My Self-Care Essentials: Chloé Pierre
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Wellness is for everyone. It all comes down to redefining what wellness means. In my new book Take Care, I aim to open people’s eyes and navigate the disconnect. By focusing on Black women and their wellbeing, the book delves into topics like personal wellness, self-care and even environmental wellness – conversations Black people are often eliminated from. It’s a guide to help us move forward not just as a Black community but also as a human race. For anyone reading the book who isn’t Black or a woman, it will still give them insight into these issues and the challenges we face.
There’s more to wellness than products. There’s no moisturiser you can use or supplement you can take that will solve all your problems. Nor is there one magical inspirational quote or article you can read that will reprogramme you to operate at your optimal capacity. When I think of what it is to be ‘well’, I naturally imagine colour, vibrancy, joy – images related to an overall sense of thriving. To me, wellbeing is about the things that inspire and uplift us, and really make us believe it’s possible to turn our lives around. It doesn't need to cost money, and it definitely doesn't need to be expensive. In fact, some of the most influential practices within wellness stem from communities that preach and live the opposite principles to capitalism.
I’m starting the new year with intentional optimism. I also plan to be outside the UK, which is something I’ve worked hard all year to make a reality. I love curating vision boards for the areas of my life I wish to focus more on – it’s a great and visual way to assess your goals. I hope to live 2023 by the words of Audre Lorde: “Caring for myself is not self-indulgence. It is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”
My word for 2023 is consistency. The last couple of years have been tough but I feel ready now to scale up in so many ways. I want Take Care to be a bestseller on multiple platforms, I want my mental health to be at its peak; I want to show myself more self-care; and I want to give my son consistency in terms of parenting. I also have some incredible plans to scale thy.self. We all need to remember wellness is a journey – it’s not an end goal. Rather, wellness should be associated with an active process of being aware and making choices that lead toward an outcome of optimal holistic health and wellbeing.
Your mindset is at the heart of everything. We can only control our own emotions, reactions and output – no-one else’s. Breathwork and gratitude enable me to see how far I’ve come and keep me open to receiving the opportunities I’ve created for myself. I remind myself daily that my outlook is what I have manifested – for this, I practise gratitude. Breathwork, meanwhile, has been a game-changer. It’s a significant part of my mental health toolkit. Whenever I feel backed into a corner, literally and figuratively, I do a few minutes of breathwork to calm my senses, logicise my thoughts and regulate my emotions.
I try to limit diet culture. Instead, I am very open about my love for fitness, although it’s less about my appearance and more my wellbeing. I’ve always been a fan of exercise although I plan to level it up this month – I’ll do a 20-minute daily YouTube workout (my go-to is the Grow with Jo community) and join my friends and like-minded mothers on weekly walks with our children, an initiative I share with my fellow community founder, Coleen Mensa of Dear Black Mum. I also plan to take meal prep seriously, which I hope will aid my productivity as well as support a conscious and balanced way of eating. I love Gousto and Mamamade for family meals and often have a Huel shake for breakfast or lunch.
Nothing beats a walk in the fresh air. We are spoilt for green spaces in London – Hampstead Heath will always be my favourite park in London. I love tuning into a podcast – I’m currently listening to re-runs of Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. The episode with Mark Nepo had me in a chokehold – he’s a two-time cancer survivor and philosopher. I’m always so inspired by the conversations she has with her guests – from the wisdom of athletes to near-death experiences.
Vitamin D is essential for Black women. I suffer with a skin condition which raises irritation and discolouration of my skin, so I’ve been turning to holistic care for solutions – taking vitamin D alongside K2 helps. While not exactly a supplement, I drink a lot of dandelion tea, irrespective of the season. It’s a great way to support the female body around the menstruation period.
I’m a huge advocate for sleep. I can’t get enough of Calm’s sleep stories – I’ve been listening to Stephen Fry’s stories on repeat to help me unwind after a busy day – as well as This Works’ Sleep Spray. I’m also obsessed with my weighted blanket – I’ll get cosy before bed and spend a few minutes writing in my worry journal, which helps me manage stress. A journal is a great way of managing seemingly negative situations or worries, and then helping you rationalise things once they’ve happened. I no longer believe in keeping things in your head. As a Black woman, I’ve been taught this is how you survive, but there are some shocking statistics to show this is how we are failing ourselves and our community.
To start your own worry journal, set a three-minute timer. Make a list in a notepad of everything that is worrying you – the idea is that you’ll run out of worries to write before the timer is up. Keep the journal somewhere sacred to you, which helps with holding its value close to you. Fill a page for each worry and get to the root of the issue, asking yourself what exactly you are worried about and the fears you have, as well as where the worry might have come from. Over the years as a coach, I’ve learnt to push the question ‘why’ to get to the reasons behind everything. But don’t feel like you need the answers immediately – sometimes my answers come months later.
This year I’ll be treating myself to float therapy and body treatments. Many of us tend to ignore our skin and don’t treat it with the love it deserves. It’s our body’s largest organ, yet we treat it as somehow less significant than what lies inside. This month, I’m booking flotation, mobile massages focusing on my head, hands and feet and a skin exfoliation treatment. You’ll also find me at Re:Place London – it does an incredible body roller treatment which supports flexibility and aids lymphatic drainage. The studio focuses on rest and recovery, making it different to others out there. The sense of community makes it special too – a unique place to decompress.
Take Care by Chloé Pierre is available now. For more information, visit ThySelf.Space and follow @Thy.Self and @ChloePierreLDN on Instagram.
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