Women’s history is all the more inspiring when it fuels our well-being in the here and now.
Posted in , Feb 24, 2021
Women’s History Month invites us to pay attention each March to the accomplishments, sacrifices, insights and influences of the myriad women who have shaped the world we live in.
Like any historical cultural moment, Women’s History Month is an opportunity to learn and reflect. We think about the achievements that took shamefully long to achieve (women have only had the right to vote for 100 years), but we also celebrate the perseverance and successes that brought us to modern history-making moments like the election of Kamala Harris as the first woman Vice President of the United States or the work of Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, a scientific lead at the National Institutes of Health whose research has been credited as crucial in the discovery of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine.
Awareness of history is an opportunity to expand our understanding—and to fuel our well-being. This is a particularly poignant realization during the pandemic, which has proven to be a time when women are acutely aware of the weights we continue to carry.
Valuing and caring for ourselves as women comes, in part, from recognizing where we stand in the long tale of history. The term “self-care” is used freely and universally today to describe habits and practices that support our well-being. It comes from women—specifically African American women including Audre Lord, Angela Davis and Tricia Hersey—who have long connected concepts like comfort, joy and rest with safety and survival.
We can learn from them to take self-care seriously. Because cherishing and nurturing ourselves in ways ranging from getting enough sleep to claiming the time and space to pursue an interest or goal is an authentically positive way to inhabit women’s history and find your place within it.
How can you be gentle and loving to yourself as Women’s History Month begins?