Women Do not need Permission to Prioritise Our Mental Well-Being; The Quitvation we Can Learn from Simone Biles

Simone Biles has shown us how to effectively reject the "Strong black women tag" and prioritize our mental health and self-first. 

In an ever-chaotic world where we are all dancing to overwhelming tunes, trying to fit in, impress the world and exude excellence , Simone Biles shows us it's okay to quit and quitting sometimes is winning. 

In a system impacted with white supremacy and patriarchy, it’s a double-edged sword being black and being a woman. Throw in the mix of "The Strong Black Women '' tag which creates harmful stereotypes and holds women to astronomical standards, burdened and pressured to be strong always, embrace adversity and never showing vulnerability.

The "Strong" trope's tag stems from raising black women to be incredibly strong and resilient, rooting their identity in how well they persevere in a harmful environment without showing vulnerability. While the 'S' tag shows women's resilience and ability to weather the storms, it has its downside and negative impacts on their health and well-being forcing them to prioritize others, push themselves too hard, seeing vulnerability as weakness, burnouts and rendered zero support. It is empowering to see Simone Biles prioritizing her mental well-being above short-term wins by walking away. Mental health struggles get downplayed and opening up about mental health are seen as signs of weakness. In an overwhelming space of racism, pandemic, femicide and gender-based violence, with women held to higher standards, go through doubts and burdensome emotional load, being self-aware and knowing when to prioritize oneself and take a break is vital for mental well-being. 

While the word "Quitting" is synonymous to failure and has a lot of deeply held stigma attached to it, Simone redefined quitting as being self-aware to prioritize oneself. Quitting is an essential lifesaving skill, knowing when to exit a toxic relationship, crappy job, and saying 'NO' is a sign of strength. Overcoming the fear of criticism, blame , retribution, denouncing the "S" tags and showing vulnerability shows true strength

Four Ways to prioritize your mental well-being.

1. Put yourself first.

It's okay to be a little or too selfish and prioritize yourself every time!!! It's easy to fall into the trap of 'S' tag by putting other needs first, but there's no Olympics awarding a medal for the world's best strong woman. Assert your needs always!!!

2. Prioritize self-care routine.

Secret rituals, Me moment, Self-love, have a self-care routine you indulge in. Take time to nourish yourself , body, mind and spirit with rituals that renew your energy. From listening to music, meditation, reading, yoga, inspiration mantra, movies, a meal with girlfriends, taking a walk, or just an off day lounging on the couch. 

3. Ask for help.

Do not be an emotional hoarder hoarding your emotional baggage and that of others. Asking for support when you need it is not a weakness. Surround yourself with supportive relationships where you can be vulnerable and feel safe to ask for support.

4. Above all, don’t be afraid to quit.

While giving up may be ascribed to failure, quitting can be life-saving. Sometimes, the best option may be to practice intentional quitting, trusting your intuition and taking a leap of faith to end a relationship, quit a job, break off a friendship, and end a project. Quitting can be necessary to make room for positive change, protect your mental health, and can be an opportunity to develop and grow. 

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