Self care has been the name of the game for the trainwreck that is 2020. We are finally entering the final stretch of what has been a difficult year, to say the least. Unfortunately, the majority of us are forced to spend the holiday season separated from our loved ones for the first time due to Covid-19. The pandemic has made in-person retail shopping a very frightening experience. Since the bulk of shopping is being done online this year, it is even more important to prioritize Black owned businesses. This year, all of the gifts for my family will be exclusively Black owned brands. The gifts will also have a self care theme to hopefully encourage my family to stay home as much as possible.
Candles have proven to be a saving grace this year. As an avid traveler, not being able to vacation really took a mental toll. The fatigue of staying home and also making said home my work location made 2020 especially difficult. Candles created an unexpected escape. While we could not travel to Hawaii or the Bahamas, the tropical scents would make due for now. Having a scent exclusively for work, relaxation, celebration, etc. makes the space feel different. Think about how vital sensory changes are for the psyche. People always remember how good (or bad) something smells. Being able to manipulate that sensation in different rooms of the house, makes staying home a lot more bearable.
Using quarantine to try new skin and body care is optimal for a myriad of reasons. One, we are not leaving the house for the most part so a breakout here or there is not that big of a deal. Two, if a breakout occurs, a mask will cover it anyway. If you were one of the many people affected by maskne, acne caused by wearing a mask, you have a whole different type of struggle. Many people had to adjust their whole skincare regimen to keep maskne at bay. Skin and body care is also just fun. Nothing beats getting out of the shower (or bathtub if you are especially lucky) after exfoliating, slathering on a luxe body butter or a mud mask, and putting on comfy pajamas. For anyone that was too afraid to enter a spa this year, here are some options to create a spa day at home.
Did anyone else learn how to do their hair once the salons closed at the beginning of the year? 2020 did absolutely nothing for me, but I did manage to perfect my braid out! I learned how to do my own protective styling this year. Since Shea Moisture is canceled, finding new brands for natural strands became the priority. Hair accessories also became more important as the year progressed. Keeping hair tucked away more has made us tired of the same old ugly black durag and bonnets.
Sweater weather and hoodie season is upon us. TGBG Brand is perfect for the athlete in your life. TGBG is an athleisure brand that promotes positivity and spirituality. The brand is Black owned by a DC native. The site has everything from hoodies to t-shirts, they even have swimwear during the summer months! There is something for everyone on the Christmas list.
Remember how we all laughed at that cringeworthy Peloton commercial at the end of 2019? Who would ask for a stationary bike for Christmas? An over 2000 dollar stationary bike at that! Look at how far we have fallen. Look at how profitable Peloton is now! Even Beyoncè has partnered with them to create home workouts! Home gyms have become the new normal since nobody wants to risk their health trying to maintain it. As someone who loved cycling before the pandemic made it impossible, I broke down and bought a stationary bike. I skipped Peloton and their membership. However, I did find Kristina Girod of Power+Flow. Power+Flow is a new cycling studio based out of Scottadale, AZ. Kristina is one of the best cycle instructors I have ever experienced! While she has free Youtube classes, I highly recommend subscribing to the on demand service on the Power+Flow website.
Finally, makeup and nails are not a necessity, it is important to add a little luxury to our lives. Wearing masks has made it especially drab for any lipstick junkie. However, it did serve the perfect opportunity to make eyes the focal point of makeup. For anyone that became accustomed to their monthly mani/pedi that is still afraid to get back into their routine, a manicure set is an ideal gift.
Overall, there are so many more Black owned businesses to patron. Websites like Webuyblack.com, Blackownedeverything, and Beyoncè’s Black Parade have created spaces for consumers to find Black businesses. Do not be afraid to give these companies a chance. Finally, please be patient. Amazon and Walmart have created an environment where packages arrive immediately. It is an unrealistic expectation that we should take a step back from. Have some grace for small companies that do not have those capabilities. Handcrafted items will take longer to arrive. The sooner you purchase, the better. Money spent with a small business has so much more impact on our economy. Happy Holidays!