We have all heard the term “soft life” at least once in 2022. It has been marketed to us as every Black girl’s dream. That we were breaking through the shackles of being a “strong Black woman” and leaning more into ease and luxury. While that all sounds amazing, how many of us actively chose to live a soft life? How do you even go about making that switch? If these sound like questions you asked yourself before, then you’re in luck! The new year is a perfect way to start a new way of loving yourself, and ushering in the soft life is the way to go! We spoke to an expert all about the soft life and how to embrace it.
Delilah Antoinette is the founder of Black Girl’s Healing House. Black Girl’s Healing House Facebook Group was created in 2018. Its purpose is to fundamentally shift and challenge the relationship Black women have with their mental health, wellness, and spirituality. Her community grown to include 62.1k+ women. It has become the space to find support and teach each other how to take back control of their lives. The group’s ultimate goal is to work towards bridging the generational gap. In addition to creating a new narrative between wellness and the greater Black community. Check out all Delilah has to say about the soft life and more below!
A Look Into The Soft Life
Zayna Allen: I want to just talk about stepping into the soft life in the New Year. We all we’ve been hearing it but why should Black women embrace the soft life in 2023?
Delilah Antoinette: I feel like Black women should embrace the soft life since 2023 because it feels good to the nervous system, it is something Black women don’t really have the luxury of. For me, the soft life is embracing a part of vulnerability and healing and a safety nest within myself that I never really had the luxury of having. It also helps us put an emphasis on how Black women are perceived and the things that we go through as a collective. For example, with the recent transgressions against Megan Thee Stallion and seeing how the world responded. It just further solidifies that if I’m hurting and I’m in pain, no one’s going to take it seriously. So I kind of have to take that self-responsibility. I’m taking my own pain seriously and taking the necessary steps to take care of myself.
I also recently watched the new Whitney Houston movie and to me, aside from like, the music and her legendary voice, it’s a story about a Black woman that was really struggling with her mental health. She was screaming and begging for help from everybody around her and nobody was listening. I just couldn’t help but wonder, what if somebody gave Whitney Houston the opportunity to feel safe within herself? Because all she wanted to do was feel free. And what if the soft life movement was prevalent back then? Would we still have Whitney Houston? That’s been my reflections.
ZA: Given the examples you just used, would you say the soft life movement is sort of like the protect Black women movement but internalized?
DA: Yeah, we have to protect ourselves and we have to be good to ourselves. For the longest, I struggled with having this need to constantly be on go. I just went from accomplishment to accomplishment, I never once slowed down and realized that there was something wrong with this and that I was deflecting. I had a tarot reading sometime in 2021 and she told me to calm down and celebrate my wins. This confused me because I was in the mindset to keep going. She asked me if I had something to prove and that put it into perspective for me.
Soft Life Transitioning
ZA: What makes the new year a perfect time to transition to being more intentional about your self-care?
DA: A lot of people argue that the New Year technically starts in the spring, but I feel like the actual New Year that we celebrate is important because it happens in the wintertime. Nature’s funny; it pretty much gives us instructions on how to treat and care for ourselves. The winter is made for refocusing and resetting. It’s made for introspection, it’s made for rest. There’s a reason why it gets darker around 4:30 p.m. and you feel tired because your body and nature is telling you, it’s time to go inward.
So with the energy of nature telling us “Hey sis, it’s time to take care of yourself and slow down so that you can get into the energy of blossoming in the springtime,” it’s the perfect time to set the intention of what you want to blossom into for the spring. Just use your December, January, and February to stay in, eat warm food, drink warm drinks, and take all the naps you need. And be kinder and gentler to yourself. That’s what nature and the universe invites you to do.
ZA: What are some ways that we can prioritize self-care in the New Year?
DA: One of the things that I do around this time is to take what I call self-inventory. In the past, I used to make a long list of things I wanted to accomplish, manifestations, and goals. There would be hundreds of things on this list and I would cross things off once I accomplished them. I had a year where I accomplished maybe 5 or 10 things and I got really, really sad about it. I realized by creating this huge mountain of goals, I was making things difficult for myself. Especially when it came to my personal self-care.
Instead, I start doing my self-inventory and just examine three categories of mind, body, and soul. I’ll write down the three categories and give them a rating of how I feel about where I am with these things. For example, if I’m not feeling all the way mentally together, I’ll rate my mental category on a scale of 1 to 10 and then write down some things that would help me in the New Year work towards a 10 for this. Then it for like my body, I’ll rate my body and how I’ve treated it for the year. Next is my soul. How do I feel spiritually? Whatever that looks like for you personally, give yourself a rating and just write down some things that will really help you get to a ten and those categories.
Black Girl’s Healing House
ZA: What made you want to put together Black Girl’s Healing House?
DA: I put together Black Girl’s Healing House a few years ago. I was struggling with anxiety and depression and I was just out of college and was going through a quarter-life crisis. My mental health was never high on my priority list, self-care wasn’t high on my priority list. I was only worried about survival, like, how am I going to survive out here in these streets? That took a toll on my health. I had to deal with chronic ulcers from anxiety, really bad dreams, and I didn’t sleep very well.
I ended up moving to a new city and I told myself that I wanted to prioritize my health and self-care. This was when I started getting into wellness practices like yoga, crystals, and meditation. But when I would go into these different spaces, I noticed that there weren’t any black faces there and it was quite uncomfortable for me. I realized there needs to be a space exclusively and specifically for Black women to take care of ourselves, so we can like feel sane A place where we could even find yoga studios that are Black-owned, find doulas, and have a whole entire Black girl holistic, wellness community.
At the time, the only thing I knew how to do is make a Facebook group. I’ve already like admined a few but I wanted to make my own Facebook group and this is the intention for it. People are going to join because they also believe in this intention. So when I announced this group, I made it clear that the intention for this group is purely for healing. If you want to feel seen and you want a community and want to prioritize yourself care, you want to learn more about how to take care of yourself, you can you join me on this journey.
At first, about five hundred girls joined, then about a thousand girls joined, then about 20,000 girls had trickled on in. Then the pandemic hit and that was about another 20,000. Now we have like 60 thousand women who share the same intention of healing.