With COVID-19 cases and uncertainty about any in-person future on the rise again, virtual therapy may not be what we all want, but it could very well be what we all need. My dive into virtual therapy happened at the same time governors were starting to issue shelter-in-place orders for their states. The thought of touching doorknobs and being in tight spaces, like a therapist’s office, added to my already existing anxiety. So, I opted for a delivery of therapy I previously never considered — virtual therapy.

According to the American Psychological Association, the “Covid-19 pandemic has altered every aspect…

Photo courtesy of author.

For years, creating a website seemed outside of my budget. The cost of securing a site and hiring a content developer was financially overwhelming. My small Teaching Assistant stipend was barely enough to cover rent and groceries — a website was out of the question. Or so I thought.

Website developers and tech-savvy folks aren’t the only ones who can build a website. My community of friends and professional network helped me create a website that highlights my achievements, research interests, and teaching experiences. A website that I love.

Here’s how I built my website

Do Your Homework:

I studied the websites of several friends who…

Photo of a Black woman playing a sound bowl. Courtesy of CreateHER Stock.

Long after I arrived home from my second Vipassana Meditation course, I found myself craving the sound of gongs. During the meditation retreat, the gong was used to signal the beginning of an activity. The ringing called meditators to vegetarian meals which were cooked by volunteers who knew of the transformative power of Vipassana and now wanted to provide service and comfort to those who were sitting. …

Image of Ruth Jeannoel. Courtesy of Ruth Jeannoel.

Self-care has been dismissed as selfish, or worse, a capitalistic trend, by some who believe that community care is the only route to health. Others use self-care as a reason to post solo yoga selfies on their social media accounts. And while each camp may be on to something, I position community and self-care as equally essential to the health and wellbeing of us all, especially Black women and mamas. We need both to survive, especially during this pandemic. We need all forms of care to help create thriving communities.

I began my self-care journey following my move from South…

First Graduating Class of Spelman Seminary, 1887. Courtesy of Spelman College Archives.

My therapist often reminds me during our sessions about my commitment to care and joy in my life. “What are you doing that brings you joy?” I usually think to myself, “not a damn thing, which is part of the reason why I’m here” and on the direst of days, I blink and ask: “what is joy?”

As I work to define self-care, joy and pleasure, and how I want and need it to look in my life, I fail miserably as soon as I turn it into an intellectual exercise, which occurs on more than the rarest occasions since…

I saw her sitting in the room during a morning break at a conference. Beautiful, with big hair framing her face. I was drawn to this woman. I had, before then, never been instantly drawn to anyone, especially a woman.

She was sitting at the table with two other women of color, and a white woman. I went over and introduced myself. I would see her throughout the conference, almost as if something was bringing us together. I wanted to get closer to her. …

Image of sugar, a blood orange and a coconut blended into a citrus body scrub.

Mental Health Awareness Month, celebrated in May since 1949, has ended, but that doesn’t mean your self-care and wellness should. With the COVD-19 pandemic and continued racist violence against Black people, our health needs even more attention, compassion and care.

Since I am feeling less than courageous to venture outside for more than essential errands and to get some fresh air, I have rediscovered my love for home-made bath and body products. Not only are products like bath bombs and whipped shea fairly easy to make, but Do It Yourself (DIY) projects can also save you money and a trip…

Photo of a Black woman relaxing, surrounded by plant life. Credit: createherstock.com

Jill Scott and Erykah Badu kissing on stage.

If 2020 came to wreck shit, then music was created to save us. Which is why I am still swooning over Jill Scott’s and Erykah Badu’s love fest from May 9th. What was billed as a battle, turned out to be the greatest queer love fest of the year — and what a year it has been.

Enter VERZUZ. The VERZUZ platform is pretty simple. Two artists come together, taking turns playing 20 of their hits. VERZUZ was created by music producers Timbaland and Swizz Beatz to help us get through the pandemic. …

Photo by Trinette Reed on Stocksy.

For many Americans, the mandate to shelter in place will end soon. But the anxiety from COVID-19 may linger in the air longer than the virus itself. During the last 55 days or so, our country has seen an increase in xenophobic violence and racist protest to prematurely re-open U.S. states.

On the other hand, Black, Brown, trans and migrant communities are providing mutual aid to meet basic necessities, such as help with rent, groceries and care taking. Per usual, our communities step up with love and resources when our government fails to do the right thing.

During this wild…

Charmaine Lang

Aspiring doula. Writer and researcher focusing on Blackness, queerness and the pleasure principle. Faux archivist. On Twitter: @abd4now

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