Food, Sex, and Wellness: A Triad for Fending Off Depression
I am going to start by being honest: I am prone to being stressed the fuck out. I know I barely have things to stress about (relatively speaking) but in retrospect, I have seen some of the signs: stress eating, too much sleep, mismanagement of my time resulting in disappointment and intense procrastination. Plus, climate change has 2018/2019 feeling like coldest winter ever (on top of the 365 day long hunger games, also known as 2018) which is the perfect time for my seasonal depression to set in.… It has taken me a while to come to terms with the fact that I battle depression and anxiety, even after my homegirl Dr. Donna Oriowo hinted that my anxiety may be something I want to NOT gloss over, (which I kind of did any way)… But in a weird way I found comfort in realizing that I’m just one of the billions of people on earth dealing with what could either be intersectional oppression or my bad habit of giving too many fucks about things I cannot control, like D*nald Tr*mp being President.
With that being said, it helps for me to remind myself of the power of getting out of the drug store and finding the nearest source of fresh food or doing an activity that makes me happy, that grounds me. Living with financial burdens it is easy to be hooked on processed and unnatural foods, especially if you have a lower tax bracket or live in a community of color, which contributes to the probability of those community members experiencing health disparities. There are mental, emotional, and/or physical consequences to everything we ingest. But knowing we are at a high risk for stressors, how do we actually cope? Women of color have been repressed in many ways and there are even more ways to combat those depressive forces.
Here are 5 simple things you can do to protect your pussy and your peace of mind:
1. Drink more water - “Water helps to hydrate all of the cells of the body, helps to flush toxins out of the system, and even helps the body to repair itself.” Amanishakete of Ancient Healing Teas. Not much to explain here. Water is the foundation of all life and you can hardly have too much. Shoot for half your body weight in ounces and you should feel yourself peeing some stress away.
2. Grab some watermelon - Heart disease is the number one killer in the US and watermelon contains vitamins C, A, B1, B5, B6, potassium, Lycopene, and magnesium. Some of these function as free radicals and antioxidants which prevent cancer. Watermelon is a light and refreshing way to stay hydrated if water is too boring or you’re in the mood for a sweeter substitute.
3. Grow some weed - Gardening has proven itself to be theraputic and research is coming out daily about the medicinal benefits of Cannabis. Both CBD (doesn’t make you high) and THC (makes you high) are proving themselves to help with stressors and bodily aches and pains. Growing your own food is empowering because knowing what you’re eating is empowering. In a time where autonomy and power is being stripped from us in so many ways taking care of and preserving yourself is an act of self love, self preservation and rebellion.
4. Eat some raw Cocoa nibs - Cocoa’s flavanols, the conversion of tryptophan to a natural mood stabilizer, serotonin, its caffeine content or simply the sensory pleasure of eating chocolate. One study on chocolate consumption and stress levels in pregnant women found that more frequent intake of chocolate was associated with reduced stress and improved mood in babies. So do it for the babies!!!
5. Buy a vibrator - and use it! - The benefits of an orgasm are well known. But when it comes to women we are seldom allowed the space to explore our sexual needs. Sometimes its a hug, a kiss, or a random gift throughout day. Other times it’s a very specific experience we’re after and that’s when you bring in the heavy duty equipment. Adding a vibrator to your daily routine keeps things exciting and increases your likelihood of escaping the stressors of the day. It also makes for some pretty kinky adventures. With every knee-shaker oxytocin along with prolactin is injected into the bloodstream resulting in a natural stress reliever. Plus, you’re not you when you’re sexually frustrated!
Liberation begins on an individual scale and can only be successful on a mass scale once we know and accept ourselves in the face of everyone else’s expectations. When we heal our wombs- the creative energy centers of the female body- we not only heal our families, but a little piece of the world. We become one more woman in the world who refuses to go for the self-repressing bullshit and that creates safe spaces for more of us to love ourselves.
So in short- America (and many other major corporations) doesn’t give a fuck about our vaginas! So, today we have to be more conscious than ever about the mental, physical, and emotional state of our wombs because of the energy it harnesses. Self-confidence, relationship problems and stress have an inverse and co-dependent relationship to vaginal health, which is an important part of a woman's overall health. The long term state of one’s vagina can signify a matter of life or death. Plant a garden. Grow some herb. Buy a vibrator. Go braless. Do whatever makes you comfortable in claiming your feminine self and live by your own standards. Shave more or shave less, whatever you do, bask in your fucking feminine energy cause the world needs it.
Candace “Kandeaux” Clark sees
farming, land ownership, and cultivation as a path to liberation and equity. She is a “farm plug", a sustainable agricultural educator and intersectional advocate for farms. Candace hopes to break down barriers by helping to develop and increase the capacity of her neighbors while encouraging agricultural representation and intersectional justice. She’s excited to pass on tools for people to “cast their buckets down where they are,” as Booker T. Washington said.
Originally from Chicago, IL, Candace Clark is a graduate of the last standing historically black high school, The Piney Woods School, and is a Tuskegee University Alumna with a BS in Agricultural Business, Sustainability, and International Relations. Stay connected with her on IG @Kandeaux_the_Farm_Plug and twitter: @Kandeaux_ to learn more about your power in the food system!