Wellness Roadblocks For People Of Color
Every culture demographic can benefit from prioritizing wellness but there are some unique wellness roadblocks for people of color. Here we will take a look at the largest areas of opportunities for wellness influencers as well as how to raise awareness and create inclusion to ensure everyone feels welcome.
What Is Wellness?
Let’s first take a quick look at what wellness is. A buzzword for sure, but a way of life that promotes the balance of the mind, body, and spirit connection. It is a concept that encourages taking an active and personal approach to health and self-care. Start where you are but for wellness to work we must be open, authentic, and honest about our areas of opportunity. This means we must identify safe spaces to heal and grow.
Silence And Shame
Silence and shame can plague us all, but many people of color are part of a multi-generational cycle of silence. We are taught to cope instead of heal, and to tolerate unhealthy behaviors instead of advocate for or seek out healthy alternatives. When we speak out or express ourselves, we are often shamed back into silence—both by our families and society as a whole.
Unfortunately, these unhealthy learned behaviors have become survival and safety mechanisms for oppressed communities. Add to that the lack of access to essential healthcare and quality education for minorities living in low-income areas, and even those open to wellness often have little to no access to finding the support and tools they require to live in their authenticity. There is still a long way to go to close the poverty and wealth gap but slowly and surely, minorities are being empowered to find and share their voice in safe wellness spaces. However, shame and silence are often just as present for minorities in all socioeconomic demographics.
The Greatest Wellness Areas Of Opportunity In Minority Communities
This answer is not cut and dry across the board, but the health and wellness gap is so significant that April is National Minority Health Month. The goal of this month is to raise awareness regarding the greatest wellness areas of opportunity and how we can better advocate for ourselves and help one another. However, educating minorities isn’t the only goal of National Minority Health Month, but also to educate health and wellness influencers and providers on the unique needs of persons of color and ways they can be more inclusive. This includes but is not limited to:
- The importance of and increased need for physical fitness
- How to improve nutrition, especially for those living in food deserts
- Removing the stigma surrounding mental health
- The importance of annual physicals and ongoing healthcare
- Exploring the mind, body, and spirit connection to health
- Non-addictive pain management and coping mechanisms
- Proactive and reactive education and support for sexual abuse, sexuality, and safe sex
How To Increase Your Access To Wellness
It has never been easier for people of color to prioritize their wellness as there are many exciting wellness options to consider! It’s all about exploring your options and finding what works for you. Even if options are limited in your local area, the digital day and age we live in provide us access to countless tools and resources.
- Head to your local health and wellness centers to see what programs they have in place.
- Head to the library, bookstore, community center, or online to explore your options in self-help books, classes, and resources.
- Browse yoga, meditation, ASMR, sound therapy, grief, nutrition, mental health, and fitness videos on YouTube. Many link back to websites and influencers whose work you can explore more.
- Search on Facebook and Google for online support groups for your current area of opportunity. You can find free groups for everything from grief to PTSD, anxiety, loved ones with mental health conditions, weight loss, and more.
- Download free or paid apps for ASMR, meditation, yoga, fitness, nutrition tracking, health monitoring, and more.
- Explore your options in both traditional and alternative therapy. This might include talk therapy, EMDR, physical therapy, massage therapy, eastern healing modalities, and more.
- Work with a nutritionist, naturopath, progressive general care physician (who practices both western eastern medicine), or alternative practitioner to discuss a whole-body and holistic approach to health. This means identifying the root cause, not just treating the symptom.
- Explore natural healing solutions such as spending time in nature, herbal remedies, and utilizing hemp-derived CBD as a natural alternative.
- Personalize your health and wellness, which we cover in more detail below.
Personalize Your Approach To Wellness
Let’s be honest, prioritizing wellness is a big shift for many of us. Some of us will immediately feel a sense of ease and relief, but it is also common for wellness to feel uncomfortable. Kind of like ripping off a band-aid, you may feel worse before you feel better. This is often because you have much more buried and suppressed than you realized. Be kind and patient with yourself (and others on their wellness journey) as it takes time, patience, and love to heal. Even if it’s impossible to imagine now, things will get better, and personalizing your wellness will help.
There are many ways to personalize your health and wellness. In addition to trying a variety of wellness methods to find what works for you, you can personalize your practice by identifying a quality practitioner who listens, takes their time, makes you feel comfortable, and treats causes not just symptoms. Most importantly, someone who sees beyond demographic stereotypes and who treats you as an individual.
Beyond your annual physical and treatment for chronic health conditions, consider hormone deficiency testing, working with a nutritionist, and having a biometric screening performed. These tests will help you understand where you are, determine where you want to be, and measure how far you progress on your wellness journey.
How Wellness Communities Can Be More Inclusive
A common wellness roadblock for persons of color who are open to exploring wellness feel out of place because no one looks like them at the classes and events they attend, so wellness providers can benefit not only from increased outreach, but by actively diversifying their staff.
We are in an exciting time where there is a growing number of minority wellness influencers. That being said, there are not influencers of color in every wellness community. Health and wellness leaders who want to be more inclusive will need to take a more proactive and targeted approach. This might include a yoga instructor teaching a class or two a week at a community center or school with a more diverse population than their studio demographic. Or creating at least one free or donation-only community class each week and ensuring outreach and advertisement for the class is inclusive.
Those open to tackling the specific challenges of their local communities of color can host or participate in workshops and health fairs geared towards the most pressing wellness areas of opportunity.
Whatever the outreach or inclusion may be, it is important to remember that not all ethnic groups struggle with the same wellness challenges, and not all persons of the same ethnicity have the same struggles. While creating inclusive safe places is a must, every person must be viewed as an individual—not as an all-inclusive demographic.
We Are Proud To Be Black-Owned!
Holmes Organics is proud to be a minority-owned wellness company. In addition to providing quality CBD products, we utilize our wellness blog to cover a variety of topics to help you succeed in your wellness journey. Check back soon to learn more!