CNN strategist and political commentator Symone Sanders spoke with Hello Beautiful at the McDonalds 365 Black Forward Luncheon at Essence Festival 2018. We discussed her busy schedule and I was curious, how the woman who is constantly educating the masses on our current political warfare and ludicrousy, keeps her cup full.
Sanders admitted openly, “I had to work on the self care.” She added, “I actually try to find a beach once a month, no matter where I am. I have to find a beach, once a month, whether it’s for 24 hours or 2 days, where I can just unwind and unplug.” She joked, “One, because I like to be sunkissed golden brown. I like to be NW45 all year long in the MAC color.” On a more serious note she added, “Two, because that’s just my way to decompress. There is so much happening the the world.”
While Sanders was jovial and upbeat, she became quite serious as we continued on the importance of taking care of oneself. She explained to me how her father had died a year ago in March, unexpectedly from a stroke. “He had a stroke one day at the gym and two weeks later he was gone. I spent two weeks sleeping on the hospital floor of my father’s room. I would not leave. I would not go home. I had to leave to go do an event in Toronto, and that night, he passed and my mother called me in the morning and said, ‘he’s gone.’”
She reflected that it reminded her that life is too short, nevertheless, the CNN superstar went right back to work. She said, I was doing speaking engagements. I was back on TV three days later. And it wasn’t until one of my good girlfriend’s called me, maybe three weeks later and said, ‘Girl, I heard ya Daddy died.’ I just burst out in tears. Ugly tears. The lady next to me at the airport picked up her stuff and moved.”
The experience reminded Sanders that there are so many people going through things and still just doing the work. She said,
“We always talk about Black women are so strong but we have to check on one another. I go to therapy. I have a therapist. I believe in professionals. I got a professional to cut my hair and do my nails. I need a professional for my mental health.”
Preach on it, sistah.
It’s not just about self care, it’s also about being a global citizen and having empathy to others. She questioned, “How many times do we walk past someone and ask them how they are, and we aren’t really asking them how they are, we’re just saying it?” She paused to let her statement fully sink in before continuing, “Someone this year has probably lost a loved one, has struggled financially, maybe lost their job, is affected by what’s going on at the border or with the hurricanes. We have no idea. They could be struggling with depression every single day.”
Beauties, we are often so busy with our own lives that we don’t take a moment to stop and think about others and their own personal struggles. Sanders stated, “I think it’s incumbent amongst all of us that we are stepping back and taking moments for ourselves but we’re also just reaching out and inquiring about other people. We could potentially save somebody’s life.”
Take Symone Sanders’ words into account the next time you walk by someone and say casually, “how are you?” take an additional moment to stop and listen for the answer.
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