women fists raised in air

Just a Few Ways to Protect and Take Care of Yourself as We Continue Fighting and Protesting

Hello! It's Nelly, your friendly neighbourhood advice-giving narwhal. I just wanted to check in with everyone right now. As we all continue protesting, or just generally supporting and fighting in any way we can, it's important to also take care of ourselves. This fight is so crucial but also incredibly draining, especially for the Black community. So, while you're all out there dismantling systemic racism together, remember that taking care of yourself is a crucial aspect to giving this movement longevity. Here are just a few of my favourite resources to help everyone protest safely and maintain their mental health!

  1. As the police continue to come out with excessive and brutal force, it's important to not just have your emergency contacts on hand but people to protest with. If you're finding yourself in need of a buddy, the NYC Buddy System has you covered! There are organizers for each borough who can connect you with a buddy or a whole group to protest with, making sure you all keep each other safe.

  2. Designer Jacquelyn Ogorchukwu Iyamah creates beautiful graphics to remind BIPOC to take time for self-care. As urgent as the movement is right now, BIPOC should never feel bad for taking care of themselves and needing rest. As Jacquelyn writes on her post about Racial Battle Fatigue in Black communities, "rest belongs to us too."

  3. self-love

    Like any kind of professional help, there's a long history of BIPOC being given lesser service and having their pain invalidated. But now more than ever, there is a growing variety of therapy options tailored for BIPOC. Counselours, therapists, and other specialists are offering free services online. You can also try Inclusive Therapists for finding a therapist who matches your identity, if that's what you need. They also have a number of low-cost options from non-profits. Even more specific to the Black community, try Therapy for Black Girls and Melanin & Mental Health. There's also the National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network. So, please never feel alone, everyday there are more and more options for marginalized communities to find the right mental health professional.

  4. Especially now with the pandemic, there are many reasons people can't participate directly in protests. Please don't beat yourself up over this, there are so many ways to continue dismantling systemic racism if you can't protest. You can donate, start difficult conversations with ignorant friends/family/co-workers, you can sign petitions and/or call your local representatives. The linked post gives you a whopping 26 alternative ways of support, one of which is taking care of yourself!

I hope this helps those of you who have been drained! Please take care of yourselves and continue the good fight!