The concept of mothering one’s self sounds lofty and complex, but if you ask celebrity doula and author of Own Your Glow: A Soulful Guide to Luminous Living and Crowning the Queen Within, Latham Thomas, it’s really a matter of getting sufficient rest.
“We’re in a culture that is focused on productivity and people working hard, at the expense of their health,” Thomas told Madame Noire. “We’re constantly on the go and not really taking time for ourselves until we’re really at our wit’s end or we’re sick.”
The maternity lifestyle maven adds that Black mothers are especially deserving of rest for a few reasons.
“For us to thrive, we really need to mother ourselves and listen to our internal rhythms and rest. We need to reclaim rest as a pathway to empowerment and as a critical element of our self-care,” Thomas advised. “For Black women, especially, who take care of so many and have culturally inherited this sense of putting everyone else’s needs before our own, we really need to have rest. Especially since we index the highest for every single health outcome. We’re affected the most. We’re supported the least. We really need to rest the most.”
While rest is often confused with sleep, the reality is that rest can take on many different forms.
“Right now, we’re so driven to produce,” Thomas adds. “It’s a choice that we have to make. How do I log everything off? How do I tune everything down? How do I modify what I consume? What does consumption look like for me media-wise? Does that mean turning off devices two or three hours before I want to go to bed? Does it mean creating a ritual around sleep? Does it mean reading a book to my kids? So what does it look like to ritualize our rest?”
When it comes to creating your rest ritual, it’s important to find acts of rest that you are able to commit to daily. This can range from digital detoxes to long hot baths. It’s all about what feels good to you, the Mama Glow founder advises.
“For us to really figure out how to manage all of this and what it can look like, doing an inventory of what’s on my plate that can come off. Then figuring out, what’s something I can do that I can actually commit to daily that’s going to make me feel more restful,” she conveys. “That might mean phone fasting or turning off my phone at a certain hour, logging off all of the apps on social media. It may mean taking a warm bath or having some warm tea before bed. It might mean reading a good book. It might be listening to audio meditation or a mindfulness app.”
What’s most important is that you determine what feels right to you.
“It’s for us to figure out for ourselves, Thomas concludes. “There are so many options. We gotta figure out what feels good for us and what feels good today because it might feel different a month from now. Be attune to your rhythm.”