Setting Self-Care Intentions: The Guide Women of Color Need

A psychotherapist provides tips for how to remain balanced during this unprecedented time

Dr. Bernasha Anderson
ZORA
Published in
4 min readMar 26, 2020

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A photo of a black woman listening to music on headphones in her kitchen. She is feeling herself.
Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

AsAs a psychotherapist, I recognize the mental health costs that women of color pay with their mind and bodies every day due to experiences with racism, sexism, and trauma. We face compounded mental health costs given the recent Covid-19 pandemic. These current mental health costs may leave WOC feeling anxious, sad or depressed, lonely, stressed, and afraid.

Because cities and employers have begun implementing social distancing and quarantine measures, women of color’s mental wellness may be threatened as social isolation can lead to decreased mood and quality of life. Whether you’re living your best life and this pandemic has had minimum impact on your functioning, or you find yourself feeling overwhelmed as you juggle your multiple life roles (like supervisor, employee, daughter, mother, or friend), now may be the time to center your mental well-being by setting self-care intentions.

The setting of self-care intentions is a goal-setting approach to self-care that invites creativity and flexibility. This approach allows you to balance your self-care practice while fostering self-compassion. Our self-care intentions should shift based on our unique needs at a given point in time. Setting self-care intentions means first asking yourself, What is it that I need today? Or this week? Below is a list of self-care intentions that may be beneficial to your self-care routine, while waiting for this storm to pass.

Covid-19 self-care intentions

Assess your strengths

What are your unique strengths that make you you? Perhaps you are someone who is drawn to the arts. Try expressing your feelings creatively through journaling, poetry, songwriting, dance choreography, or playing a musical instrument.

Get some sun

Natural sunlight or a sun lamp can help to reduce depressive symptoms and elevate your mood. Take nature walks or create your own staycation in your yard or on your balcony.

Maintain social connections

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Dr. Bernasha Anderson
ZORA
Writer for

Psychotherapist | Writer | Social Justice Advocate