By Lisa Peyton-Caire, CEO & President of The Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness
Ladies! Spring is in full effect, and before we could blink, May is here, bringing with it all of the promise of warmer weather, sunnier days, spring flowers, and the blooming of new life all around us. How appropriate a backdrop for National Women’s Health Month, and the time of year here at the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness when we celebrate our earliest beginnings as an organization, and invite you to RISE AS WELL BLACK WOMAN in this season!
Back on May 22, 2009 when I officially launched Black Women’s Wellness Day–exactly three years from the day I lost my Mother to congestive heart failure at age 64-I vowed to make every effort to inspire and support Black women to live their healthiest lives. From that day, I have been on a mission to elevate Black women’s health, and have built an organization and a movement that intentionally works to Empower A Generation of Well Black Women!
There is no greater joy than to see the powerful ripple effects of this vision and work. Over the last 13 years, I have watched countless women in our movement make transformational changes in their lives as they embrace what it means to prioritize their health; to make intentional steps to change their mindsets, habits and behaviors; and to live and model what it truly means to be a WELL BLACK WOMAN!
We can all tap into that power at any time–and now is our moment.
It’s Time to Emerge Stronger as Well Black Women!
Making the commitment to live as WELL BLACK WOMEN has never been more important. As we continue to navigate and recover from the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that Black women have been hard hit. We’ve lost more friends and loved ones than other communities, and we’ve lost our jobs and businesses in record numbers. The economic consequences have compounded the physical and mental toll we’ve endured, translating into deep stress for many among us who are struggling to pay the bills, keep our homes, to put food on the table, or engage in health-sustaining behaviors.
A 2020 study by Essence Magazine captured COVID’s impact on Black women, and the findings were startling. According to the study:
- One in four Black women personally knows someone who has died from COVID-19
- 44% personally know someone who has contracted it.
- 64% say the pandemic has most negatively impacted their emotional well-being
- 63% say it has negatively impacted their mental health
- 43% say it has also negatively impacted their physical health.
*(Source: ESSENCE’s Impact of COVID-19 on Black Women study)
These are serious challenges, and none of us are immune. In my line of work, women confide in me and our staff regularly. They reach out for assistance and advice on navigating personal and financial challenges, often admitting, this past year especially, that they have turned to alcohol, recreational drugs, over-eating, or other unhealthy behaviors to cope. On the milder but still risky side, many have put on extra pounds due to too little physical activity and the stress of living in prolonged isolation. But there’s a better way to cope and navigate this difficult terrain. I know because I’ve had to practice what I preach to emerge from my own slump.
Despite The Challenges, We have the POWER!
Considering all I’ve shared, I know you agree that May is the perfect time to hit the reset button! We know well the barriers that keep us from leveling up in our health and wellness, and though they are legitimate, we can’t stay there.
As we enter this season of new life and reawakening, I invite you to see beyond the struggles to embrace the incredible opportunity we have at our fingertips to begin our RISE AS WELL BLACK WOMEN! And I urge you to call up every woman in your family and friendship circle to invite them to join you as we all level-up together!
An easy way to begin is to reflect on these 5 Traits of a Well Black Woman that I whipped up to jumpstart your thinking and ACTION as you start your ascent. Don’t be worried about perfection right now, but be honest with yourself about where you stand, and where you’d like to be in the weeks, months and years ahead. Transformation begins with honesty.
5 Traits of a Well Black Woman
- She prioritizes her mind-body-spirit wellness.
- She has a healthy relationship with money and works to grow her stability and wealth.
- She pours into herself with the same energy she pours into others.
- She asks for and seeks out help when she needs it.
- She creates joy in her life, knowing that she deserves it
I’ll expound on these traits in my next blog, but these basic phrases should elevate your energy and set your sights higher in the direction we are moving. As you read and evaluate each trait, I know you will feel the stir of possibility and power welling up in your core! And as you begin to feel the push inside to move a little higher, I assure you with my whole heart that you have a legion of sisters waiting to support you in the journey!
LET’S RISE, WELL BLACK WOMEN! RISE!
Make 2021 your year of wellness!
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13th Annual Black Women’s Wellness Day
SAVE THE DATE! September 24-25, 2021
Thank you to Lisa from the Foundation for Black Women’s Wellness
for sharing her thoughts and knowledge with Ashro customers!
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