The Soft Life: How Black Woman are Fighting Back Against Stress, Trauma & Depression

If you’re scrolling through Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest or Tik Tok, you may have seen that “The Soft Life” post. It has been gaining popularity on social media among minority women, specifically black women.  The soft life means: a life of ease, the opposite of a hard life, enjoyment and making decisions that lead to enjoyment.

A counter to the above mentioned is the stereotype of the “Angry Black Woman”. There is a well-known stereotype that black women are: angry, hard, and rough around the edges. There has been a standard of being the “strong black women” placed upon generations of black women. In this new age, women are choosing to step back and speak up by saying they want a life of ease, luxury, joy, and self-care.

In childhood black women are often taught they need to show up better than others, be quieter, not show aggression, be less than their full selves to not be viewed as a stereotype. All the while showing up to fix others, please others, care for others and maintain all the responsibilities.  Therapy is often used as a tool in the soft life living to address root traumas, establish healthy boundaries and be intentional in the life you want to live.  Below are a few key factors within the Soft Life.

4 Ways to Embrace Living the Soft Life

1. Acknowledge Your Needs.

This can be hard for those in therapy due to not believing their needs are most important or having guilt for taking time to themselves. Needs can look like time away from social media, prioritizing working out, not canceling therapy sessions if something else arises, and stepping away from overwhelming situations.

2. Daily Self-Care

Daily self-care goes beyond spending money on a face mask. It’s a very simple art if we really think about it.

  • Are you drinking enough water to sustain your body?
  • Are you physically active but not at a level that does not induce injury to your body?
  • Do you keep your annual doctor’s checkup appointments?

Start with the basics then move further into your needs to reflect on self-care.

3. Set Boundaries.

Healthy boundaries are like a secure home—a home in which there are locks on the doors that open and close and a peephole or a Ring doorbell to check to see if it’s a stranger at the door. The key to having these things is being able to decide when you want to let someone in.

Boundaries allow you to set the distance between you and others. Think of boundaries as setting the tone for what you will allow in your relationships with someone. Setting boundaries with yourself should be thought of from a sense of caring for your well-being. Lastly, release the outcome.

4. Be Intentional.

Intentionality is doing something on purpose. Living the soft life means being intentional about what you’d like the experience of living to look like that’s within your control. Focus on creating experiences for yourself that you are the master of. We may not get to choose many events in our lives but we can be intentional in our response.

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According to the American Heart Association 33 percent of heart attack patients develop some degree of depression. Symptoms of depression like fatigue and feelings of worthlessness can cause people to ignore their treatment and engage in unhealthy behaviors such as overeating or refusing to take medications. Studies show treating depression makes it easier for people with heart disease to follow long-term treatment plans and make appropriate changes to their lifestyle.

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