Things I Do To Manage My Self Worth (and Self Care)

More often than not, I feel like self worth and self care overlap. When I am not caring for myself, then my own self worth dips. The worth isn’t tangible, of course. It is that voice in the back of the head, peddling doubt and lack of care at odd times of the day and night. Or it’s the voice that is yelling, “Look at all you did! Good for you!”

This post isn’t necessarily about getting it perfect, it is about management. It is important to remember that nothing is perfect, and certaintly not the way we care about ourselves or care for ourselves…

But we can try and work on it daily. Over the course of writing my book and publishing it, the solitary moments took me on a journey of some inner deep discovery that can’t be undone. My sad moments were few, but loud and clear and felt monumental. My happiest times were quiet and full of simple contentment. Now that Woman Of Color is officially 7 months old, and the skies get darker earlier here in the city, I find myself having more time to retreat into my own thoughts (past and present). Thoughts that have me returning to things I’ve learned along the way.

It may seem silly, but here are things I’ve done in the past (and daily) to manage my self care, and ultimately, my self worth:

Manage calls, texts, and conversations. In general, I realized If I am at a sensitive place, whether it is emotionally, physically, or deep in the process of a big project or just sorting through heavy stuff, I need to manage my engagement. This goes for how I engage, and who and what I engage with. The person on the corner. A group thread, you name it. I realized that these things, depending on the nature, can bring me to a negative space that doesn’t even really belong to me. Have you ever had that happen? One minute you’re fine. Next you’re upset. I really believe that energy transfers. When I’m the negative one, I try to spare others unless I feel like there’s some deep connection and resetting that will happen in that shared space.

Rest. In all forms. Without judgement. In the middle of the day yesterday I got my first facial that I’ve ever paid for. I’m a 30 year-old New Yorker, some would say I am seriously behind. Nevertheless, my skin needed it. But I also needed the reset / rest for the start of the week. I try hard not to compare my work ethic, time management, or freelance/small buisness life to anyone else’s. But of course, I am imperfect. And when I do remember, the rest can include a rest from reading, from working, a literal nap, a shutdown and lay down with eyes wide, or just the promise of a full night’s sleep when the kids nod off.

Say nice things. I truly mean that. It is so easy to feel like the sum of any one thing. And social media doesn’t make it easier. Being a parent, doesn’t make it easier. Not being the greatest cook, doesn’t make it easier. The laundry and it’s ability to build, doesn’t make it easier. But that little voice in my head needs to hear nice things. My soul needs to hear nice things. So whether I’m saying it out loud to myself, or just talking with my kids about how wonderful our life is and what we get to do in a day, all of it is so important.

Be a willing participate of patience and practice. No, you may not publish a book within a year, but does that mean you should’t be writing? No, you may not be in an anxiety attack, but does that mean you don’t meditate? No, you may not have an achey body, but does that mean you don’t work on moving it in class? And with all of that said, when the brow is furrowed, and the practice doesn’t produce perfect results (oh, hi anxiety and wonky essay), you try and remain patient with yourself. And yes, you continue to participate in the practice of it all.

I loved Daphne’s note on moderating negative self talk. And I had the honor of having a beautiful conversation with Alex, on the Hey Girl Podcast about this too.

Are there ways that you manage your self worth (and self care) especially in the fall and winter? I would love to know.

(Photographs by Rikki Wright for LaTonya Yvette)

8 thoughts on “Things I Do To Manage My Self Worth (and Self Care)

  • Reply Shawntavia November 5, 2019 at 9:43 pm

    I love this! I definitely need to work on managing my calls, texts & conversations. More than anything, I need to work on getting rest and being a willing participant in patience & practice is so important… that really hit home. I’m known for starting really cool projects and not following through because I’m not seeing results fast enough, and then I give up. These tips were really helpful and gave me something to think about. I’m definitely going to bookmark this post, thanks for sharing!

    • Reply latonya November 6, 2019 at 12:03 am

      Hey Shawntavia, its so easy (and also ingrained in us) to be available to family and friends etc. And while it is important to be part of the tribe and available, I also think it is just as (or more important) to cater and manage what you can do and handle. It isn’t something we are naturally taught. Like it takes a lot of falling apart and asking why to realize it. So I totally get you! And 100% on the practice. ALSO not beating yourself up if you don’t follow through. But , just continue it and work on it no matter what. It’s just about practicing an act for your soul that takes care of you, but ultimately expands your own self worth. I mean, imagine if everyone got to do something they loved (but we couldn’t seeif it would ever or could produce results. So all of us were just tied into doing it because we loved to and because on a cellular level we need to. Not because we saw what it could produce or who else was doing it etc…


  • Reply Elizabeth November 5, 2019 at 10:15 pm

    I love this! I realized I tend to burn out toward the end of the year with finals and holidays, and I needed this reminder to slow down.

    • Reply latonya November 5, 2019 at 11:58 pm

      I hope the end of it all treats you a bit better, softer, and slower.


  • Reply steph November 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    i’ve never had a facial (im 31)!! but self-care is my number one priority. i’ve realized that to be able to give my best to my work, to my loved ones and to anything it is necessary and not selfish. i have a handy list of 25 simple (and free!) options here:

    • Reply latonya November 6, 2019 at 3:37 pm

      Free and simple, sounds like my kind of list! Thank you, Steph!


  • Reply Fran November 6, 2019 at 4:41 pm

    Thank you for this reminder! I’m in my early 30s living in NYC and currently going through a career change. I’m in my first semester of a PhD program and am still working close to full time. It’s so easy to get caught up in being a student, an employee, a girlfriend, a friend, etc. and showing up for everyone but myself. My self worth has been depleting lately and your post reminded me that I have been taking care of everything and everyone but me. It’s especially important for me to take care of myself during this transition as a Black woman. Thank you for your very thoughtful and timely words!

    • Reply latonya November 10, 2019 at 10:44 am

      Hi Fran, oh my gosh, hats off. That’s so much and all so amazing. Congratulations! I’m happy this post helped. Sometimes it takes a nudge (myself included) to look around and refocus (on ourselves) a tiny bit. Sometimes I say to myself you can’t show up fully when you’re needed if you’re always too busy always putting out constantly. xoxo

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