Paperdoll Journal Coffee Talk with Lisa Hazell is designed to help us approach, prepare for, and discuss Black American family history research. Topics include an introduction, background information, further research, discussion, and storytelling activities.
A self discovery guide for Black Family Historians
8 Steps to a Healthier You Starts with Self-Care
Commit to yourself
Create the intention to make positive changes
I best create intention through my daily living. After finishing an intensive fellowship with the Oral History Summer School 2020 cohort, I became more clear about my commitment to Paperdoll Ancestry projects. As I am a macro thinker, through the wonderful peer support of my cohorts, I was able to create more tasks to start projects that begin now that are part of the vision and mission of my overall project.
image: Paperdoll Ancestry with Lisa
Eat well-balanced & healthy meals
Here's a capture of my favorite not-a-lot-of-time breakfast. Although, what's the rush during COVID? It's organic scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese and black olives on a whole wheat gluten free tortilla from Trader Joe's. So so good. My diet is pretty consistent with meals. I like to prepare dishes that don't take a lot of time. For dinner, I've been eating homemade ramen with vegetables. I have been a pescatarian for the past four years since I stopped eating poultry. I have not eaten beef in over thirty years and have never eaten pork. My Nana used to beg to differ, stating to my eye roll, "You teethed on a pork chop bone." Missing her wit and sarcasm tremendously though she passed away over five years ago. I feel her presence everyday. Ha, I remember when she told me that her doctor told her to eat a little piece of bacon every day. Good memories. I must not forgot to share that I have an incredible sweet tooth. I have tried everything not to eat all of my candy or ice cream in one sitting or a spoon at a time until its all gone. These days, I just no longer buy the temptation. Send good vibes for me to keep it up!
image: organic scrambled eggs, pepper jack cheese and black olives on a whole wheat gluten free tortilla
Move your body in ways that you love
My favorite exercise is walking. During COVID, I learned more about mindfulness strategies and now I do 60 minutes of mindfulness walking daily. One of my favorite books on mindfulness to read and listen to is by Full Catastrophe Living. Check it out!
image: Lisa Hazell at National Harbor. Mindfulness Walking
Do the things that you enjoy
Scrapbooking is another one of my all time favorite activities. I do count myself lucky to have varied interests. Trying to catch up on all of my crafty daydreams while #stayathome during the COVID pandemic so I purchased supplies to update my photo collection. Here is a photo of me when I worked at the Cosby show and Patti LaBelle was a guest performer. I ordered archival photo cases to organize all of my photos by year. I also scan my photos and back them up on the cloud and an external hard drive for extra safe keeping!
image: Lisa Hazell and Patti LaBelle, 1998
Take care of your mind
Your mental health matters
Relaxing after a long day of family history research and oral history design for my new oral history projects. Thinking of all I was able to get DONE that day, not perfect. Letting go of perfectionism has increased the quality of my life tremendously. BONUS. Excited to catch some wonderful light during magic hour. A great end to a magnificent day.
Rest or take a break when needed
My best and most consistent form of self-care is journaling. I have a tendency to keep all of my thoughts on my mind. Every morning, for many years, I free write three pages nonstop in my journal to clear my mind. Then I write down notes from my dreams on the right page of my journal. I began to notice that my dreams definitely have recurrent themes. Before I started writing them down, I found myself thinking back to the dream throughout the day. Same goes for random thoughts from the previous day. I found that if I consistently wrote pages and my dream down every morning then by the time I sat at my desk to get to work, my mind was a clean slate. My morning: Rise and shine, facial and stay-at-home grooming routine, vitamins and RX, set my Nespresso by De'Longhi Mini Espresso Machine,and journal. This is my form of self-care every morning.
image: Paperdoll Journal with Lisa
Keep good company
Be with people who truly care about you and believe in you
This is the tablescape that's in my eyeline from my desk. Owls are one of my spirit animals and I have several around the house. I feel like they just speak to me in a silent affirming kind of way. Like, I see you girl, do your thing. Makes my heart smile. This one is hand carved from West Africa. I love the color yellow as my third color for small accent pieces. Now, the Himalayan Salt Rock Lamp also makes me feel peaceful. I love to have one in each room to lend positive energy throughout my work-home studio. The candy dish reminds me of my Nana. She kept one in the living room full of nice assorted candies. Mostly Mary Janes, Peppermint Patties, Rootbeer Logs and Butterscotch candies. Mine is empty. Because I love candy so much, I eat it all up. It feels like its calling me. So I chew gum. Trident orange is my favorite. It helps with migraines and anxiety. Both of which I am newly managing, very well finally, for the past couple of years. My dear acupuncturist gifted me the quote, "We can attain a state of freedom and unshakable happiness for ourselves while creating harmony with others." It's a beautiful quote from The Winning Life: An Introduction to Buddhist Practice.
image: Tablescape. 2020
There you have the 8 steps to self-care that I practice daily in preparation for working on family and life histories. I believe selfcare is an absolute must and it works best for me when I need to criss cross lifetimes making space to receive ancestral stories. I'd love to know what works for you, too. Share in the comments below.