Chántelle Adanna, Author & Poet
What wellness strategies do you think should be given more attention within the Black community?
Well, for starters, I think the Black community needs to define what wellness for us means. What are we targeting and how deep do we need to delve into each factor? These are the questions we rarely take the time to ask, yet they are imperative to our holistic healing as a people. Wellness should be addressed from all angles including physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. We need to get more acquainted with caring for ourselves as a daily ritual and the biggest strategies I suggest to ignite this flame are:
1. Be gentle and forgive yourself. View yourself as one; as a human with needs, wants, and desires in this life. Too often we set ourselves aside, especially Black Women, to appease the likes of others, especially other races. We are very quick to forgive any and everyone else before ourselves and this is a part of the ploy to break us mentally as a people. We do this subconsciously because it’s directly and indirectly ingrained in us that we are of less value, that we are undeserving, that we equate to nothing. We continuously are the givers and never the receivers.
2. Consider your ancestry, find the value and worth from within. It is important to realize that you are worthy and deserve everything good in this world. Do not cheat yourself because you limited and settled for the best you thought you could do due to fear. We all have deeply woven roots deriving from Africa, and it provides guidance to read up on, visit, immerse yourself in where we originate from. Who we were, what we made happen, what we invented before the 400+ years of brutal slavery. Why do you think they tried so hard to make us forget? This, done with pure intentions, will aid you on grasping a better gist of where we are going.
3. Find a hobby. Do yoga/workouts. Experience nature. Know yourself, Accept yourself and Love yourself. These are intangible and tangible actions that you can implement daily to strengthen your journey to self-discovery. Stay in the car a bit longer when arriving to a destination, have affirmations that you recite daily, talk to God, join groups of like-minded people. Do not run away from people with opposing views, but listen and hear them out (this is a great opportunity for growth). Someone disagreeing with you is not necessarily arguing with you and this is the beauty of differentiation. Manipulate your social media feed to serve you, not hinder you. Limit your time with people (solitude) and protect your energy. Make time for loved ones and people who bring you the most peace. In our community, there is too much idolization of pretending, fake and fraudulent ideas of friends, relationships, and self-hate. This we must rid our minds and flesh of.
4. Make it a habit to step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. This uncomfortability promotes growth and enhances your awareness of the world which surrounds us. We tend not to embark on things that have been labeled by fear as: “unknown.” In playing it safe each time, we rob ourselves of the essence of life, as most of it is in fact, unknown.
Are there any reasons why you think they are not given more attention?
I think that these strategies do not come as second nature to us because we are always taught to put others before us, leaving no room for us. Yet, we created all the room for others to exist in a mutual space. We are too busy trying to survive, trying to not be short-ended from every edge of the sword that we rarely ever get to acknowledge the simple pleasures in life, let alone enjoy.
How do you make time for your own wellness and self-care?
Great question! I would say, I make time for myself by carving out time for what I like to do. Paying more attention to myself, doing and saying what feels good and setting and sticking to boundaries put in place to guide me. I read, I look, rant, and rave about facial and body care habits, I talk with friends and family, I have time to myself, I practice yoga, I watch what I eat, I listen to soulful music and limit my mind to garbage and robot-like activities such as scrolling for hours on Instagram, I go for walks (I love nature), I crotchet, I write, I recite affirmations, I keep moving, and I believe in myself.
What are your top 5 favorite wellness and self-care strategies?
Spa days, Yoga & Meditation, Connecting with nature, Writing, & Staying close with family.
What resources do you find most helpful to encourage mental health and wellness?
Creating with no limitations, REC Philly, listening to helpful podcasts/interviews of people you admire, & Black Is King.
Chántelle Adanna is a self-publisher author, poet, and self-wellness enthusiast. Since the age of 10, writing has subconsciously & consciously been her undying passion.She is a Black woman who writes for other Black women who may not have the privilege to feel their own emotions. Chántelle writes for black women to feel their embedded emotions when they’re too busy carrying everyone else’s. Her debut memoir entitled, My Soul Told On Me, is a collection of essays that address issues such as colorism, self-identity, mental health, family, and ancestral history as it applies to Black womanhood.
For more visit: www.chantelleadanna.com