Charlottesville happened and I tried so hard to avoid being reminded of it. Trauma is a constant reality we have to face in the black community. Sometimes I don’t want to think about the people who hate me simply for existing, you know? I didn’t open instagram that morning. After the news broke, I logged out of twitter for the day. Then I get to work and was called the “n-word” by some coward of a customer.
A couple days later, a few of the black team members at my job came to talk about what occurred. We shared stories. The common theme of them all were how we often have to hold back tears in between customers; How unfair it is to watch white America walk around seemingly un-phased. The conversation was heavy but it all came down to one question. What can we do to take care of ourselves? Now more than ever, its important to protect our mental health.
With the current climate, I thought it would be perfect to outline some self care tips that has kept me sane in wake of trump’s America.
Disconnect from Triggering Interactions
Turn off the news for a bit and take a break from social media. Scrolling down my Facebook timeline is a mess right now. There’s the clueless acquaintance who doesn’t understand the problem with confederate statues. And we can’t forget the “not all white people” acquaintance who continues to derail conversations. Doing the emotional work of explaining why you deserve equal rights and treatment is exhausting. Instead of arguing, remove yourself from toxic interactions all together.
Connect With Your Tribe
Surround yourself with support. Have a talk with your girls. Talk to your work mom. Talk to your real mom. It’s so important to have someone you’re able to be vulnerable with while you process your feelings. It’s also just as important to check in on those close to you who may also be struggling. When I had that conversation with my coworkers, none of us had answers for what we were feeling. But there was this strange peace that came over me knowing that the feelings I’m experiencing aren’t mine alone. I’m not alone.
Find Healthy Ways To Process Stress
For some people, it’s cleaning. For others (aka me) it’s going to the gym and perfecting my dumbbell shoulder press form. Whatever it is to you, just make sure you find healthy ways to exert the unpleasant energy built up from stress. It’s no secret that physical activity produces endorphins that acts as natural stress reducer. Besides, focusing on a single task can help clear/calm your mind.
But most importantly you have to love yourself fiercely and unapologetically. Take care of yourself. Eat whole, nourishing foods. Get adequate rest. Look in the mirror and remind yourself you’re a boss ass b*tch. Many people hear self care and think spa days or spending a ridiculous amount of money on a material thing you don’t actually need. And while those forms of “self care” have their place, we can’t forget to take care of our mental health.
There’s no better time than the present to prioritize self care. What are some of your go to self care rituals?