Welcome to Refinery29’s Feel Good Diaries, where we chronicle the physical and mental wellness routines of women today, their costs, and whether or not these self-care rituals actually make you feel good.
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Today: A Black, American woman living in Morocco who finds wellness through meditating, belly dancing, and socializing with old and new friends.
Location: Tangier, Morocco
Occupation: Travel writer and English teacher
$50 a month for a basic membership to Suhaila Salimpour’s online belly dance classes
*This diary was written in August 2020.
1 p.m. — I had fallen asleep doing a guided visualization by hypnotherapist Steve Burgess on YouTube. I woke up feeling tranquil. I washed my face first to separate the oils and dead skin, and then again to remove it all. I use Clean & Clear Daily Facial Cleansing Bar Soap. It’s ten dirham, or about $1, and it does a good job. After, I cut an aloe vera leaf to spread it over my face, ears, neck and anything else. The leaf costs 30 cents at the market. I make sure to get one every week because it makes me feel like a goddess. When it dries, I pour a little rosewater (cooking grade, $3) on my hand with a few drops of tea tree oil (locally made, $4) for another layer of nutrients. My last potion is a bit of mattifying face lotion (Nivea Essentials, $6).
For breakfast, I took Greek yogurt from the freezer and mixed it with a blend of avocado, raw sugar, coconut milk, and almond milk that I had prepared before bed. I’m experimenting with cutting down on bread and sugar, despite having a tattoo of wheat on my inner arm. After, I made black coffee with my Moka and sipped while writing. I did this all ass-naked, because, home.
7:40 p.m. — By the time I closed my laptop, I was ravenous. I drank water first and made the fastest, most satisfying option I had: pasta. I hadn’t had bread in four days, whereas I used to have it every morning, so I wasn’t worried. The green spinach noodles boiled as I cut garlic, broccoli, and mushrooms to sauté in a vegetable butter. I have used the same alla Calabrese sauce all year with any veggie combination, a bit of cheese, and black pepper ($10).
I ate and felt more in tune with myself. To reestablish that, I meditated by candlelight. These days, I sit before a self-love altar, upon which is a candle (energy, protection), herbs (lavender sage other local dried flowers for beauty), the equivalent of $40 (prosperity), an amethyst geode (strength), and a note that says, “As I see myself, I see God” (idea from public figure Shaman Durek’s book, Spirit Hacking). In this session, I sat with my concerns about my career before letting them evaporate. I left a teaching position at a small private school in …read more