Black Wellness: Coping with Tragedy
We thought we saw it all in 2020. Anything that could happen, did happen and as a Black Woman, this shit hit different. Coming into 2021, the air was charged with hope that we had made it through the worst of it. A change was gonna come.
Today, six days into 2021, I was prepping for our monthly grocery giveaway (cause people STILL don't have enough resources), when my phone blew up with notifications.
THE CAPTIAL HAS BEEN STORMED.
WHITE NATIONALIST HAVE TAKEN OVER.
SOMEONE STOLE MAIL FROM NANCY PELOSI'S OFFICE.
SOMEONE STOLE A PODIUM.
THE POLICE HAVE NOT DIFUSSED THE ALTERCATION.
Acts of domestic terrorism were happening on international television. And I, along with Black Twitter, had one sentiment: how in the WORLD did this happen? You see, when black people peacefully protest, there is a violent narrative attached to our pain. When we protest, we've lost eyes. We've lost limbs. We've been battered. We've been broken. We've been killed...for MUCH less. But we are expected to watch white Americans perform FEDERAL crimes and what? Just sit there?
Black people: I know we are frustrated. Angry. Shocked. Disgusted. But most of all, TIYAD. The past 5 years has been a whirlwind of tragedy, trauma, and loss. And with the Coronavirus outbreak of 2020, I know many of us are on our last straw. If I could take your pain, I would. But I can't. Instead, I've done some research on how to cope during tragedy. Now, I am not telling you to suck it up. Fuck no. We've been through A LOT. However, when you have the energy to do so, here are some tips to help you manage your wellness.
6 Suggestions for Coping with Tragedy
Let it out: It’s normal to feel what we are feeling. Find ways to express your experience. Working with an all black team at my job has been a godsend. I am so glad I was at work with my CoBiz family when this news broke. We were able to have a round table discussion and express our feelings. Talk to someone. Write it out. Sing it out. Dance it out. Whatever you gotta do, do it. Holding it in will just poison you.
Turn off the device: It's just that simple. 24/7 access to media is toxic. I don't care how strong you think your disposition is. It is affecting you. Constantly checking news feeds or other social media can increase your tension. You can literally FEEL anxiety build up when you are reading horrific news. Turn the shit off.
Take care of yourself: there are different stages of wellness and they work together. Physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual wellness are particularly interwoven. Make sure you practice some self-care that allows you to touch each of these realms. Meditation is my go to. It helps me get in touch and in tune to how I am feeling. And so when I speak, I can identify exactly what I am feeling and how to navigate it.
Get up and Get moving: Nature is my best friend and thankfully I live in the Bay Area and hiking trails are abundant. Yes, it is a distraction and distractions are necessary. Make it simple: go for a walk, run some errands, go grab a treat, go lay in the park and watch the clouds. Get out of your house and do a little something.
Stick to your routine: I know there is a lot going on, but DO NOT give up on your routine; ESPECIALLY your resolutions and goals. Having a routine keeps normalcy in your life and keeps you rooted. And let's keep it a buck, you would feel terrible giving up your resolutions six days into the new year. Keep it going. Every day you stick to it, you are giving yourself an accomplishment and it will make you feel good.
Turn your feelings into action: Redirect your power and help your own community. We are all we have.
Be Well | Spread Light | Die Empty