In the process of decolonization, Native people are reclaiming healthy lifestyles. This group is an opportunity to share events, information, recipes, fitness ideas, indigenous sports, or anything that promotes wellness in our communities.
Surprisingly, I’ve already reached a point in my young life where I am allowed to focus upon my own needs. Since the turn of the century, I’ve been a single parent and raised two children. This process was difficult; mentally, spiritually, and even physically. Now that I’m in a part of my life that my son spends much time with his father and my daughter is already a legal adult, I’m finding more time and space to care for my own needs. This has not looked and felt the way I thought it would. The conditioning to the lifestyle of surviving day to day is difficult to shake. It’s almost like I have to reprogram my brain and body to return to a state where it belongs to me, which is not always a comfortable place for human beings to be in. Our society has a high-intensity, fast paced, consumerism mentality that’s also difficult to keep up with. Mental illnesses are now projected on social media in a way that’s harmful and toxic to communities. Undiagnosed or untreated mental illnesses are rampant in the Native community and it manifests in so many ways that are destructive to families and communities. This is why it’s so difficult for people to be alone. To face their thoughts. To gaze in the mirror. To finally face who you really are without machines doing it for you. So, this self-care journey has been incredibly challenging. I sometimes look for issues to create just so I can retreat to the comfort of stress, because it’s so familiar. It’s an interesting place to be. So, I’m here today to say that true self-care may appear as various things; acupuncture, physical fitness, rest, eating well, but the emotional and mental processes are quite trying, I am finding personally for myself.
Today, my self-care looks like a walk outside seeking to catch some of those incredible winter sunrays, an acupuncture session, and maintaining hydration. But I will tell you that what this feels like is a little more challenging. Self-doubt, unworthiness, anxiety, and carrying the heavy weight of others in proximity to me. I suppose this is the life of an empath. It’s been a good, enlightening, lonesome, and challenging experience. Mitakuye Oyasin