there has been civil unrest in this country since the beginning. Black people in amerikka and all over the world are at a breaking point. in these trying times it’s important for us to take care of ourselves and our loved ones not just physically, but mentally as well. we are facing traumatic experiences like no other and an immense level of volatile emotions mixed together and shaken up. in order to continue our fight for justice, we must remember that can’t fill someone else’s cup until our own is full.
pay attention to your mind and thoughts; pay attention to the things that trigger you. pay attention to what relaxes and de-stresses you. here are some self-care tips that are always useful to practice:
monitor your media intake
social media has become a connection to vital information on current events, but it’s important to monitor your intake of potentially traumatizing information and imagery. spend a reasonable portion of your time gathering information and spend the day doing your part to help various causes (and getting into the routine of daily self-care).
All social media networks are constantly flooded with triggering posts, and this isn’t going to stop anytime soon. be mindful of your online state of mind, and tread lightly when it comes to spending your day staring at a screen.
establish positive boundaries
establish positive and useful boundaries with your friends, family and peers. not everyone shares the same view points as you, and it’s important to protect your mentalspace.
cultivate a support system
we are all in this together: cultivating a positive support system of people you can trust can mean the difference between feeling alone and feeling truly heard. explore nature together, make art together, work out or even cook together. try new things. a positive support system will help you remain level-headed and focused on your goals.
express yourself through art
creating art has a profound way of channeling negative emotions into a positive output. painting, drawing, doing your makeup, sewing, singing, making music, dancing, making mood boards and writing are some of my favorite ways.
The chart below lists various forms of self care and includes more activities to express yourself .
connect with others
connect with others experiencing the same emotions as you. chat with them. it’s always refreshing when you can validate your emotions with someone who has also experienced or is experiencing something similar.
consume more positivity
consume more positive things on a daily. make a list of people, things, or places that bring you joy and implement them into your schedule.
create a virtual safe space, where you control who you follow and who follows you. fill that space up with positive influences.
create a safe space in your home: decorate your room to bring you joy, or set up a nice space on your backyard where you can go and relax.
practice repeating affirmations to yourself
it’s very easy to fall under all of the negative influences that are being projected. it’s important to always center yourself, and remind yourself of the strength you have.
practice meaningful affirmations related to your current emotions and fears.
repeat them to yourself in the mirror in the morning, when you’re experiencing high levels of stress or anxiety, at night, and any time of the day to ground yourself.
express how you feel productively
I know you have a load of emotions, feelings, and even testimonies to share. Expressing them productively allows others to use your information shared. thing of long term and short term ways you can help with your voice, plan, and execute.
practice daily reflections
daily reflections are my favorite tool for my mental health, along with free writing. daily reflections allows us to pin point the things that are causing us unrest. it’s a way to gain control of yourself over outside influences.
my favorite way to complete daily reflections is to summarize my day. the most important aspects, highs and lows. after writing my daily summary in 4 sentences or less, I list the positive things that I experienced that day. lastly, I list the negative things I experienced that day and how can I “fix” it or why I will not allow that negative experience to take my joy, or why i shouldn’t dwell on it.
find your own twist to daily reflections, and share below in the comments for others to experiment with.
meditate, work out, or do yoga
meditation and working out is always a great way to love yourself. after any session of either three you’ll feel relaxed afterwards. find which way to exercise your mind and body, and aim to practice it daily.
also remember starting positive routines can be tough at firsts. If you want a routine to stick faster, try practicing it early in the morning for a month.
below is a self care wheel, divided into various areas that you should care for yourself.
here are two links for more resources related to self care, specifically for those who’ve experienced trauma.
also here are more resources for mental health in our black community
Share your favorite ways of self care today, and any useful information to help others below.