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Wellness

Tips to Stay Grounded While Being Black In America

This past Week Derek Chauvin Was convinced of murdering George Floyd.  He was found guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. After receiving the news many people across the country celebrated. This was a day that so many people marched, petitioned, and fought for in 2020. Seeing this happen was a beautiful moment. The same day sixteen-year-old Ma’Khia Bryant was killed by Police officer Nicholas Reardon in Columbus, Ohio. She was shot in the chest four times. 

 

This series of events can leave Black people wondering how to even survive in this country. This continuous cycle of abuse and mistreatment of Black people can leave us completely hopeless. Black men, women and children everywhere are burdened with the task of having to look over their shoulders every day. Then, we have to try and maintain our mental health as well. 

 

Kanye West once said, “We at war with terrorism, racism, but most of all we at war with ourselves.” This lyric is a depiction of what it feels like to be Black in America. It is a constant cycle of having to worry about the many hardships that are done unto our people daily as a result of the color of our skin. This leaves Black people at war with themselves and their minds. Here are some things that help me to stay grounded as a Black person doing these trying times in our society. 

 

Breathing. 

Breathing is an important thing to manage when trying to get your mental health on track. Sometimes I find myself holding my breath out of fear, anxiety, and anger. Breathing helps to release stress in the body and make it more relaxed. I take a deep breath, gather my thoughts, and become mindful of my feelings. 

 

Taking a step back.

Social media, the news and the internet can be very negative spaces. We are constantly bombarded with footage, negative comments and people telling Black people how to feel. Taking a period of time to connect with what you feel as a person of color is most important. The internet can feel like such a negative place for the spirit. So, give yourself a break. 

 

Find a Support Group.

Surrounding yourself with other people of color can help. Create a book club, host a yoga class or create something to help you deal with your emotions. Dealing with your thoughts alone can feel overwhelming but being with others who understand can help. 

 

Remembering the power in your Blackness. 

It is no secret that being Black in America is challenging. However, there is power in our blackness. We have to remember that Black people have gotten through Slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, the War on Drugs, and more. We must remind ourselves of the strength our people embody and realize that we can get through anything. 

 

Therapy. 

Now more than ever, therapy is one of the most crucial parts of sustaining Black mental health. Talking out your feelings is one of the most important components of sustaining mental health. Talking with a trained professional in regard to these situations can be one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. It is okay to seek help and a better understanding of our minds.

 

These times make me want to give up, and sometimes they leave me completely hopeless. However, managing your mental health can help you stay grounded. Most importantly, managing your mental health as a black person can help you to continue the fight for a better life for black people everywhere. 

India Rice, 19, is a Mass Media major at the Illustrious Clark Atlanta University.
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