Think back to New Year’s Eve — remember how you told yourself 2020 was your year? You were determined to stop dating toxic men/women, lose those pesky 5 pounds you’ve been struggling with, and travel to every exotic location you’ve pinned on Pinterest. Then BOOM. 2020 came through with all the smoke. This year has been one for the books, to say the least. I mean, killer bees, toilet paper shortages, our girl Corona and a race revolution. Staying balanced while the stresses of the world cloud our mental health is a constant struggle. Here are a few simple ways to remain level-headed in today’s political and social climate!
Talk About It!
This seems obvious, but finding glimmers of light in these dark times can feel almost impossible. Taking control of your mental health should be at the top of your to-do list! Websites like therapyforblackgirls.com cater to our needs as Black women coping with the pressures we face daily. It’s a safe place to find a therapist that fits your personal needs, allowing your voice to be heard and your feelings to be validated. Let’s break the stigma of seeking therapy! But, if that seems like a significant leap, start by speaking openly to the people closest to you. You would be surprised how common these feelings are and how positive it is to lean on each other. Whatever the case, talk, cry, scream, get your feelings out somehow!
Work It Out!
For a week straight I was so frustrated by the state of this country that I only got out of bed to go to the gym. Working out became an outlet to sweat my aggression and sadness away. As I ran, I allowed myself to live in my feelings and fight them head-on. Your 2020 weight goals are not canceled (even though, I’ve managed to gain 6 pounds during this time). Take this opportunity to connect with your body, mind, and soul because each is crucial for personal and cultural growth.
Dedicate a day to yourself. Shave your legs, lotion up your body, and climb into bed with your favorite Black-owned magazine (CRWNMAG is my go-to). Self-care takes many forms. It can be as simple as washing your face or singing “Normal Girl” by Sza while taking an extended shower. My Self-Care Sunday consists of an Indian Aztec clay mask, a few glasses of red wine, some deep conditioning, and an episode of Insecure. Whatever the case, spend some time doing you! Listen, I know you might feel like it’s selfish to spend time on things that aren’t considered necessities, but feeling your best is you doing your best.
Unplug & Reload!
Spending endless hours on social media becomes draining, but we’ve all been in a constant loop of news updates. It’s essential to stay on top of what’s happening and how to stay involved. Still, it’s important to decompress a bit in your downtime. It’s easier said than done but turn your phone off for an hour or two, cut on a movie, take a nap or walk around the block. We are in this fight for the long haul, so detaching yourself from the news for an hour isn’t shameful.
My biggest struggle is feeling like I’m not doing enough. Yet, there are many ways to fight racism and show your support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Sign petitions, donate to Black organizations, join a protest, or use your platform to spread awareness. There are no limits when it comes to doing your part. Helping in any form gives me a bit of peace. Black people have always experienced systematic racism; it’s a powerful thing that the world is finally taking notice. We are finally being seen and heard.
Black women stand up! We are carrying heavy loads while we are trying to keep everything afloat. Embrace who you are during this time because you are the backbone of this movement. Staying on top of your own health, hobbies, and personal goals are a top priority. No matter what take care of yourself. There’s no right or wrong way to remain level; all you can do is take it one day at a time.Black Lives MatterMental HealthRelaxself carethe balancing actTherapy