Finding Peace in Protest: Taking Care of Your Mental Health as an Advocate for Justice

The past weeks' events have changed the way many people see our government and the world. However, for many of us, the image of black people being brutalized and beaten by the police is all too common. For the past two weeks, my timeline on all socials has been flooded with images and videos of police brutality. As an avid supporter of Black Lives Matter, I choose to use my social media in any way I can to promote positivity and to bring awareness to racial injustice in America. But, as a human being, there is only so much one person can take. So, for anyone interested in how to preserve their mental health during such a difficult time in our country, here are some ideas for how black people can preserve mental health in such a difficult time.

  1. 1. Take a Break from Social Media

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    The events of the past week have dominated my timeline on most, if not all, of my socials. For anyone who is exhausted, just know it’s okay to take care of your mental health, first. Just know that I am saying, person to person, that you matter and so does your emotional wellness. To protect yourself and your sanity, maybe limit the amount of time you spend on social media. Seeing all these posts, no matter how much you wish to support the movement, can be incredibly emotionally draining. So, if you need to turn your notifications off or power off your phone for an hour, do it.

  2. 2. Meditate

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    When you’re feeling stressed, such as when you've just woken up or when you're trying to fall asleep, meditation is a technique you can use anytime to allow yourself to be mindful of your thoughts. The point of meditation is to gain self-awareness. If you need time for yourself to recollect, give yourself the chance to unwind. If you need something to guide you as you meditate, try the apps Sanvello, Calm, or Headspace. They all offer free meditation sounds for you to listen to as you relax.

  3. 3. Ask for Help If You Need It

    Even though we all have our ups and downs, it’s important to be able to recognize when you’re struggling. Reach out to your friends and family and ask them for help. If you feel like you need help, here are some other resources that can help you, with links.

     

    Association of Black Psychologists Self-Care Tool Kit: https://www.abpsi.org/pdf/FamilyCommunitySelfCareToolKit.pdf

    Black Emotional and Mental Health Collective (BEAM): https://www.beam.community/

     

    Black Mental Health Alliance: http://www.blackmentalhealth.com/

    Black Women's Health Imperative: https://bwhi.org/

    Therapy for Black Girls: https://therapyforblackgirls.com/