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Am I doing it right? Everyday Tips for Self-Care During the Pandemic from The Black Girl Doctors

Updated: Jul 24, 2021

quite about self-care side by side photo of woman

Let’s be real, even when there’s not a global pandemic happening, it’s difficult to take time and space and truly advocate for self-care. And then 2020 happened. Since the first shelter in place order hit in early Spring, it’s been an endless spiral of cancellations and public avoidance.

It’s safe to say that it has been a strange period in our lives— one that has forced us to try to acclimate to high levels of stress and to get more comfortable with the unknown (uugghhh). The best of psychology teaches us that with all the unexpected shifts, the most important thing we can do to survive, is to lean in to things that provide joy and comfort.

I know, I know, easier said than done right?

To help shed light on what this actually looks like (on a regular day) for professional women, we connected with each of The Black Girl Doctors to learn more about how they’re channeling stress through routine at-home self-care practices. We also asked about what they are excited to do once outside is safe again. Because, bonus tip: It seems anticipation of something great is also a major key in maintaining joy!

Up first, we chatted with Dr. Shelly, an OG member of the Black Girl Doctor Fam who resides in Long Beach. Here’s what she had to say about finding peace while staying home during the Rona...

Tell us about your routine pandemic self-care practices.

My schedule consists of multiple jobs and responsibilities so it’s really important that I find a way to structure out my days. I keep a pretty intense calendar that allows me to manage my time and I do my best to NEVER extend my work into my “me time.” I always protect my time to relax and detox. During the day, I take frequent short walks and set time aside to stretch and give my body and mind a break. Plus, I always look forward to a good dinner (that brings me joy). I love cooking for myself but it’s always nice to splurge and get take out.

What are you most excited to do once Rona has subsided and outside is safe again?

I love to travel and find myself always daydreaming about tropical destinations. I’m originally from Jamaica so I’m hoping to plan a trip there first to see my family. In addition to Jamaica, I’m looking forward to planning a trip to Maldives or Bali! I’ve been wanting to visit both of those countries for quite some time.

Dr. J is an LA native who brings a lot of joy and personality to The Black Girl Doctor team. She discusses how she’s been making the best of Rona:

Tell us about your routine pandemic self-care practices.

In addition to being a therapist at the Black Girl Doctor, I’m a mental health consultant so it’s really important for me to find some time to step away as well as keep my own mental health in check. I typically start my morning with a walk to clear my mind and sometimes I’ll do the same after work. One of the unique parts of my routine has been listening to Black History Bootcamp which is a walking challenge honoring the footsteps of our foremothers hosted by GirlTrek.

What are you most excited to do once Rona has subsided and outside is safe again?

I’m really looking forward to taking a vacation, I know we all are! One of the spots I’m looking forward to traveling to the most is Africa. I’m excited about finally having the opportunity to explore a safari and see the diverse wildlife.

Dr. Akilah considers herself tri-coastal having lived in California, New York, and Texas. She has many hobbies and strict routines that she’s been enjoying while in quarantine.

Tell us about your routine pandemic self-care practices.

I have a very detailed routine that keeps me upbeat during the crisis. I begin my day at home drinking tea in the morning and eating breakfast in my quiet sitting corner. This gives me a chance to breathe and reflect on what I have to tackle that day. I still work outside the home so on the way to work, I like to listen to my playlist and during my drive home, it’s an opportunity to call and connect with my family and friends. When I get home, I typically cook dinner and catch up on a good show. During the weekends, I enjoy having zoom parties with my family and going on hikes in the afternoon. Sundays I mentally reset and enjoy church online.

What are you most excited to do once Rona has subsided and outside is safe again?

First, I want to go home and hug my mama and my daddy. Next, I want to find time to vacation out of the country with my partner and also plan another trip with all my closest girlfriends!

Dr. C is located in sunny San Diego and is a true fashionista who knows how to rock a gorgeous headwrap. Outside of fashion, Dr. C knows how to make a mean cup of tea which has been an influential part of her daily routine since the pandemic has started.

Tell us about your routine pandemic self-care practices.

I start my morning off by indulging in a cup of good tea. I’ve found making my own tea from scratch in the morning is very therapeutic. I use lemon, fresh ginger and turmeric, cinnamon, pineapple, and sometimes a little honey or maple syrup. I take lots of deep breaths and find it very soothing to absorb warm long sips.

What are you most excited to do once Rona has subsided and outside is safe again?

I’d like to go see my grandma and loved ones in Missouri. I’m also very passionate about traveling and always looking for an opportunity to do something new. I look forward to taking a flight outside of the country in hopes of seeing new territory I have yet to adventure to!

Dr. Dom is the newest member of the Black Girl Family! She resides in Northern California with her husband and daughter (who we think is the cutest ever)!

Tell us about your routine pandemic self-care practices.

I have a big family and love to cook for them. My favorite thing has been looking up new recipes on Pinterest and trying them out (unfortunately, I’ve had my fair share of Pinterest fails, lol). When I’m feeling really adventurous, I play a game of “Chopped” and find ingredients around the house and freestyle a meal. After a long day of work, it feels great to step into the kitchen and experiment for my family of four.

What are you most excited to do once Rona has subsided and outside is safe again?

I am really excited about being able to travel again. When I think about traveling, I feel conflicted between a beach vacation versus visiting my family on the east coast. My solution to this dilemma is to combine the two and plan a family vacation somewhere tropical.

Lastly, we had a chance to catch up with Dr. Tai, our founder who always seems to find the time to talk about joy despite a million things on her plate.

Tell us about your routine pandemic self-care practices.

I’m a water person (a true Aquarius) so summer is one of my favorite times of the year. Since it was pretty much a bust in terms of water sports, I’ve scheduled two bubble baths per month and you better believe I go all out! I find the key to a perfect bubble bath is fancy soap, a good face mask, music, good lighting, and a glass of wine. While this is definitely not a replacement for the rush of the ocean, the intentionality of dedicating this time to myself, and the sensation of dunking my head completely under the water in the tub leaves me feeling refreshed and allows me to tune out all distractions.

What are you most excited to do once Rona has subsided and outside is safe again?

I had to cancel my trip to Senegal this year which would have been my first trip to the motherland. I’m looking forward to planning a new trip to the coast, and maybe I’ll be able to make it an extended trip and visit multiple African countries. That will be my reward for having to wait so long.

While these last few months have been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride, it’s important to step back, breathe, and remember that the best is always yet to come. We’ll find our way to the other side of this pandemic by having healthy habits, indulging in some of our favorite activities, and planning something we can look forward to!

Fingers crossed that one day soon we will be checking in again with the doctors to hear all the juicy deets from their amazing trips and adventures! Until then, remember that prioritizing your own self-care is a radical act of resistance.

*You can learn more about each of The Black Girl Doctors here.


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