Over the last week, the African American population has been brought to tears and stress due to the on-going events with the nation's law enforcement. As a race, we are all processing the current events in diverse ways and just as black lives matter, black mental health matters.
We can't mobilize effectively if our hearts and minds are carrying hatred and confusion. CLICK TO TWEET
Take a note from these mental health tips below before jumping to action.
Journal: Right now, we all have so many thoughts going thru our heads dealing with our fathers, brothers, sons, cousins, nephews and male friends. You need time to process what is happening. Take time to write your poems, your stories, your thoughts, and anything you may be feeling. Let all those feelings out on paper, not people.
Cry (if you need to) : Yes, cry. When you saw Alton and Philando fighting for their lives, it was only normal to picture the men we love and care for in the same situation. Your tears are not a sign of weakness rather a sign of a gentle heart who understands the severity of the state of black man in our nation
Create your list of personal triggers: Triggers are things that you know will take you into a mental dark place. I worry so deeply about my black brothers in this struggle that when I see the video, I can't help but tear up. So, whenever I see the word "video" with an #Alton or #BlackLivesMatter hashtag, I quickly skim over it. The imagery is so detailed that I choose to stay informed by reading articles instead. Create your list of personal triggers to keep emotional well.
Unplug Yourself: This morning I woke up thinking that everything that happened this week was a dream, but when I looked at my Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, I realized it wasn't. It was hard to comprehend and I began to feel depressed all over again. When you haven't processed everything going on it is hard to take in new information. Take your time and if you need to shut everything out for a few hours.
Stay Connected with Human Interaction: Staying connected involves more than just staying plugged into your Facebook or e-mail. Create a safe space between your friends and family where you can talk about the ongoing events. If you need to talk it out, it is almost certain that someone in your circle is having similar feelings. If you don't have a supportive network, join our private Facebook group. Here you can privately express your feelings with women of color across the world.
So much senseless killing has been going on this week, be sure to take care of yourself and stay hopeful.
What have you been doing to protect your mental health amongst the violence? Comment below to help others who may be struggling.
photo courtesy of: jixifox.me