When it comes to taking a break or doing the bare minimum, black women all over are not familiar with that concept or lifestyle; and it’s because, unfortunately, we were not given the opportunity to do so. For centuries, black women have had to be the butt of everyone’s jokes, the strong and hardworking ones, the ones who have to accept the worst of the worst, and the ones who have to do 10 times more to get a fraction of love, freedom and acceptance from the world. And after all of this, what are we left with? Sickness, diseases, high blood pressure, stress that ages you immensely, and even early death. We can no longer do this, black women; it’s killing us, literally. Yes, our mothers, grandmothers and ancestors were strong, independent and hardworking; but it cost them their life, freedom and happiness. It’s 2022 and it’s time for us to step into our soft era, our soft life because all of this hard work and weight of the world being on our backs is definitely making our black ‘crack’.
What is a soft life and why is it so important?
If you’ve been on social media within the last year and you follow the right people, all over you’ll see people on the internet talking about how they want a “soft life” or it’s their time to live in ‘black girl luxury’. As redundant as it is now and somewhat overwhelming to see all day, every day, it’s definitely something that more lack women need to tap into.
A soft life is exactly what it says: a soft life. It’s not allowing stress from work and others to consume you. It’s taking breaks when they’re needed and not working yourself to the bone. It’s limiting your interactions with negativity and changing your views in life to where you reap more benefits. A soft life is making sure to take care of yourself first (however that looks for you) before you pour into anything else.
Living a soft life is so important because it allows you to be a healthier version of yourself. Consuming and interacting with so much negativity, stressing yourself out and having the weight of the universe on your shoulders not only ages you early, it can also cause serious health conditions and deteriorate your body.
How stress affects your future and ages you faster
According to this statement made by Andrea King Collier sourced from the Centers for Disease Control, she noted that black women have a life expectancy that is 3 years shorter than white women and some causes for this is due to stress.
Black women internalize stress differently than other races and life stressors are responsible for faster biological aging in black women. When stress starts to show on your body, it will show on your face.
Wrinkles will begin to appear and you’ll be wondering why because technically you’re too young to be experiencing them. You’ll have bags under your eyes that make you look extremely tired (which you probably are), you’ll experience acne and dry skin, your hair will start graying and your teeth can start decaying. Constant stress will have you being 45 years old but look as if you are in your 70s. So if stress doesn’t kill you, it will surely age you.
The health benefits of slowing down and taking a breather
To say that you can completely eliminate stress from your life forever would be a bigger lie than all of the nonsense men and women have told you in the past to try to get over (you know what I’m talking about).
You can’t get rid of all of life’s stresses because life is going to stress you out, one way or another; but how you handle stress is important.
Slowing down and taking a breather can save your life. It can lower your risk of developing conditions such as high blood pressure and heart disease.
Managing stress better can stop you from aging so fast and having you look older than you really are, which could raise your confidence. Limiting and managing what stresses you out can make you feel physically better, freer and lighter.
Five ways you can start stepping into your soft era
1. Slow down, life is not a race. Slowing down will allow you to breathe better and handle situations with a clearer mind.
2. Rest. Slowing down includes stopping fully and resting. Sleep more, relax more, and be comfortable with doing nothing every once in a while.
3. Eat better. Health is wealth, and you already know eating healthier and being more mindful of what you consume will make you feel better and look better.
4. Say no. It’s okay to put yourself first and say no. If it’s something you do not want to do for someone else, then say no. If someone is treating you poorly and you don’t like it, say no and if they continue, remove them, choose you.
5. Be a damsel in distress. Black women: ask for help or accept help when it’s being offered. You can not do everything, allow someone else to step in so you can take a step back.
Treating yourself as much as you can (without putting yourself in debt or trying to keep up with an image) and being true to yourself are also ways to step into your soft era. It’s time to prioritize you because you deserve that and so much more, black women; so step into a new you and a new life.