Focus on faith and spirituality. Check in with yourself and be reminded of the practices and rituals that keep you grounded, like prayer and meditation.
- Seek support if and when you need it. Lyra, Vanderbilt’s mental health benefit provider, is available for those who are interested in starting care. The Lyra provider network is made up of expert, compassionate providers of many backgrounds, lived experiences and identities. Sign up to get matched with a provider who’s a great fit for you.
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Vanderbilt employees and their families are eligible to receive 12 counseling sessions per household member each year, at no cost to employees. Vanderbilt also offers affinity groups to faculty and staff members around interests, backgrounds, identities and common bonds: https://www.vanderbilt.edu/diversity/employee-affinity-groups/
Sign up today at https://vanderbilt.lyrahealth.com/ or call 877-804-2856.
You can view frequently asked questions on the Office of Health and Wellness website.