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Self-care using our senses

Christina Greer Ph.D. | 12/8/2016, 10:13 a.m.
I am still reeling from the election results, but I have decided to try to find some ways to lift ...

I am still reeling from the election results, but I have decided to try to find some ways to lift my spirits. There are so many wonderful things around me, and I have decided to use my senses to remind myself to be thankful for all of the major and minor entities in my life.

See: I have been watching Issa Rae’s “Insecure,” which is a hilarious and touching show on HBO. She perfectly portrays Black female friendships, relationships and awkward growing pains into adulthood. I am also enjoying the incredibly brilliant “Atlanta” on FX, starring Donald Glover. I find the dialogue intricate and thoughtful, the acting is award worthy and the way the show is filmed conveys so much emotion. Those are just two of the great Black shows currently being showcased in what feels like a golden age of Black television.

Hear: My recent 2016 soundtrack has been Solange’s “Seat at the Table.” I have been listening to her album on repeat, especially her songs “Mad” and “F.U.B.U.” Her melodies have been just the instrument for my soul in these troubling times. I will tell you the album is epic from start to finish, and you can feel the fingerprints of Raphael Saadiq on so many songs. And as always, whenever I am stressed I return to my 1990s R&B and hip-hop, which always makes me remember simpler times.

Taste: I recently made sweet potato pies for Thanksgiving. I had forgotten just how much a good pie can warm the soul. I have also been making soups in preparation for the cold months to come. My favorite recipe right now is a curry cauliflower and potato soup. However, you can go to Eicurious.com to find various recipes and new takes on meals you’ve likely been making for years.

Smell: I just bought a pine scented candle. It reminds me of the outdoors and the holiday season. A $7 candle has brought so much calm into my home. It is also a reminder of the holidays and the time to be with family and give to others less fortunate.

Touch: As we begin to bundle up for the winter months, let us not forget the myriad fabrics that surround us and envelop us each day. Warm wool sweaters, corduroy pants, felt hats, velvet dresses, silk scarves, etc. This time is also a great time to clean out our closets (literally and figuratively) before the New Year. Touch all of your wonderful fabrics as you prepare to give those items away to someone in need.

It has been a difficult few weeks since the election, and sadly the next few months or years may not be much easier. However, if we continue to focus on the intricate world around us, we will see the beauty and potential in all things.

Christina Greer, Ph. D., is an associate professor at Fordham University and the author of “Black Ethnics: Race, Immigration, and the Pursuit of the American Dream.” You can find her on Twitter @Dr_CMGreer.