Finding Balance through Self-Love and Internal Healing
by DaViane Lowe
As a first-generation college student, I struggled to balance my personal well-being, social interaction, and academic life. I was not prepared to handle the stress to perform academically, to feel accepted while also dealing with racial disparities, and dealing with financial concerns to pay for school while also taking on jobs to meet other financial obligations. It became a never-ending cycle to achieve a sense of balance between being a proactive full-time student while also working full-time to provide for myself.
On the plus side, I acquired relevant work experience, developed self-sufficiency and transferrable life skills. However, due to the fear of failure, limited free time, loneliness, and high levels of stress, this resulted in severe social anxiety. I was always exhausted from trying to perfect myself intellectually and monetarily and had entirely disregarded my self-confidence, mental health, and spiritual needs. I realized that prioritizing healthy habits that brought me joy and peace was the only way I could begin accepting and loving myself.
To get more in-tune with my body and my own power, each week I practice releasing endorphins in the gym, followed by a great long stretch. Once a week, I put aside time to prepare meals so that I may always eat for my muscles, stomach, and brain. To lift my spirits, I make sure to listen to powerfully uplifting speakers like Pastor Mike McClure Jr., Judge Lynn Toler, and Robert T. Kiyosaki. The Big Brother Big Sister youth program is where I socially volunteer to utilize my creativity and inspire the future generation. Lastly, I joined the newly established dance team at my university that’s filled with excitement and community. I learned to not worry about things that I could not control, and to accept the things that make me who I am. I had to learn to love me.
Owning My Power
It took a tremendous amount of will and perseverance to adopt a new lifestyle. In the past I kept reminding myself, with a connotation of defeat, that I must carry out said obligations. This mindset made daily tasks feel like an immortal chore. Instead, I know that I am rewarding myself and that I have been given the freedom to carry out different tasks throughout the day. Giving myself permission to constantly practice my best self has a more positive connotation. I have been granted the opportunity to check items off my daily to-do list, and I am fortunate to do so. I stand up straighter and am satisfied to embrace the person I've been suppressing. Today my soul is completely nurtured.
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