10 Affirmations for Women of Color & Femmes in the Era of Agent Orange
Check out these affirmations, designed to boost our daily lives to help us make it through & survive one of the undoubtedly most violent times we are facing.
As women and femmes of color, we all know that things didn’t suddenly become awful with a Trump presidency, but it does feel as though his being in office has legitimized white supremacy and emboldened hateful people to commit more acts of violence against us.
We may have just hit 100 days of Trump, but there have been many beautiful and powerful acts of resistance from Black women, WOC, Black femmes and femmes of color who refuse to allow him or anyone else tear us down. Here are some affirmations that we can apply to our daily lives to help us make it through & survive one of the undoubtedly most violent times we are facing.
1. Prioritize Your Mental Health
White supremacy, xenophobia, anti-Blackness, homophobia, ableism, poverty, transantagonism and misogyny severely deteriorate our mental health. In order to resist and survive it all, we have to prioritize our mental health. For many of us, our mental health is placed on the back burner due to financial limitations and other real-life reasons. If you don’t have the privilege to see a therapist, ask and see if one will accommodate your financial situation, check out online therapist options or download mental health apps. If you feel comfortable, openly discuss your mental health issues so people around you know and can support you through it. Create a check-in system with your loved ones to help you when if feels like you can’t take it anymore, get out of bed, shower, or eat. Intentionally take mental health breaks. Use memes and social media to cope and process. Recognize when social media, work, life start negatively affecting your mental health and be proactive about turning that shit off.
2. Take Care of Your Body
Sometimes we get so stressed and overwhelmed that we forget the basics. Stay hydrated, breathe, remember to eat and move & touch your body in ways that feel good to you. Set timers or use apps to remind yourself to get up, refuel & take physical breaks during the day. Consider creating rituals for seemingly basic daily tasks. Perhaps a morning routine that gets you in the right mindset for the day, a breathing exercise, stretch, yoga pose when you’re feeling overwhelmed or anxious, and a night time routine to help you destress from the day and actually fall asleep later on. You know what works best for you and your body.
3. Ritualize Your Self-Care
As oppressed peoples, we are constantly told that we are not valuable. The systems we live and operate in don’t teach us to care for ourselves because we are forced into survival mode. But if we are going to heal our communities, we must heal ourselves. Start and end your days with small acts of self-care. Think about the small things that make you feel nurtured and care for. Engage in the activities that bring you peace and help you center yourself. Pamper the fuck out yourself and don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it.
4. Get Your Coin
We are all simply to survive within the confines of capitalism, so do you and earn money however you can. If you’re not exploiting or further marginalizing others whatever you’re “selling” is totally valid, so know your worth and always ask for more than you think you deserve. Feminized labor is constantly devalued and people always ask Black women, WOC, Black femmes and femmes of color to work for free, no matter what we’re doing. Don’t set that precedent for yourself or other Black women, WOC, Black femmes and femmes of color because it legitimizes a culture of hyper-exploitation and devalues all of our labor. Remind yourself that getting paid well means other Black women, WOC, Black femmes and femmes of color will get paid well, putting us all on the path towards liberation.
Repeat after me: NO MORE FREE LABOR (emotional, intellectual or otherwise). Put a paylink in your profile & send that shit around to any whack ass man or white woman you thinks they can exploit you — and don’t let anyone shame you for it. Ever. Any “movement,” “revolution” or “activism” that demands we starve doesn’t value our worth and is absolute garbage.
5. Own Your Dopeness
Unapologetically love yourself. Take all the selfies. Paint on that makeup as your war paint. Own your brilliance and don’t dull your shine for anyone. Affirm that you are a powerful and worthy being as often as you need to. Dump anyone who makes you second guess yourself and your worth and don’t look back. And if a mediocre ass white person or man tries to make you feel less-than, channel the energy of your ancestors and hold your head up to the fucking sky.
6. Don’t Fall Into The Burnout Trap
Sacrifice, putting others first and ourselves last has practically been ingrained in us since birth. And capitalism has forced us into toxic cycles of overworking ourselves to survive, provide for & ourselves and our loved ones. Sleeping in, taking a break or a day off is seen as selfish or lazy. Strive for balance, however that looks to you. Practice saying NO. Know your limits and triggers and try your best to honor them. Ask for help when you need it. Do your best to remove toxic energy from your life. Rid yourself of people and things that don’t serve you. When we burn out to the point of exhaustion, the oppressor wins.
7. Protect Yourself Online
Social media is a wonderful way for us to connect and uplift each other, but it has also become a highly toxic and dangerous tool for those who want to harm us. There have been multiple attacks against undocumented folks, outing of sex workers, doxxing and daily death and rape threats. Take your digital security seriously. Download a VPN on your computer & phone. Change up your passwords. Practice self-care online. Develop and maintain an offline community to keep you grounded.
8. Defend Yourself IRL
Street harassment and violence are everyday realities for Black women, WOC, Black femmes and femmes color, so do whatever you have to do to keep yourself safe. Take a self-defense course, learn how to shoot a gun, carry pepper spray, & keep those nails sharp & pointy. Be aware of your surroundings and whose company you keep. Charge your phone and carry a portable charger so you can call for help if you need it. Create a list of resources to protect and defend yourself, phone numbers, IDs, immigration documents, etc., so you’re prepared for anything.
9. Love & Support Other Black Women, Black Femmes, WOC & Femmes of Color
More than ever we need all the love and support we can get. Platonic love is just as important as romantic love, so cherish the hell out of your friendships with other Black women, WOC, Black femmes and femmes of color. Put other Black women, WOC, Black femmes and femmes of color on. Always leverage your privilege. Share work opportunities and resources. Throw them a little cash if their work moves you. Don’t block your blessings by shaming or shitting on other Black women, WOC, Black femmes and femmes of color. If you see acts of harassment or violence being committed against them, don’t just stand by and do nothing, intervene. Truly commit to fighting alongside other Black Women, Black femmes, WOC & femmes of color by listening to one another, supporting one another and laying your life down for them until we are all free.
10. Intentionally Seek Out Joy
In a world that is determined to break us, being joyful is a very deliberate act of resistance. Regardless of all the awful things going on in the world, we all deserve to feel joy, love and happiness. Resistance manifests in different ways, and you certainly don’t have to be at every protest, every organizing meeting or retweet every petition to be “down” with the movement. Cultivate and celebrate your creative side, make art and music, and dance. Don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourself, giving or receiving pleasure. Seek it out and surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself. It is the only way we are going to have the strength to keep fighting.