Self-Care for Women of Color At Work

From Ms. JD authored by Alnisa Bell:

“’Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.’  — Audre Lorde

The unfortunate reality for many women working outside of the home is that dynamics within the home still require that many women shoulder the burden of household chores and caregiving responsibilities, including, caring for children and elderly relatives and contributing/managing household finances. Most women are essentially working at least two jobs — one that is paid and another one unpaid within the home (and the latter usually doesn’t come with pay increases, bonuses, days off or promotions; hopefully it does come with some gratitude!). Between navigating law firm culture, networking, and professional development, all while tackling an increasing workload, it’s easy to see how lawyers, particularly women, can tire pretty quickly. Both jobs require an inordinate amount of time and leave very few hours for women to take care of themselves.

As Audre Lorde notes in her oft-cited quote above, self-care is a particularly radical concept for black women. Historically, black women have been taught to put the well-being of others before themselves, whereas a focus on self-care requires women to place their own needs above the needs of others. What many women fail to realize is that not making space for self-care not only affects peace of mind, but can have drastic health consequences, as well.”

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