It’s always a good time to prioritize mental health, but the holidays and an impending new year are especially important times to check in with yourself. This is the time of year when it seems everyone is pushing you to your limits, asking you to meet unrealistic expectations social and professionally. This is a time when boundaries are tested. Sometimes, outsiders test your boundaries, like relatives pressuring you to fly across country to see them for your very limited time off, or friends roping you into a fourth Secret Santa exchange, when your gift budget is drying up as it is. But sometimes, it’s you who disrespects your own boundaries.
Taking it easy on oneself can be very difficult, especially when the artificial pressure of the New Year comes around. If you’re reflecting on what you wish you’d done or hope to do by the end of the year without taking self-care into account, you might just find yourself in a mental state that isn’t very healthy. And that’s why this is the perfect time to check out these Black mental health influencers on Instagram.
1) Minaa B
Minaa B has a Masters in social work from New York University and over eight years of experience in clinical settings. Minaa B is also a keynote speaker on topics such as BIPOC mental health and setting healthy boundaries. She is the cohost of the @becauselifesydel podcast, which is working to destigmatize conversations around mental health. On Minaa B’s website (found in her bio), you can access her free self-care guide. In her IG posts, you can find some hard-hitting truths put into gentle language about issues like generational trauma and neglecting self-care.
2) Eliza Boquin
Eliza Boquin is the co-founder of Melanin and Mental Health and the creator of Flow and Ease Healing, her practice which combines “traditional psychotherapy with ancient healing,” according to her website. Her focus is sex and relationships and she offers couples therapy, sex therapy and therapy for Black and LatinX individuals. Much of her teachings are about how to take down emotional walls and learn how family relationship patterns are repeating themselves in your own relationships. She’s also big on sexual liberation and embracing sexual pleasure as a healthy part of being female. You can hear more about that on her podcast, “The Chakras and Sex and Relationships podcast.”
3) Dr. Jennifer Mullan
Dr. Jennifer Mullan is a psychologist, teacher and speaker. Dr. Mullan explains on her website that, “She believes that it is essential to create dialogue to address how mental health is deeply affected by systemic inequities and the trauma of oppression, particularly the well-being of Queer Indigenous Black Brown People of Color (QIBPOC).” She has a Doctorate of Psychology, a Master’s in Counseling & Community Agencies and a Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and Elementary Education, so she brings a rich educational background to her teachings. Dr. Mullan offers a pre-corded three-part workshop series for schools, private practices and non-profit organizations that are passionate about cultivating a culture of anti-oppression.
4) Celeste The Therapist
Celeste is a therapist, author, speaker and host of the “Celeste the Therapist” podcast, which streams in over 100 countries and focuses on shifting mindset. Celeste often has special guests join her to talk about topics such as unrealistic versus realistic relationship expectations, generational trauma and healthy coping mechanisms. She also teaches a course called “Healing The Inner Child”, which you can sign up for on her website. Celeste’s posts on IG are often about healthy conflict resolution, goal setting and limiting beliefs. She is encouraging, but she doesn’t pull punches.
5) Nicola Pierre-Smith
Nicola Pierre-Smith is the founder of Melanated Womens Health. In explaining a bit about her company’s mission, Pierre-Smith writes on her website, “It is especially hard for folks from racialized groups who are Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) to go to therapy because of cultural norms and the preference to talk to friends, family, or religious leaders instead. With this in mind, Nicola created Melanated Women’s Health, LLC to provide a culturally affirming and anti-oppressive therapy space for people who have been marginalized because of their social identities.” She posts powerful and truthful quotes on her IG about fighting burnout, healthy boundaries, generational patterns and learned social behaviors.
6) Black Female Therapists
Black Female Therapists is a collective that spotlights Black female therapists across the country and encourages conversation around the importance of mental health in the Black community. On their website, users can find an easy-to-navigate directory to help them find a therapist, with filters for those who take insurance, offer a sliding pay scale, geographical locations, virtual visits and more. For those needing a quick mental health fix, they have the “15 minutes On The Couch” podcast offering bite-sized mental wellness advice. For longer listening, they also have their “Black Female Therapist” podcast. The collective often posts quotes on self-care and healthy emotional processing as well as burnout and boundaries.
7) Black Girl In Nom
“Creating space for black women to breathe easy” is the description in their bio. This IG page is another collective. It offers a mixture of mental health posts and meditative/yogic-centered content. The page features Black female yoga instructions, meditation guides, healers and mental health experts. They offer guided meditations, live IG events on meditation, yoga and mental health and a podcast on similar topics. Through their website, you can sign up for their Circle Membership, which includes live and virtual events such as guided meditation, keynote speakers, journal prompts, access to mental health forums and more.