“I feel that self-care, sometimes, it’s not just about you.“~Cassandre Dunbar
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What is self-care now? In the wake of last summer’s peaceful protests against racial inequity? Alongside a presidential transition marred by threats of further violence?
How can we support the collective while caring for ourselves – and vice versa?
Challenging questions about wellness have led me to people who are redefining the standard answers, like Cassandre Dunbar. As host of the podcast, Be Well, Sis, she embodies the idea of self-care as a civic duty, speaking directly to women of color, a group long under-considered by mainstream wellness content creators.
Like many, I first came to the self-care space searching for a form of exercise I didn’t hate and soon discovered yoga. Before long, I found myself meditating and drinking smoothies while researching new ways to explore holistic wellness. My efforts returned
hundreds millions of options from hundreds millions of websites. My searches gradually began to include referrals for mental health and therapeutic resources near me. It all seemed so easy! And for me, it was.
Not so for Cassandre.
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“If I broke my leg, I couldn’t cast it myself. It’s the same thing [with therapy]. There are people on this earth who know exactly how to provide me the tools that I need to get better.“~Cassandre Dunbar
Even with her medical degree and a background in teaching, Cassandre had difficulty locating wellness information, especially discussions centered on mental health within the Black community.
“While I was researching the wellness community and looking for different resources, I found that nobody looks like me.” So, she did what anyone with a full-time job and a family would do when inspiration struck: she let it percolate in the back of her mind for five years.
Then the pandemic hit and all her fears about starting a podcast morphed into fuel for her fire. “I just embraced being an amateur.”
Podcasting inadvertently became a three-pronged approach to wellness. Crafting each episode made her feel good, which, in turn, made her family happier. Producing the show connected her community and expanded their access to vital information.
“I want women to have a safe space to exchange ideas and information, to get encouragement…I want people to feel empowered in their health and in their wellness.”
Hear more from Cassandre about producing her show, Be Well, Sis over on the crossover interview for Podcast Envy! Coming soon…
Connect with Cassandre
Mentioned in this episode
Conversations With A Wounded Healer
Recommended podcast episodes responding to the January 2021 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol:
Pause On The Play – Responding to the Insurgency on the Nation’s Capitol
HBR Presents: After Hours – Reflections on the Tumult in Washington D.C.
Ten Percent Happier – National Trauma — Now What? with Jon Kabat-Zinn
Ten Percent Happier – A Wise and Counterintuitive Way to Meditate in a Crisis with Lama Rod Owens
Living Myth – Anarchy Loosed Upon the World
Unlocking Us with Brene Brown – Brene on Words, Actions, Dehumanization, and Accountability
Special Music during our stretch break: Glass bass by Frankum & Frankumjay on Freesound.org. Licensed under the Creative Commons.
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