Less weed, More self-care:Encouraging more self-care routines in the African American culture.
Marijuana seems as though it has been a part of the African American Culture for a long time while it’s important to stress that not all persons who identify as African American utilize this herb, a vast majority of the African American have used this herb at some point in their lifetime.
One reason why most African Americans have used this herb has been to find some kind of mental relief from the harsh realities they faced from Oppressive racism. For decades marijuana has served as African Americans master herb because of the peace that it grants from the degrading truths of poverty, lack of education, segregation, less job opportunities, and sub-standard living conditions (Joy 2020).
While it is undoubtably evident African Americans now experience a higher quality of life than in the past thanks to the various fights and victories of civil rights and equality movements marijuana seems to still be great part of the culture.
Now that the medicinal properties of marijuana are now mainstream American’s view of this herb has greatly shifted. Weed is no longer being looked upon as a dangerous addictive drug but an herbal medicine that can remedies a wide array of physical and mental health concerns (Carol 2020). Although marijuana is now commercialized, as a person of color I believe that African Americans still rely too much of Marijuana for peace of mind instead of utilizing other forms of self-care that can have extraordinary benefits if adapted to our lifestyle.
Here are 7 self- care activities that I believe African American should adapt to supplement our Mental Health routines.
1. Meditation- The practice of meditation can provide a ton of mental health benefits. Meditation helps to increase self-awareness, manage stress, reduce negative emotions, and increase imagination and creativity. With all of these amazing benefits it seems like meditation should be on everyone’s self-care list.
2. Massages- As more African American become more financially stable due to the increase in job opportunities and increase in blacks becoming business owner. We should use or wealth to treat ourselves to a massage. Massage are great for reducing stress, increasing relaxation, reducing pain, improving circulation, detoxing and increasing flexibility. Nowadays it’s easy to find affordable massage therapist.
3. Exercise- A simple way to reduce stress and improve your mental health is by exercising. Finding some way to move your body in the way that is most enjoyable to you is crucial. This can be running, dancing, swimming, kickboxing, Biking and etc. Exercising releases endorphins which causes you to please pleasure and euphoria which has a positive effect on your mental health.
4. Sunbathing- Not only does soaking up the sun increase vitamin D but also increases serotonin which elevates your mood (Roy 2019). It is also said that people of darker complexions need to about 10xs more time sunbathing to produce the amount of vitamin D needed (Barrymore 2021). Sunbathing also is said to reduce blood pressure, improves sleep, boost immunity and aid weight loss.
5. Bath Teas- Every now and then a good bath soak can provide great mental and physical relief. Soaking in warm bath mixed with lots of beneficial herbs can help to detoxify the skin, heals soars and wounds, reduce skin ageing, and rejuvenate skin. Allowing yourself sometime to melt away your mental tension in this way if a practice worth adopting.
6. Going to bed early- The list of benefits here are numerous. Sleeping early is said to improve sleep quality, reduce anxiety and depression, increase energy, improves memory and a ton of other physical benefits. Perhaps try going to bed early every day for one week and see if you notice the difference.
7. Travel- Getting out of your routine and into a new space can help peoples mental health (Nazish 2018). As more African American come into financial freedom it is important to gain your perspectives on life through traveling, especially out of the US. Traveling to new places expands the minds and fills you with a sense of awe and wonder. The experiences that traveling to beautiful place can have on a person is almost spiritual in nature. Try traveling to places that are exotic and different from the normal culture that you are used to. Your passion for travel will quickly ignite once your tasted it.
Carroll, Devante J. "Spokeswoman for Cannabis Action Network knows firsthand the benefits of medical marijuana." UWIRE Text, 12 Feb. 2020, p. 1. Gale Academic OneFile Select, link.gale.com/apps/doc/A613762207/EAIM?u=minn4020&sid=EAIM&xid=1ac7ba51. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.
Roy, Ashley. (2019, February 2). 15 Health Benefits of Sunbathing Retrived from MedLife website. https://www.medlife.com/blog/15-health-benefits-sunbathing/
Barrymore, John. How does the sun affect people with dark complexions?. Retrived from How stuff works website. https://health.howstuffworks.com/skin-care/beauty/sun-care/sun-affect-dark-complexions.htm
Nazish, Noma. (2018, January 25). Five reasons why travel is good for your mental health. Retrieved from Forbes Website. https://www.forbes.com/sites/nomanazish/2018/01/22/five-reasons-why-travel-is-good-for-your-mental-health/?sh=2cd6a5959342
Joy, Crystal. (2020, June 25). Black live matter: Practicing self-care during a revolution.
Walden University Online Library. https://go-gale-com.ezp.waldenulibrary.org/ps/retrieve.do?tabID=News&resultListType=RESULT_LIST&searchResultsType=MultiTab&hitCount=1&searchType=AdvancedSearchForm¤tPosition=1&docId=GALE%7CA627747246&docType=Article&sort=Relevance&contentSegment=ZXAY-MOD1&prodId=OVIC&pageNum=1&contentSet=GALE%7CA627747246&searchId=R1&userGroupName=minn4020&inPS=true